Freud And Foucault's Discipline And Punish

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In reading both Freud’s “Civilization and Its Discontents” and Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish” it is apparent that they have different views on the function of human society. Freud’s general claim in his writing is that the purpose of human life is happiness. Though our current civilization often does not offer direct, intense satisfaction of our carnal desires, it does offer a more stable lifestyle that avoids pain and results in smaller, simpler pleasures. Foucault’s claims, on the other hand, focus more on the mechanics of human civilization. We are given the illusion of choice but are actually being controlled and separated into organized groups that create a kind of hierarchy for the individual to climb. One specific context that …show more content…

Freud quotes the poet, Goethe, to support his point that science and art are superior forms of obtaining happiness when compared to religion (40). Religion is a way to avoid pondering on the questions that we are unable to know the answer to. Religion does not provide happiness, but it does promise happiness to the disciple in the future if he lives a predetermined way. According to Freud, this is would be inefficient because the possibility of this happiness is not certain, especially not in the physical human lifetime.
He specifically elaborates on how science and art satisfy this requirement of sublimation in society because they provide pleasure for one while benefiting many. Art specifically provides pleasure for both the artist and the observer because of the concept of beauty. “Beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it” (53). Because beauty is not being used to deflect emotions or avoid pain, it is more effective as a method of happiness. The idea of something being beautiful is ingrained in our society; it is a major appeal to visit somewhere or interact with someone. Museums, Beaches, Colleges, including Flagler, use the appeal of beauty to attract people and provide them with visual pleasure that is sought by everyone. The purpose of beauty does not often call for justification because it is simply based upon personal aesthetic appeal.

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