Technology and Freudian discontent: Freud's'muffled' meliorism and the problem of human annihilation
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Sophia 49 (1):95-111 (2010)
This paper is a comprehensive investigation of Freud’s views on technology and human well-being, with a focus on ‘Civilization and Its Discontents’. In spite of his thesis in ‘Civilization and Its Discontents’, I shall argue that Freud, always in some measure under the influence of Comtean progressivism, was consistently a meliorist: He was always at least guardedly optimistic about the realizable prospect of utopia, under the ‘soft dictatorship’ of reason and guided by advances in science and technology, in spite of due recognition in his later years of the possibility of annihilation through technological advances in warfare. The possibility of human annihilation, then, muffled Freud’s meliorism. Freud’s ‘muffled meliorism’, however, was not a quiet commitment to viewing technology as something good. Ultimately, Freud steered a middle course between techno-advocacy and techno-antagonism. The technologies of science, like the discoveries of psychoanalysis, were tools for humans that could be used for human betterment or, as war showed, for human degeneration.
|Keywords||Neo-Luddism Techno-advocacy Restless technology Meliorism Benchmark problem|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
M. Andrew Holowchak (2010). Paul Goodman Redux: Education as Apprenticed Anarchism. Ethics and Education 5 (3):217 - 232.
Similar books and articles
Robert C. Richardson (1990). The "Tally Argument" and the Validation of Psychoanalysis. Philosophy of Science 57 (4):668-676.
Talia Welsh (2002). The Retentional and the Repressed: Does Freud's Concept of the Unconscious Threaten Husserlian Phenomenology? [REVIEW] Human Studies 25 (2):165-183.
Richard R. Askay (1999). A Philosophical Dialogue Between Heidegger and Freud. Journal of Philosophical Research 24:415-443.
Donovan Miyasaki (2010). Nietzsche Contra Freud on Bad Conscience. Nietzsche-Studien 39 (1):434-454.
Ernest Wallwork (1982). Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself: The Freudian Critique. Journal of Religious Ethics 10 (2):264 - 319.
Constantine Sandis (2009). Hitchcock's Conscious Use of Freud's Unconscious. Europe's Journal of Psychology 3:56-81.
Jonathan Lear (2005). Freud. Routledge.
Howard L. Kaye (1991). A False Convergence: Freud and the Hobbesian Problem of Order. Sociological Theory 9 (1):87-105.
Added to index2010-02-10
Total downloads15 ( #241,855 of 1,907,930 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #272,049 of 1,907,930 )
How can I increase my downloads?