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The Future of an Illusion – Freud and Beyond

The Future of an Illusion is Sigmund Freud’s work of 1927 where he states his psychoanalytic view of religion. Freud is a staunch materialist who sees all religious ideas as illusory: Freud defines religion as an illusion, consisting of “certain dogmas, assertions … Continue reading


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Freud’s “Secondary Revision” of Dreams

In Sigmund Freud‘s seminal work on dreams and the unconscious, The Interpretation of Dreams, secondary revision is said to occur whenever we remember a dream’s content.¹ Freud says the original dream content is usually obscure, incoherent and highly symbolic, so … Continue reading


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Regression – Childish vs. Contemplative

In Freudian psychoanalytic theory regression is a defense mechanism in which the ego partially or fully revisits an earlier phase of libidinal¹ development. This process is generally viewed as a backward step, one brought on by unresolved anxiety that challenges ‘normal’ … Continue reading


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Reaction Formation – A neurotic response to fear

In Sigmund Freud‘s psychoanalytic theory, reaction formation is a defense mechanism in which a repressed, socially unacceptable impulse is expressed in an exaggerated, opposite way. The original impulse, perceived as bad or anxiety producing, remains unresolved in its unconscious, infantile form. This … Continue reading


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Sadism – Another one of those old “disorders” turned “alternative”

Sadism is a Freudian term denoting a sexual perversion in which erotic pleasure is gained by inflicting pain on another.¹ The term is derived from the surname of the French nobleman Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), who candidly wrote about the alleged … Continue reading


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Erich Fromm and the “Mass Man”

Erich Fromm (1900-1980) was a German-born American psychologist and social thinker who is often linked to the Frankfurt school of critical theory. Fromm’s work combined different ideas from the works of Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx and J.-P. Sartre. Like Carl Jung, he … Continue reading