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Talk:Sigmund Freud

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This psychology related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


'Did Freud suffer from womb envy?' - discuss. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Reminder to myself/request[edit]

This page needs more about the really batshit parts of Freud's theories, like penis envy and sexism, schizophrenia being caused by the gay, Oedipus complex, etc., which I'll get around to adding unless someone swoops in with it before me. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:56, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Don't forget all the coke he did and the lack of patient confidentiality. HollowWorld (talk) 19:48, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Things wrong with this page[edit]

1. The article asserts that "the concept of the unconscious" is "the idea that human beings are not always aware of their own motivations". Wrong. "The idea that human beings are not always aware of their own motivations" is a commonplace that anyone can accept and has nothing specifically to do with Freud's ideas. Arthur S. Reber and Emily Reber's The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology defines the unconscious (in Freud's sense) as "a domain of the psyche encompassing the repressed id functions, the primitive impulses and desires, the memories, images and wishes that are too anxiety-provoking to be accepted into oonsciousness". Think about it carefully, and you'll see that this not only does not mean the same thing as "the idea that human beings are not always aware of their own motivations", it isn't even close.

2. "Freud is often grouped with Nietzsche and Marx as one of the great thinkers of the 19th century as in Paul Ricoeur's Masters of Suspicion" - Masters of Suspicion is in italics, implying that it is a book. Did Ricoeur actually write a book with that title? I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

3. "Nevertheless, Freud's work was an important step forward in decriminalizing mental illness, as asylums in the 19th century tended to be far more interested in containing the 'undesirables' of society rather than therapeutic solutions" When, exactly, was mental illness, as opposed to some of the behavior associated with it, ever 'criminal' per se?

4. "There is great irony in the fact that Freud was a prolific smoker of cigars (an oral fixation on a penis substitute), and died of throat cancer that was most likely caused by this habit though that was not known in Freud's time" - How does whoever wrote that know that Freud's cigars were penis substitutes? Or what caused Freud's cancer? The last part of the sentence confuses knowledge of the causes of cancer in general with knowledge of what caused Freud's cancer - quite different subjects.

5. "He did, however, turn toward a sort of secular Judaism late in his life" - that's meaningless.

6. "His ideas have been criticized by feminists such as Betty Friedan and postmodernists such as Michel Foucault" - Foucault was not a postmodernist.

7. We're told that Freud perpetuated "Opposition to women's liberation/suffrage". Opposition to women's suffrage would mean that Freud opposed women being allowed to vote. Are you sure that this was Freud's view? Really?

8. "While Freud did not see homosexuality in and of itself to be a mental illness, he did view it as a form of stunted sexual development" - Not completely wrong, but "stunted" is an inappropriate term to use. Also, why are you sure that this is "nonsense"?

9. "He also believed that homophobia led to sexual repression in gays, which caused a range of mental disorders, most notably paranoia or schizophrenia. The alleged connection was, of course, later found to be utter bullshit." That's a mangled and nearly-incomprehensible account of Freud's ideas that hardly deserves comment.

10. "rejecting the existence of the unconscious would be considered denialism probably on par with mental illness denial" In a word: rubbish.

11. "Repressed memory is now considered pseudoscientific. There is no special mechanism that 'represses' memories and it's likely that many of the 'repressed' memories Freudians claim to have discovered were actually just inventions of the therapist or patient himself." How do you know?

12. "Dream interpretation is currently patent quackery." I can understand why someone would say that, but a term like "quackery" really would only apply in a field with recognized standards. "Of uncertain value" would be a more suitable expression here.

13. "However, modern psychologists generally regard his description of the workings of the unconscious mind as patent nonsense." Wrong, perhaps, but not patent nonsense.

I have no intention of trying to fix any of the above-mentioned mistakes, but I thought I'd state them for the record. Please note that the list is non-exclusive. Prince of Glantri (talk) 04:47, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Feel free to edit the article. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 09:40, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
My decision not to try to fix the problems of this article is not based on any belief that I am not allowed or able to edit it. Clearly, I can edit it, however, I choose not to, since my preferred solution to the article's problems (wiping it completely) has already been rejected. I decided to note some of its problems in case others are inclined to try to fix them. Prince of Glantri (talk) 07:36, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

14. Nonsense he perpetuated: "Female hysteria". WRONG. Freud was, in fact, adamant in advocating hysteria as a gender neutral mental disorder, diagnosing many of his male patients with it. Therefore, the nonsense he advocated was rather just "Hysteria" in general. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Most important question: why did he become so influential?[edit]

The most important question is not treated. Why did this scientist who was mediocre at best become and remain so influential for such a long period of time? Mediocre scientists are abundant but they are not influential. Why was Freud an exception? Andries (talk) 18:09, 23 February 2014 (UTC)