Freud and Bataille Essay

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Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents (1930)
* Georges Bataille, “The Pineal Eye” (1927-1930)

First Paper Due: What is Freud’s central thesis in Civilization and Its Discontents? What evidence does he use to support his argument? How might Bataille’s work confirm or refute Freud’s central argument(s) in Civilization and Its Discontents? Using Freud’s book as a methodological tool, analyze and interpret Bataille’s writing—what does it demonstrate or suggest about the fate of the psyche in the modern world?

In one respect, there is no difference in Sigmund Freud’s “Civilization and Its Discontents” (1929), and in Georges Bataille’s “The Pineal Eye” (1927-1930) in that both authors display interest in the disciplines of
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He presents many examples throughout his essay demonstrating how “things" can cause a disturbance to oneself. For instance he writes: “I can at any rate listen without taking umbrage to those critics who aver that when one surveys the aims of civilization and the means it employs, one is bound to conclude that the whole thing is not worth the effort and that in the end it can only produce a state of things which no individual will be able to bear” (pgs. 39-40). This is a far cry from Bataille’s “The Pineal Eye” in that Bataille uses mythology as a basis to discipline the mind verses reason verses form rather than a scientific method.
Bataille rebels against science for its advancement where Freud welcomes science with open arms. In this coming statement made by Bataille, it appears that he is mocking Freud (a doctor of science) for replacing mythology with scientific methods: “Science, proceeding on the basis of a mystical conception of the universe, has separated the constituent elements of the universe into two profoundly distinct classes: it has elaborated, through assimilation, the necessary and practical parts, transforming a mental activity, which previously was only an instrument of exploitation, into an activity useful for man’s
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