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In What Ways Are the Theories of Freud and Nietzsche Similar?

The following ideas of Nietzsche are similar to those of Sigmund Freud: (a) the concept of repression; (b) the idea which persecution pushes unconscionable thoughts and feelings into the unconscious, thereby making the specific person emotionally more effective and comfortable; (c) the idea that subjugated instinctual and emotions initiatives later manifest individuals in ways that are disguised. Some of Nietzsche’s theories are comparable to those of Sigmund Freud, such as idea of a “superconscious” (for instances, hostile feelings and ideas may manifest themselves as altruistic sentiments and actions). It is no coincidence that some of Freud’s most important sentences are astonishingly identical to those found in Nietzsche’s writings.

However, while some superficial similarities exist between Nietzsche and Freud’s views on sickness, only surface similarities conceal deeper fundamental differences. In both cases, the disease is viewed as a generic response to life’s misery, with various techniques for escaping it emerging over time. Because pain can never be eradicated, there will never be a state of perfect health on Earth. Because both Freud and Nietzsche believe that human life is intrinsically unpleasant, this is the case. Neither of them believes which distinguishing between good health and sickness is easy to make in everyday life. According to Freud, the preconditions for creating symptoms can be found in every one of us.

To put it another way, according to this logic, even “healthy people” are “practically neurotic” in their behavior. In the opinion of Gregory Moore, even in the case of Nietzsche, our normal concepts of “health” are far too restricted. What we contemplate illness may not be so for people in good health. Friedrich Nietzsche provided at least two arguments supporting his assertion that “there is no such thing as health.” In Nietzsche’s words, even if we are in perfect health, our wrath against a world that is “false, harsh, contradictory and without reason” will not be completely and permanently eliminated. Secondly, speaking of ‘health as such’ is illogical due to the fact that “what is health” for one person “may appear as its antithesis in another,” an argument that emphasizes Nietzsche’s further subjective and individualistic understanding of the selfhood rather than conception of Freud of selfhood.

When it comes to comprehending pain and suffering, Nietzsche and Freud’s approaches are opposed. The fact which Nietzsche places a high cost value on disease (far beyond the ‘benefit’ which Freud attributes to neurosis’ ‘protective’ role) leads us to predict that he will place a much higher value on pain than Freud in terms of its actual intensity and duration. Based on their actions, people perceive the “meaning of life” as the “struggling for happiness,” according to Sigmund Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents. “We want to be happy and keep it that way,” we tell ourselves in our heads. This seems to be a novel way of thinking about happiness. On the one side, there is a lack of pain and displeasure, and on the other hand, there are intense feelings of pleasure to be discovered.

Nietzsche’s and Freud’s approaches to comprehending pain and suffering are vastly different. Aside from Freud’s claim that neurosis serves a protective function in a way that Nietzsche sees as considerably more significant, we can already deduce that Nietzsche will place a much higher value on suffering than Freud does. Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents claims that the “struggling for happiness” is the “meaning of life,” and that this interpretation is based on people’s conduct. In our minds, we declare, “We want to be happy and stay that way.” Is it even feasible to put a name on it? Powerful sentiments of pleasure can be found on one hand, while pain and unhappiness are absent.

According to Freud’s theory, the Superego, Ego, and Id are all fragments of human personality, in addition to the mind’s two primary components. In contrast to Erikson’s psychosocial theory, the psychosexual theory of Freud, emphasizes the importance of one’s surroundings. The views of Erikson and Freud also differ in terms of developmental phases. There are two theories of development: Freudian and Erikson’s. Also, Freud believed that most of a person’s development occurred during childhood, but Erikson argued that people continue developing far into adulthood.

The theories of Sigmund Freud have had a significant impact on psychology, both theoretically and practically. As a result, a slew of new hypotheses about the mind and how it grows have sprung out as a result. In the absence of Freud, we might not even have talk therapy, which is supported by research in the treatment of mental health concerns, such as anxiety or depression. Because it is difficult to evaluate Freud’s psychosexual theory experimentally, there are doubts about its validity. Concerns about validity include the fact that it relies on case studies rather than research. Some question Freud’s theory since it is more focused on the development of male psychosexuality than females. However, many psychologists today believe that sexual orientation is much more biological and that homosexual desires deviate from normal psychosexual development.

Freud eventually postulated that the human psyche might be divided into: Id, the Ego, and the Superego. “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” and “The Ego and the Id” are examples of this model by Freud. The ID: The id, according to Freud, is the component of the psyche that, as a child, provides us with the means to satisfy our basic needs. For this section of the mind, it’s all about fulfilling our every need and desire, regardless of the reality, according to Freud’s “pleasure principle.” The id is driven by a desire for quick gratification or satisfaction now. The Ego is built on the principle of reality.

The “Super-Ego”: According to Sigmund Freud, the Superego develops by the time we are five years old. A person’s moral compass tells them always to do what’s right, no matter what the circumstances may be. Consciousness is a term that some use to describe this aspect. Thus, Ego is tasked with finding the right balance between the id demands d’s and the super Ego’s self-doubts. Individual difficulties and issues in personality develop when one of these elements of the psyche is dominant. According to Freud’s observation, the Ego does an adequate job of balancing the requirements of these two components when they are both healthy. The Ego has a tough time balancing these two sides of the psyche, so it develops several techniques known as Defense Mechanisms to help mediate.

Psychoanalytic Theories

Body-centered (or, more broadly, “sexual”) urges are central to Freudian theory, and resolving these tensions is critical to the emotional well-being of children and adults alike. Even though Freud’s views have been debunked, they helped pave the way for future development theories.

Using Freud’s phases of psychoanalysis as a model, Erikson developed his theory of personality development. By meeting a child’s basic needs, they develop confidence in the caregiver. Different concerns arise as children grow through these stages of psychosocial development. At the same time, when toddlers are busy developing their own identity, late adolescents are more likely to be preoccupied with finding a place in the world and finding purpose in their work. This stage of development occurs in the context of Western European social expectations, which Erikson highlighted; in other cultures, the important themes may be completely different.

What are the main differences between Freud’s and Nietzsche’s theories?

Both Nietzsche and Freud’s conceptions of instincts are impacted by their divergent views on the human situation, discussed more below. Like Freud, Nietzsche takes a less aggressive approach to unconscious influence and the extent to which it can be concealed from conscious awareness. Instead, he believes that each human has some degree of power over their fate.

Reality and truth are two different things.

In the minds of both Freud and Nietzsche, the objective of science is to seek truth, and the object of science is, ostensibly, reality. However, their conceptions of truth and reality are fundamentally at odds with one another. His lifetime ‘battle for the truth’ is chronicled in his book, the Genealogy of Psychoanalytic Movement, which was written by Sigmund Freud. He expresses himself emphatically in his essay “Question Concerning a Weltanschauung,” in which he warns that “truth cannot be tolerated.” The quest for truth can never be compromised, and any attempt to do so would lead us down a rabbit hole of wishful thinking and fiction. It is precisely because of this suspicion of the value of truth’ that Nietzsche develops his method of deducing truth from falsehood. When it comes to determining whether or not someone has the will to seek out the truth, “the value of truth must be empirically brought into doubt” for the first time. Even though science is established on the assumption that there are ‘universal rules that can be applied globally, it is also predicated on the belief that ‘every action has been done has been done in a unique… fashion’. Some actions have a “coarse” resemblance to others, but they are “really only [trivial] similarities,” according to the researchers.

If all experience is inevitably set inside a certain context and viewed from a specific perspective, the ideals of universal truth and infallible certainty are nothing more than pipe fantasies. What is it about the truth that is so important? ‘Why not tell the truth rather than lying?’ says the author. ‘How about apprehension as well?’ However, while Freud and Nietzsche agree that devotion to “reality” is a noble quest, their distinct scientific undertakings are based on a fundamentally different assumption: truth for Freud, doubt, and falsehood for Nietzsche. Individuals who “stray into illusion” because they lack “the distinction between fact and imagination,” which is to say, a “poor value” of reality, he claims, is the focus of his entire psychoanalytic effort, which he describes as an “education to reality.” When the reality principle is invoked, it is meant to refer to an unreasonable ego, one that no longer permits itself to be dominated by the pleasure principle but instead “takes into consideration reality.”

Freud and Nietzsche have a common ground, but this common ground quickly becomes a point of separation in their thinking. According to Nietzsche, “humans cannot exist on the meager enjoyment extorted from reality,” and it is for this reason that fantasy is necessary. Among other things, he famously asserted in Discontents and its Civilization that “life is too hard” and that art is an attempt to acquire “joy through a dream” through the artist. On the subject of self-satisfaction, Freud believes that it is harmless. In contrast, Nietzsche believes that art is a site where the ‘transvaluation of values’ takes place, the development of values that oppose the existing quo. According to Nietzsche, art is a site of danger and transgression due to this fact. A vicious rejection of complacency and societal customs is manifested as a result, and art serves as a venue for cruelty. Second, even if it is a “small sort of narcosis,” Freud must regard art to be an illness because it violates the reality principle and substitutes a commitment to illusion, the goodwill to appearance, for dedication to truth, as opposed to a dedication to truth. As we’ll see in a moment, Nietzsche believed that the cultivation of ideas that promote “good health” through the arts offered the possibility of assisting individuals in their efforts to overcome illness and illness-related conditions.

To summarize, Freud believed that science, rather than art, was the most effective means of dealing with life’s “misery.” We will never be able to avoid the difficulties of life. Still, science can at the very least keep us grounded in reality and protect us from the psychopathology that results from a lack of contact with the outside world. As a bonus, it presents us with an admirable aim to strive for: the quest for truth.

Freud has the most comprehensive understanding of psychosocial concerns. In Freud’s view, the five psychosexual phases of childhood are the anal, genital, oral, latency, and phallic stages, with the oral stage being the most prominent. At each step of sexual development, libido (sexual energy) manifests itself in various ways and through a variety of different parts of the body, depending on the stage of development. After Sigmund Freud, the stages of psychosexual development were termed. According to Freud, as children get older, their erogenous zones migrate from the oral to the anal, from the phallic to the latency, and from the genital to the erogenous zone, among other things.

Works Cited

Freud, Sigmund. Introductory lectures on psychoanalysis. WW Norton & Company, 2019.

https:// The+Life+and+Work+of+Sigmund+Freud&author=Freud+S.&publication+year=2019

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, and Reginald John Hollingdale. On the genealogy of morals. Vintage, 2018.


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