Essay on Sigmund Freud on Human Nature

1381 Words6 Pages
Sigmund Freud, a noteworthy trailblazer of modern-day philosophy, developed a deterministic view on human nature based on instinct and personality. Unlike other theories, Freud considers us not as humans, but animals with inborn biological drives: a complex species with primitive urges. These urges, he says, are only kept under control by the pressures between peers and the repression of society. Though the word “instinct” can relate to a wide range of impulses, Freud narrowed it down to four main drives: Self-preservation, aggression, the need for love, and the impulse to attain pleasure and avoid pain. These topics along with the model of the psyche embedded within the principles of pleasure and civilization form the most…show more content…
Passions, on the other hand, are a bit more complicated. In simple terms, men are so entirely governed by instinctual wishes that they often overlook their sense of reason. This claim is exemplified in the phrase “love is blind.” When two lovers are so encompassed by their relationship it is not uncommon for one of the two to make a few questionable decisions. Arguments of reason then relate to the idea of intellect. The voice of intellect is soft, but persistent which in turn provides optimism for the future of mankind. This optimism, however, dwindles in the fact that men have gained control and power over nature, granting them the ability to exterminate one another if they chose to. The awareness of this power results in unrest, unhappiness, and anxiety. Subsequently, this leads to Freud’s idea of Defense mechanisms and the Ego which will be discussed further along in this essay. In general, Freud claims that civilization has its own influence on human nature, providing guidelines to follow and morals standards to maintain.
In addition to civilization, Freud expands his view of human nature according to pleasure. According to the “Beyond the Pleasure Principle,” hunger and love regulate the world. Though the original thought was taken from Schiller, Freud applies it to the core instincts he believes to sum up human nature. Hunger represents the instincts which aim at preservation of the self while love strives after objects and preservation of the
Get Access