Freud and Historical Thought

Authors

  • Claire Phelan University of Mary Hardin Baylor

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18533/journal.v4i9.800

Keywords:

Freud, Humanity, Kairos, Leader, Unilinear, Verstehen

Abstract

Historians constantly seek to understand what motivates those in positions of power to make the decisions that they do. By adopting the principles of a specific psychological approach into our analysis, it is possible to gain a more nuanced understanding of our subjects and the motivations that drive them. The application of Freud’s psychoanalytic theories seems uniquely placed to assist the historian in developing a richer interpretation of the whole person, as opposed to just one facet of an individual’s life. In addition, Freud’s insistence that we cannot progress as a civilization if we cannot recall the repressed past, seems particularly relevant today as marginalized and formerly disposed peoples struggle to reclaim their own history misrepresented in biographies written by former rulers and administrators.

Author Biography

Claire Phelan, University of Mary Hardin Baylor

Assistant Professor of HistoryDepartment of History

References

Freud, S. (1930) Civilization and Discontents. (J. Strachey, Trans.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Freud, S. (1950). Totem and Taboo. (J.Strachey, Trans.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Freud, S. (1963). A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. (2nd ed). (J. Riviere, Trans.). New York: Simon and Schuster.

Langer, W. (1963). The Next Assignment in B. Mazlish, Psychoanalysis and History (87-107). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Mazlish, B. (1963) Ed. Psychoanalysis and History. (56-68). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Mazlish, B. (1966). The Riddle of History: The Great Speculators from Vico to Freud. N.p.: Minerva Press.

Meyerhoff, H. (1963). Freud and the Ambiguity of Culture, In B. Mazlish, Psychoanalysis and History. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1963.

Rieff, P. (1971). The Meaning of History and Religion in Freud’s Thought, In E.B. Mazlish, Psychoanalysis and History (pp. 23-44). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

West, R. (1986). Laws, Rights, and Other Totemic Illusions: Legal Liberalism and Freud’s Theory of the Rule of Law. University of Pennsylvania Law Review Vol. 134: 817-832. Web. 29 July. 2015.

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Published

2015-09-21

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