Psychology Without Spirit: The Freudian Quandary


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Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, is also one of its most controversial. Far from being an outmoded icon of the early formation of modern psychology’s historical development, the Freudian doctrine of the “talking cure” has irrevocably shaped the ways in which human beings and human behavior are understood today. Freudian thought has infiltrated the inner recesses of the collective consciousness and the lexicon of psychology. Psychoanalysis has waged an assault on traditional conceptions of the human experience by eclipsing everything of a transcendent order and branding religion itself as a kind of psychopathology. The corrosion of religion and spirituality in the lives of the human collectivity has left an epistemological and ontological vacuum which has been largely filled by psychoanalysis and its off-shoots. Psychoanalysis, like behavioristic psychology, has not died or disappeared, as is often assumed, for the shibboleths of psychoanalysis and behaviorism form the very substratum upon which all contemporary therapies are formulated. The consequences for Western civilization have been destructive and far-reaching. 


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