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Sartre versus Freud

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  • Meghan
    Tiffani wrote:
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 3, 1999
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      Tiffani wrote:

      <<Until she gives us something to REALLY think about, don't respond to an
      e-mail full of holier than thou CRAP.>>

      Agreed. Hard as it is for me not to correct blatant misinformation, I'll
      restrain myself. :-)

      <<In Sartre's The Transcendence of the Ego it is clear to the reader that
      Sartre's is very anti-Freud ... the concept of the unconscious. So why did
      he write about a man who pretends to be a baby in a crib with this
      prostitute? I am a Psychology/Philosophy double major, and this piece
      screamed Freud. Any thoughts as to why he would do this?>>

      I have long felt that Freudian metaphors are in the eye of the beholder.
      "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." :-) Of course, I feel anyone with an
      understanding of child development sees that Freud's theories are way
      off-base --- infants don't feel sexual desire, as they lack the categorical
      skills to even understand sexual desire. Infants don't even have object
      permanence, for goodness sakes!

      But back to Sartre. I haven't read the play, so I don't know the context.
      If he *intended* to make the character Freudian, perhaps he was using a bit
      of subtle sarcasm? Or artistic license? But if the Freudian inference is
      your interpreation (a pysch major, seeing Freudianism? Nah, can't happen.
      ;-), I think it may just be you drawing an inference.

      Then again, I think _Mrs. Dalloway_ is wonderfully existentialist.
      Clarissa's party is equivalent to Sisyphus's boulder. :-)

      I see the baby thing as a sexual kink, but not Freudian. So the man likes
      to be babied? What is his situation otherwise? If he's expected to be
      strong and masculine in his daily life, it would be perfectly reasonable
      for him to want a role-reversal in his sexual behavior. Then again,
      there's no accounting for sexual taste. There's not necessarily a
      pyschological cause for what we like. There can be, of course, but it's
      not a necessary prerequisite.


      -Meghan (philosophy major, with a minor in sociolgy)


      _____________________

      http://nettrash.com/users/meghan/enter.html

      "Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself."

      -- Rita Mae Brown
    • Brandon Roshto
      ... is what Freud is talking about. I think Freud would argue that the term sexual is used to strictly. His term sexual (pleasures) is more general. Of
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 4, 1999
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        On Wed, 3 Nov 1999, Meghan wrote:

        > From: Meghan <freelance@...>
        >
        > Tiffani wrote:
        >
        > <<Until she gives us something to REALLY think about, don't respond to an
        > e-mail full of holier than thou CRAP.>>
        >
        > Agreed. Hard as it is for me not to correct blatant misinformation, I'll
        > restrain myself. :-)
        >
        > <<In Sartre's The Transcendence of the Ego it is clear to the reader that
        > Sartre's is very anti-Freud ... the concept of the unconscious. So why did
        > he write about a man who pretends to be a baby in a crib with this
        > prostitute? I am a Psychology/Philosophy double major, and this piece
        > screamed Freud. Any thoughts as to why he would do this?>>
        >
        > I have long felt that Freudian metaphors are in the eye of the beholder.
        > "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." :-) Of course, I feel anyone with an
        > understanding of child development sees that Freud's theories are way
        > off-base --- infants don't feel sexual desire, as they lack the categorical
        > skills to even understand sexual desire. Infants don't even have object
        > permanence, for goodness sakes!
        >
        > But back to Sartre. I haven't read the play, so I don't know the context.
        > If he *intended* to make the character Freudian, perhaps he was using a bit
        > of subtle sarcasm? Or artistic license? But if the Freudian inference is
        > your interpreation (a pysch major, seeing Freudianism? Nah, can't happen.
        > ;-), I think it may just be you drawing an inference.
        >
        > Then again, I think _Mrs. Dalloway_ is wonderfully existentialist.
        > Clarissa's party is equivalent to Sisyphus's boulder. :-)
        >
        > I see the baby thing as a sexual kink, but not Freudian. So the man likes
        > to be babied? What is his situation otherwise? If he's expected to be
        > strong and masculine in his daily life, it would be perfectly reasonable
        > for him to want a role-reversal in his sexual behavior. Then again,
        > there's no accounting for sexual taste. There's not necessarily a
        > pyschological cause for what we like. There can be, of course, but it's
        > not a necessary prerequisite.
        >
        >
        > -Meghan (philosophy major, with a minor in sociolgy)
        >
        >---I think basic sexual drives, or instinctual drives not sexual desires
        is what
        Freud is talking about. I think Freud would argue that the term
        sexual is used to strictly. His term sexual (pleasures) is more general.
        Of coarse babies can't understand sexual desires. Their cognitive
        faculty isn't developed enough. But this is besides the point. I could
        be wrong but I think we just tend to misinterpret Freud.

        -Brandon (psychology major, philosophy minor) >
        _____________________ >
        > http://nettrash.com/users/meghan/enter.html
        >
        > "Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself."
        >
        > -- Rita Mae Brown
        >
        > > From The Exist List...
        > http://userzweb.lightspeed.net/~tameri
        >
      • Meghan
        Brandon wrote:
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 4, 1999
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          Brandon wrote:

          <<I think basic sexual drives, or instinctual drives not sexual desires is
          what Freud is talking about. I think Freud would argue that the term
          sexual is used to strictly. His term sexual (pleasures) is more general.>>

          I fail to see a significant difference. Either way, he's arguing that
          infancy can have a significant pyschological effect on later life. This is
          absurd, as we all know, because babies can't form permanent memories, etc.

          Of course, there's no such thing as "human instinct" anyway.

          <<Of coarse babies can't understand sexual desires. Their cognitive
          faculty isn't developed enough. But this is besides the point.>>

          I think that's central to the point. Man, if you think people
          anthropomorphize their pets ... it's exponentially worse with people and
          their babies. I wholeheartedly believe that babies aren't people. They're
          potential people. :-)

          <<I could be wrong but I think we just tend to misinterpret Freud.>>

          I don't really bother with interpretation. I just go straight to the
          demolition.

          Since many of his theories are based on incorrect premises, I think any
          reasonable person would dismiss his work as fundamentally flawed. Sure,
          it's entertaining, but as a diagnostic paradigm or legitimate science it
          fails miserably.


          -Meghan


          _____________________

          http://nettrash.com/users/meghan/enter.html

          "Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself."

          -- Rita Mae Brown
        • Brandon Roshto
          So do you disegard all theories as being potentially flawed. They are all speculative. I think Freud s theory, regardless of if its valid or not, it gives us,
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 5, 1999
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            So do you disegard all theories as being potentially flawed.
            They are all speculative. I think Freud's theory, regardless of if its
            valid or not, it gives us, or some people, a possible explaination of why
            things are the way they are. It seems to me that he makes some valid
            interpretations. Interpretations that have been backed up with facts.

            Scientific Validation of Freudian Concepts
            -Some Freud concepts: the id, ego, superego, death wish, libido,
            and anxiety could not be tested by the experimental method.
            -However unconscious forces can influence our conscious thought
            and behavior. See research on subliminal perception for example.
            -Repression experimental studies have provided supportive results
            (Glucksberg & King, 1967; Holmes & McCaul, 1989; Davis 1987)
            -Dream research confirms his idea that dreams are disquised or
            symbolic and that they effect our emotional concerns. However, no
            research confirms his ideas about dreams representing a fulfillment of
            wishes or desires.
            -Oral and Anal Personality types; Agression; the Freudian slip,
            repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse all have research confirming
            their validity.

            I respect the fact that you don't agree with Freud in many instances.
            This is probably pragmatic in your case, however, whether you agree with
            him or not, he offers an explaination to many problems with personality
            and you can deny its validity. This doesn't change the facts,
            experiments, and research done on Freudian concepts. I prefer other
            theories myself, but this also is beside the point and doesn't give me a
            license to accuse Freud as not offering some valid explainations to
            personality!

            Babies aren't people they're only potential people? I don't think I
            understand. You might have to unpack this a little more. If this is
            the case I could argue that people aren't people they're just potential
            people striving to the ideal of people. In other words we have potential
            to be people but we have not actualized this potential yet. I have the
            potential to be like Mike, so what. There's a big difference, he has
            actualized his potential.
            Some might argue that if babies aren't people, kill 'em. Maybe this is
            the rationalization behind abortion.

            Just rambling I guess sorry
            Brandon
          • Meghan
            Brandon wrote: No, I dismiss them as flawed. Period. They don t serve any viable purpose in
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 6, 1999
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              Brandon wrote:

              <<So do you disegard all theories as being potentially flawed.>>

              No, I dismiss them as flawed. Period. They don't serve any viable purpose
              in advancing mental health; pyschotherapy is probably the least effective
              method of therapy available, plus it takes forever and costs an arm and a
              leg ... to cure something a cognitive-behavioral therapist could deal with
              with more expediency and at a considerably lower cost. As Cynthia Heimel
              says, strict Freudian therapists tend to have lovely summer houses. :-)

              <<Some Freud concepts: the id, ego, superego, death wish, libido, and
              anxiety could not be tested by the experimental method.>>

              It's just his fairy-tale of the compartments of the mind.

              <<However unconscious forces can influence our conscious thought and
              behavior. See research on subliminal perception for example.>>

              I have. Most reports of subliminal perception have been widely
              exaggerated. Ever hear of the famous experiment where they flashed brief
              images of popcorn and soda during a drive-in movie, and concession sales
              increased dramatically? It never even happened. [See http://www.snopes.com]

              I certainly hope the research you mention doesn't include that of Wilson
              Key, who pretty much singlehandedly popularized the myth of subliminal
              advertising. Note that Key also believes there are subliminal messages on
              Ritz crackers, the Sistene Chapel, and Sears catalogues. Gee, he sure
              seems credible!

              I'm willing to concede that subliminal perception can exist --- although
              I'm less willing to agree that it can have an inherently motivating effect,
              as even subliminal persuasion expert Howard Shevrin was unable to provide
              any evidence of causality in regard to subliminal messages [see the Judas
              Priest subliminal messages trial]. However, I think Freud extends it to
              the degree that it loses its validity.

              <<Repression experimental studies have provided supportive results
              (Glucksberg & King, 1967; Holmes & McCaul, 1989; Davis 1987)>>

              See my explication below.

              <<Dream research confirms his idea that dreams are disquised or symbolic
              and that they effect our emotional concerns. However, no research confirms
              his ideas about dreams representing a fulfillment of wishes or desires.>>

              I concede that dreams are caused by thoughts and perceptions either having
              been experienced during the day (a friend always dreams about people from
              our philosophy class) or while asleep (dreaming of a siren while your alarm
              is going off). And anything can effect emotional concerns. The latter
              idea, about fulfillment, seems more central to Freud's paradigm on the
              whole and is the part which is unverified.

              <<Oral and Anal Personality types>>

              Personality certainly has more influencing characteristics than just one; I
              shudder to think of the person whose identity was entirely created by when
              their mother stopped breastfeeding.

              <<the Freudian slip,>>

              So what evidence is there that shows that misspeaking is necessarily
              indicative of one's unconscious thoughts and not just an accident?
              Everything with Freud is so deliberate.

              <<repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse all have research confirming
              their validity.>>

              This I take issue with, and I cite Dr. Bob Conkright as well as my own
              knowledge (I have a social work background). There aren't repressed
              memories --- there are *forgotten* memories. Note that "false memory
              syndrome" has a hell of a lot more support than so-called "repressed
              memories." It's staggering to see how easily a false memory can be
              created. My psych professor did so with a class in about fifteen seconds.

              One dangerous application of the so-called repressed memory syndrome is the
              myth of Satanic Ritual Abuse. No evidence of such has *ever* been provided
              --- yet thousands of people visit scurrilous "therapists" who dredge up
              "repressed memories" and claim to have been abused at the hands of
              insidious cults. Satanists sure must be busy these days.

              I can provide many citations upon request. I delved into this issue for
              while debunking the existence of Satanic Ritual Abuse, so I've got a pretty
              good-sized arsenal to support me. But when you really think about it, the
              idea of repressed memories makes no sense from a self-preservation
              standpoint. Say a caveman has a traumatic run-in with a mastodon. Does it
              serve him better to a) repress the memory, or b) remember the experience
              and learn from it?

              <<I prefer other theories myself, but this also is beside the point and
              doesn't give me a license to accuse Freud as not offering some valid
              explainations to personality!>>

              I don't see Freud as invalid because I feel other methods are better. He's
              invalid even if there are *no* alternative methods. If I say the sky is
              green and nobody else comes forth to offer an alternative, it doesn't mean
              the sky is green.

              His assumptions are based on flawed premises, and most were derived from a
              fairly narrow sampling. I won't even get into the issue of baiting
              patients --- I think Freud saw in them what he wanted to see to prove
              himself right. Confirmation bias!

              <<Babies aren't people they're only potential people? I don't think I
              understand. You might have to unpack this a little more.>>

              I was kidding, actually. I'm not fond of children, the little savages. :-)

              <<If this is the case I could argue that people aren't people they're just
              potential people striving to the ideal of people. In other words we have
              potential to be people but we have not actualized this potential yet.>>

              Yeah, you and Plato could argue that. Of course, one of the central issues
              of modern metaphysics involves defining precisely what a person is.
              Descartes, Berkeley, Spinoza, and Leibniz all have different
              conceptualizations and criteria.

              <<Some might argue that if babies aren't people, kill 'em.>>

              That's a pathetic argument --- puppies aren't people, so should we kill
              them? Ferns aren't people, should we kill them? I certainly hope that
              non-human life has value.

              <<Maybe this is the rationalization behind abortion.>>

              Should anyone wish to discuss "rationalizations" for abortion they can
              contact me off-list, as a public discussion would invariably become
              distended. I will say that I'm a pro-choice activist and know a great deal
              about the subject as a political issue, a medical issue, and as a
              philosophical/axiological issue. Rationalization has very little to do
              with it.


              -Meghan


              _____________________

              http://nettrash.com/users/meghan/enter.html

              "Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself."

              -- Rita Mae Brown
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