New Interpretations Of The Mind : Psychoanalysis Essay

1147 Words Nov 10th, 2015 5 Pages
New Interpretations of the Mind: Psychoanalysis in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
According to Carl E. Schorske, the liberal values of reason and law did not stem the re-emergence of racial prejudice and national hatred in turn-of-the-century Vienna.” The growing prominence of new social groups based along religious, ideological, and ethnic divisions eroded classical liberal values and challenged its political authority. This evolved into a psychological defeat for its adherents. Birthed in this deteriorating environment of fin-de-siècle Vienna, Sigmund Freud’s project of psychoanalysis, created new means to make sense of the crisis of liberal polity and generational change in Vienna.
In the nineteenth century, man was thought of as a rational being, and the laws of science controlled his actions in deterministic ways. In the beginning of his medical career, Freud espoused a similar notion: he states in An Autobiographical Study that he once presented a “neurotic suffering from a persistent headache as a case of chronic localized meningitis”, which he absolves himself of by immediately stating that this was the prevailing understanding then. Nevertheless, Freud would later dismantle this notion by arguing that the mind was driven by the ‘unconscious’, which was motivated by irrational and sexual impulses. Freud, like many of his intellectual contemporaries in the various fields of aesthetics and philosophy, was participating in a wider generational revolt that sought to debunk…

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