Freedom Versus Determinism Freud Versus Sartre

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Freedom versus Determinism In Class Essay
The person portrayed in The Scream clearly is in distress, they looked extremely surprised and scared. This is because they have just realized that they have been living in-authentically, that is, they have set certain parameters to live by that has ultimately affected, and taken away , their freedom. This debate about whether or not we have freedom in the decisions that we make is one that Sartre and Freud both are strongly opinionated about. Freud, being a soft determinist, claims that much of what we do, especially the things that define our lives, is determined. Sartre on the other hand says that we have so much freedom that it scares us and the person in the scream is in anguish due to how much freedom he just realized he has. Ultimately, Sartre’s theories will disprove Freud’s, showing us that we are the ones who have control over our own fate and that we are always free.

Freud begins by claiming that there are 3 entities that make up our actions: the Id, Ego, and SuperEgo. The Id is our natural instinct, which acts upon its need for immediate gratification; it knows what it wants, and it wants it now. The Ego is our rationality, the part of our self that is self-aware, and ultimately decides what we do. The superego is the Tyrant that is constantly battling our Id, basically what society has established as acceptable social conduct. With these defined Freud can elucidate his opinions on the fight between nature and culture. According to Freud, the Superego constantly restricts the Id, just as Culture restricts our natural instincts. This alludes to Freud’s assertion that our actions are thus determined by society, we don’t have complete freedom. However say the Superego were a law: don’t steal. It’s clear that at any time I could steal from someone if I wanted, undermining the law and thus showing we have that freedom. Further, the superego may dictate that I shouldn’t rip my clothes off, running around naked,...
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