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Civilization and Its Discontents

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  27,685 ratings  ·  898 reviews
It stands as a brilliant summary of the views on culture from a psychoanalytic perspective that he had been developing since the turn of the century. It is both witness and tribute to the late theory of mind—the so-called structural theory, with its stress on aggression, indeed the death drive, as the pitiless adversary of eros.

Civilization and Its Discontents is one of th
Paperback, 127 pages
Published September 17th 1989 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1930)
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Marcelo Galuppo Freud is a great writer, a very clear scholar. Most of his books, although intended for the scholar, can be understood by anyone. This one is…moreFreud is a great writer, a very clear scholar. Most of his books, although intended for the scholar, can be understood by anyone. This one is specially an easy one (besides part VI, when he discussed narcisismus). You could profit of reading "Introduction to Narcisismus" before you read this one, but it is not necessary.(less)
André The whole book has 148 pages, but the main part is only 100 pages. This is followed by an appendix and notes on the following 31 pages. Then two pages…moreThe whole book has 148 pages, but the main part is only 100 pages. This is followed by an appendix and notes on the following 31 pages. Then two pages of references and 13 pages of closing remarks not by the author himself.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Das Unbehagen in der Kultur = Civilization And Its discontents, Sigmund Freud
Civilization and Its Discontents is a book by Sigmund Freud. It was written in 1929 and first published in German in 1930 as Das Unbehagen in der Kultur ("The Uneasiness in Civilization"). Exploring what Freud sees as the important clash between the desire for individuality and the expectations of society, the book is considered one of Freud's most important and widely read works, and one of the most influential and stu
Apr 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book helps explain one of life’s enduring phenomena: rage. It explains why standing behind that scruffy, ponytailed, mustachioed gentleman in the checkout lane (let’s call him “Gerard,” for good measure), can trigger paroxysms of homicidal fury. Something deep and ancient roils inside as you do a quick comparison: Gerard, with his sensationally attractive girlfriend in tow, (let’s call her “Melanie”); and you, with just you. You stand there fronting a twitching half-smile that conceals the ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book deftly delineates the dilemma in our civic society, where the struggle between our ethics and animal instincts continue, and the ‘prices’ we have paid in making our society safe and secure. It rejoins what Victor Hugo and Tolstoy and Steinbeck show in their works...

But, most of all, I think it acutely depicts the fate of our judicial system, conceived by men who thought punishment would be the detriment to crime, but which ironically turned out to be the incitement to more heinous crim
Nov 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone laboring under the illusion that they do not love freud
Shelves: groups-of-people
This may come as a surprise considering how much I complain about psychotherapy, but I LOVE SIGMUND FREUD. This is not just transference, and no, he doesn't remind me at all of my father; I believe Freud was a great genius, and far more importantly, that he was a fantastic writer and very interesting person. I also believe that Freud is one of the most unfairly maligned and willfully misinterpreted figures of the past hundred-or-so years.

If you haven't read him (HIM, not his theories), or if you
نعیمه بخشی
فروید مواد تشکیلدهندهی تمدن را برمیشمارد. و اینها را در مقابل هدف انسان از زندگی یعنی سعادتمندی قرار میدهد ولی در این تقابل رابطهی مثبتی پیدا نمیکند. یعنی تمدن موافق سعادت هر فردی نیست. بلکه تمدن بیشتر نگاهش به جمع است. فروید میگوید اگر هر فردی به ابژهی عشق دست پیدا کند اصلا باقی دنیا برایش مهم نیست. اجتماع برایش ضرورتی ندارد. میتواند بدون هیچ جمعی با ابژهاش تا ابد زندگی کند. قشنگ نیست؟ برای من چرا ولی تمدن این را نمیخواهد اما ابژه عشق را هم لازم دارد. تا خیالش از تمدید نسل بشر مطمئن باشد! شبیه ...more
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
`Civilization and its Discontents' is Freud's miniature opus. It is a superficial masterpiece that stretches further than any of his other works; he is reaching for an explanation for human nature in terms of the id-ego-superego structure of the individual as he exists in civilization. For Freud, human beings are characterized by Eros (Sex Drive) and Thanatos (Death Drive), which remain in opposition to one another. This small book is filled with as many interesting ideas as any work of modern p ...more
Roy Lotz
There’s something unbelievable about Freud. If he was some ancient Greek or Medieval thinker, his ideas might not seem as strange. But the man was a contemporary of Albert Einstein, John Maynard Keynes, and F.D.R. He lived through the Great Depression and World War II—two events that continue to haunt the present day. Yet his theories seem so remote from our positivistic era, it’s difficult to even take them seriously.

Nonetheless, he remains one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th centu
the discrete joys of cultural pessimism

This volume consists of two of Freud's essays Civilisation & its discontents (1930) and the far shorter 'Civilised' sexual morality & modern nervous illness (1908).

The latter essay is the simple one , it points out that conventional (in turn of the century Vienna) sexual morality is a cause of mental ill health and even when it isn't, the focus on marriage as the only socially acceptable forum for the expression of sexual love in practise causes fr
Jan 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
أكثر استفادة لي من الكتاب ،أنه غير لي نظرتي السطحية ،لأطروحة فرويد الخاصة ،بعقدة قتل الأب الأصيلة ،فأنا كنت أردها دائما بالحجة العادية ،أنه إذا كان الذنب ،قد جاء من القتل ،فكيف تكونت هذه القابلية أصلا ،للشعور بالذنب ؟،ولكن تحليل فرويد لها ،وادماجها في منظومته التفسيرية كان أقوى من التعامل معها بصفتها خيال جامح
يقول جورج طرابيشي المترجم ،أن السؤال الذي يجيب عليه فرويد هو ""لماذا لا يحظى الإنسان بالسعادة التي ينشدها مهما قارب أن يكون الها؟"" ،يمكن القول بأن الإجابة على مدار الكتاب هي "لإن الإنسا
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psycology, philosophy
سرچشمه های رنج

" رنج از سه جهت ما را تهدید می کند: ١- از طرف جسم خودمان که محکوم به تلاشی و اضمحلال است ٢- از طرف جهان بیرون و طبیعت که با نیرویی چیره، بیرحم ویرانگر ما را مورد حمله قرار می دهد ٣- نهادهایی که روابط میان انسان را در خانواده، دولت و جامعه تنظیم می کنند" ( ص٣٥)

پذیرش مورد اول و دوم هموارتر به نظر می رسد. در مقابل چیرگی طبیعت و قدرت ویرانگرش و نیز ناجاودانگی و فنای بدنمان مقاومت چندانی نمی توانیم نشان دهیم و به رشد علوم و دانش بشری که در این زمینه ها تا حدی کمکمان می کنند دلخوشیم اما
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
The Price of Civilized Security

“Civilized man has traded in a portion of his chances of happiness for a certain measure of security.”

Sometimes it is worth reading the original source of an idea that now should be taken for granted in our culture. Not this time. While there are a few gems in this work, I am mainly reminded why Freud is no longer taken seriously. Here we receive his view of an entire civilization based on his experience with those few neurotic patients who can afford his services.
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-non-fiction
Studying psychology I never cared much for Sigmunds insights into the human psyche and dreams. They seemed interesting from a cultural, maybe even literary or intellectual perspective -but not from a scientific point of view.
His sociological ideas and writings however impressed me deeply in my student years. I read this book cover to cover in two days. One of the points that stuck was that humans not only have an innate drive to survive, but also to self destruct.
Fascinating book and very well
Ahmed Oraby
منذ بداية الكتيب، ويصرح فرويد بالعبارة الأكثر مباشرة: لا أؤمن بما يسميه البعض بالكلانية wholness أو الإدراك الباطني بوجود أعلى وأشمل يحكم العالم.
وهي الفكرة، عينها، التي ناقشها فراس سواح وبنى عليها نظريته حول الدين، أو بالأحرى التجربة الدينية.
في معرض نقد سواح لنظريات دراسة الدين الأخرى، والتي ترى إليه بأنه: إما عبادة للأرواح، وإما تطور طبيعي للأسطورة والخرافة، وإما عزاء وهمي اختلقه عقل الإنسان هربًا من مشكلاته، وإما وإما. يرى السواح أن كل تلك النظريات تختزل كثير من أفكار الدين، في نقطة بسيطة ود
Pooya Kiani
از آخرین کتاب های فروید، و اولین کتابی که من ازش خونده م.
بسیار بسیار ارزشمند. متن کاملا خودبسنده ست. تازه و ساده شروع می شه، خوب ادامه پیدا می کنه و با مختصری تکرار مکررات به پایان می رسه.
فروید واقعا نبوغ داره. چه دوستش داشته باشیم چه نه.
رد پای تفکرات نویسنده ی این متن رو توی هر نحلهی فکری امروزی می شه دید. چه اون هایی که قبولش دارن، چه اون ها که نه. چه اون ها که بهش ارجاع می دن، چه اون هایی که اسمی از فروید نمی آرن.

سخت و صعب، ولی لذتبخشه. در صورتی که کشتی گرفتن با تفکرات کسی همپایه فروید رو م
Nov 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Undoubtedly, Sigmund Freud is a classic. Consequently, he shares the fate of any classic: everybody knows of and few read him anymore. After all, what is to discover we didn’t already learn? That he explained every evil or deviation in human behaviour by some repressed sexual urges generated mainly by the Oedipal complex. That he founded the science of psychoanalysis, but many of his theories and methods are obsolete today. That he influenced the Modernist movement, especially regarding some fam ...more
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
A tedious read, Freud's essay is mundane at worst, general knowledge at best.
Freud had this tendency to make pretty obvious and minor premises and then jump to big and somehow unrelated conclusions depending on said premises.

It's already known that Freud and his disciples were treading a deserted land which is psychoanalysis in their times, which calls for far more caution and far more-in this case, very welcomed-pedantry.

Nevertheless Freud writes with uncalled for confidence, mixing facts with
May 08, 2012 rated it it was ok

I've got nothing against Freud, really, but whatever it was I was looking to find I didn't find it here.

It may have been a bad translation but the prose was leaden, uninteresting and seemed way to weighed-down with self-importance and near-myopic pedantry.

I read it because of course its a seminal classic and one of his central texts but was mildly disappointed to see that there wasn't all that much "there" there.

I've always been intrigued by Freud and I would like to get some of the finer points
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
کتاب به علل شکل گیری فرهنگ می پرداخت.
فرهنگ که در ابتدا از وصلت اروس و آنانکه پا به عرصه وجود نهاد.
ناچار به تحمیل محدودیت های سختی بر گرایشات و غرایز پرخاشگری
و اروس شد تا به هستی ادامه دهد. در پایان این سوال مطرح می شود: آیا
فرهنگ به ناخوشایندی هایی که همراه می آورد ، می ارزد؟

ریوییوی دومین بار خواندن:
فروید همانطور که خود می گوید در نوشتن این کتاب راهنمای چندان ماهری نبوده و خوانندگان را از مناطق متروک و راه و بیراه های پر زحمت و خستگی آور گذرانده.
اما جان کلام فروید چیست؟
چرا انسان در فرهنگ احساس
...the development of the individual seems to be the product of two trends — the striving for happiness, which we commonly call ‘egoistic’, and the striving for fellowship within the community, which we call ‘altruistic’. Neither term goes much below the surface.


Having just re-read ‘Brave New World’ (1932) and realising how influential Freud’s work had been on it this time around (having previously read it as a Freud-less teen...) I was keen to
Aug 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Intellectual Historians, Psychology students, Freudians
Recommended to Michael by: Richard Beyler
This is one of those "seminal" books that shows you why so much of Western thought is totally screwed up. The premises and logic of Freud's argument are utter nonsense from beginning to end, yet he somehow taps into a vein of unconscious imagery within the contemporary Zeitgeist that still resonates 80 years later. Certainly, for anyone studying the early 20th century, the ideas in here will seem eerily familiar; Freud isn't so much creating a new argument here as speaking aloud what was in ever ...more
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Read in 2000. Too long ago for me to review, but I will say that the impression I'm left with is that Freud may be more relevant today outside of his discipline than in it.
Mohamedridha Alaskari محمد رضا العسكري
I was reading this book very carefully due to Frued's reputation in my society but I find this evil!
The man extremely intelligent especially explaining the most complicated "human being activity in certain societies based on Nerotics psychonalysis"
This book made me understand some most important items in the civilization like: good, evil, love, hate, frustration, ego, super-ego and remorse"
And why he ought to kill father, what is the relation between the sex and happiness I mean what we call (p
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At one time it was wrongly believed that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny (i.e. the embryonic stages mirrors the development stages of the species). Similarly Freud thinks the phases that an individual goes through mirror the same phases that civilizations have gone through. Freud uses that theme to explain his psychoanalysis in describing individuals and the societies in which they live as mirror images of each other.

Yes, Freud does believe some weird things and he restates them in this book su
Leonard Gaya
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Freud rédige ce petit livre quelques mois avant la grande crise économique de 1929. Il s'agit, au départ, d'une étude sur la souffrance, qui tire son origine de la relation de l'homme à la nature et à autrui, et sur les moyens de ne pas la ressentir : stupéfiants, méditation, sublimation, religion, amour, beauté...

Mais assez vite Freud s'interroge sur le rôle de la civilisation dans l'économie libidinale. Ce que l'homme obtient à travers la culture, c'est précisément de se prémunir contre les ag
Aug 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was interested in reading this short work at this time because Freud herein addresses, inter alia, the creation of art as sublimation of libido in society. In this text Freud addresses several issues and introduces or expands on concepts that he introduced elsewhere, and it is interesting to see the evolution of his own thinking. Among other things he discusses ego differentiation and the development of religion as a means of addressing the fear that the superior power of fate brings, but that ...more
Adriana Scarpin
Feb 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Adriana by: Damaris
Shelves: freudiano, psicologia
Estou fazendo um trabalho sobre influência patriarcal na psicologia clássica e ler Freud é sempre um prato cheio para tal assunto. Aqui ele discorre sobre os meandros do superego cultural de forte influência do superego individual instaurado pela figura do pai na infância, traçando um paralelo também com a figura paterna religiosa com seu deus onipotente. Enfim, estamos todos fadados à culpa em função desse superego engrandecido.
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first 50 pages are some of Freud's clearest and most straight forward writing, and also some of his darkest. Want a matter of fact summary of why Freud believes that we who exist within a civilization that we ourselves built around us will never find happiness? Want to understand how this trap we built around ourselves (both necessary and also fated to make us discontented) pretty much defines us as humans who need to live with each other? Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard pla ...more
Jul 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
First and foremost, The Standard Edition of this book does not have 160 pages. Sigmund Freud's psycho-analytical thoughts begin on page 10 and end on 112. The pages after that are the Bibliography. So in the 102 real Freud pages, I have decided that he is not quite as much of an "inspiration" as I thought he was. Beginning on page 70, he begins to analyze the pros of the Communist System in which I regard is a means to destroy the exact definition of civilization that Freud portrays: that it dep ...more
May 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with an intrigued reaction to its title
It's impossible to read "Civilization and Its Discontents" and not come away with the impression that Freud is a genius. His ability to trace out cause and effect in human psychology is unparalleled. Most of his conclusions are convincing, and even the ones that aren't are at least thought-provoking.

The main weakness of this book is its desultory style. The first seven of its eight chapters read like an anthology of things Freud was thinking about this week, very loosely themed around the source
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do love me some Freud. His theories seem too speculative at times, but his insights on basic human psychology are enlightening. Although he spent most of the time trying to disabuse his readers of that ultimate "delusion," religion, I'm afraid it had the opposite effect on me. His expert construction of the ultimate human dilemma only strengthened my belief in and need for God, for which I thank him.
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Dr. Sigismund Freud (later changed to Sigmund) was a neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, who created an entirely new approach to the understanding of the human personality. He is regarded as one of the most influential—and controversial—minds of the 20th century.

In 1873, Freud began to study medicine at the University of Vienna. After graduating, he worked at the Vienna General Hospital
“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” 1337 likes
“It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.” 403 likes
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