Civilization and Its Discontents

Civilization and Its Discontents

by

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 the last of Freud's books, written in the decade before his death and first published in German in 1929. In it he states his views on the broad question of man's place in the world, a place Freud defines in terms of ceaseless conflict between the individual's quest for freedom and society's demand for conformity.


Freud's theme is that what works for civilization doesn't necessarily work for man. Man, by nature aggressive and egotistical, seeks self-satisfaction. But culture inhibits his instinctual drives. The result is a pervasive and familiar guilt.


Of the various English translations of Freud's major works to appear in his lifetime, only one was authorized by Freud himself: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud under the general editorship of James Strachey.


Freud approved the overall editorial plan, specific renderings of key words and phrases, and the addition of valuable notes, from bibliographical and explanatory. Many of the translations were done by Strachey himself; the rest were prepared under his supervision. The result was to place the Standard Edition in a position of unquestioned supremacy over all other existing versions.

Title:Civilization and Its Discontents
Edition Language:English
ISBN:0393301583
Format Type:
Number of Pages:127 pages

    Civilization and Its Discontents Reviews

  • Miss Ravi

    ????? ???? ??????????? ???? ?? ?????????. ? ????? ?? ?? ????? ??? ????? ?? ????? ???? ????????? ???? ????? ???...

  • Corinne

    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 secu...

  • Jessica

    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 Fr...

  • Mr.

    `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 ...

  • C C

    This book explains why the average man--someone like you--is always pissed off, as if there is a cauldron of anger boiling just beneath his--and your--clothes. This book explains why you could be stan...

  • 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 Key...

  • ZaRi

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  • Pooya Kiani

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  • Blair

    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 th...

  • Belal

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