May's Reviews > Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud

Eros and Civilization by Herbert Marcuse
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's review
Jun 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: psychology
Read in January, 2009

I have mixed feelings and part of that is because there are parts of Freud with which I am either not fully familiar with or I have trouble agreeing with.This book will be nearly impossible to understand without reading Freud's work - Civilization and its discontents, as well as Nietzche's Geneology of Morals, where some of the terms of originally defined. It will also be necessary to be very familiar with Oedipus, the actual story, which I think gets very warped in the interpretations taken by Freud and Marcuse, but no matter.

That said, I understand why you must read Marcuse within philosophy as he - along with a few of his contemporaries - take the first fetal steps from considering the problem at the individual level to considering it at the societal level. From here, it becomes more clear how the argument distended from what must society provide, to what exactly is the structure of the social machine. What exactly has happened in the nature of dominance and how has it been reinforced?

Much of what he says on the economic and non-personal manner of institutionalization with respect to punishment of the individual is fascinating. We allow ourselves to be punished within the institution because it is not-personal. Society has spent ages and ages to make it not personal.


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02/16/2016 marked as: read

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