Sigumand Freud and Nietzsche: Personalities and the Mind

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Dionysus, Friedrich Nietzsche Pages: 5 (1811 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Sigumand Freud and Nietzsche: Personalities and The Mind

There were two great minds in this century. One such mind was that of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). In the year 1923 he created a new view of the mind. That view encompassed the idea we have split personalities and that each one have their own realm, their own tastes, their own principles upon which they are guided. He called these different personalities the id, ego, and super ego. Each of them are alive and well inside each of our unconscious minds, separate but yet inside the mind inhabiting one equal plane. Then there was Nietzsche (1844-1900) who formulated his own theories about the sub-conscious. His ideas were based on the fact that inside each and every one of us is a raging battle going on. This battle involves the two most basic parts of society, the artistic Dionysian and the intelligent Apollonian. Sometimes one being becomes more dominant than the other or they both share the same plane. Even though individually created, these theories could be intertwined, even used together. Thus it is the object of this paper to prove that the Freudian theory about the unconscious id, and ego are analogous to the idea on the Apollonian and Dionysian duality's presented by Nietzsche.

"The division of the psychical into what is conscious and what is unconscious is the fundamental premise of psycho-analysis; and it alone makes it possible for psycho-analysis to understand the pathological processes in mental life..." (Freud, The Ego and the Id, 3). To say it another way, psycho-analysis cannot situate the essence of the psychial in consciousness, but is mandated to comply consciousness as a quality of the pyschial, which may be present (Freud, The Ego and the ID, 3). "...that what we call our ego behaves essentially passively in life, and that, as he expresses it, we are 'lived' by unknown and uncontrollable forces," (Groddeck, quoted from Gay, 635). Many, if not all of us have had impressions of the same, even though they may not have overwhelmed us to the isolation of all others, and we need to feel no hesitation in finding a place for Groddeck's discovery in the field of science. To take it into account by naming the entity which begins in the perception system. And then begins by being the 'ego,' and by following his [Groddeck's] system in identifying the other half of the mind, into which this extends itself and acts as if it were unconscious, namely the id. It could then be said that the id represents the primitive, unconscious basis of the psyche dominated by primary urges. The psyche of a newly-born child, for instance, is made up of primarily the id. But then contact with that child and the outside world modifies the id. This modification then creates the next part of the psyche, the ego, which begins to differentiate itself from the id and the rest of the psyche (Dilman, 163).

The ego should be seen primarily as Freud puts it is, "...first and foremost a bodily ego; it is not merely a surface entity, but is itself the projection of a surface," (Freud, The Ego and the Id, 20). An analogy that could help with this definition could be one that states the following. If we were to identify it with the, "cortical homunculus," (Freud, TEI, 20) of the anatomists, "which stands on its head in the cortex, sticks up its heels, faces backwards and, as we know, has its speech area on the left side," (Freud, TEI, 20). Ego, the Latin word for "I," is a person's conception of himself or herself. The term has taken on various shades of meaning in psychology and philosophy. In psychoanalysis, the ego is a set of personality functions for dealing with reality, which maintains a certain unity throughout an individual's life. Freud, with whom the concept is closely associated, redefined it several times. In 1923, Freud used the term to refer to the conscious, rational agency in his famous structural model of the mind; powered by the instinctual drives...
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