Mass Psychology

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Penguin Adult, Dec 2, 2004 - Psychology - 305 pages
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Freud s religious unbeliefs are too easily dismissed as the standard scientific rationalism of the twentieth-century intellectual, yet he scorned the high-minded humanism of his contemporaries. In Mass Psychology and Analysis of the 'I' he explores the notion of mass-psychology - his findings would prove all too prophetic in the years that followed. Writings such as A Religious Experience and The Future of an Illusion continue earlier work on the essential savagery of the civilized mind, and Moses the Man and Monotheistic Religion excavates the roots of religion and racism, which he concludes are inextricably intertwined.

This remarkable collection reveals Freud not only at his most radically pessimistic, but also at his most personally courageous - engaging with his own adherences, his own antecedents, his own identity.

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About the author (2004)

Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in Moravia; between the ages of four and eighty-two his home was in Vienna: in 1938 Hitler's invasion of Austria forced him to seek asylum in London, where he died in the following year.

His career began with several years of brilliant work on the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. He was almost thirty when, after a period of study under Charcot in Paris, his interests first turned to psychology, and another ten years of clinical work in Vienna(at first in collaboration with Breuer, an older colleague) saw the birth of his creation, psychoanalysis. This began simply as a method of treating neurotic patients by investigating their minds, but it quickly grew into an accumulation of knowledge about the workings of the mind in general, whether sick or healthy. Freud was thus able to demonstrate the normal development of the sexual instinct in childhood and, largely on the basis of an examination of dreams, arrived at his fundamental discovery of the unconscious forces that influence our everyday thoughts and actions. Freud's life was uneventful, but his ideas have shaped not only many specialist disciplines, but the whole intellectual climate of the last half-century

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