Posted: Mar 29, 2010 11:32 am
by Mr.Samsa
Lazar wrote:
Im not as hard on Freud as Samsa is.


To be honest, my descriptions of him on the forum aren't exactly identical to what I really think of him. I think that he has been unfairly demonised by some people and that some of the criticisms against him were a result of him changing his position due to the academic backlash to his more valid ideas. For example, Freud was one of the first people to suggest that "hysteria" in women was due to lasting effects of child abuse. When he suggested this, he was basically attacked by his peers which forced him to change his position to include the idea of false memories, sexual repression, the Oedipus complex etc (and in addition to the backlash, his cocaine addiction probably helped his imagination). So the vague notion of traumatic experiences producing mental disorders was essentially correct, and his more crazy and damaging theories were a result of peer pressure at the time.

However, I'm always wary of lending credibility to his position as currently, in my opinion, he already receives much more respect than he deserves. So I'd much rather come across as overly critical and bring people's opinion of him down to a more accurate level, rather than be seen as supporting him whereupon I inadvertently add to his support and thus further perpetuating myths such as Freud being the grandfather of psychology, or him being a vital figure in establishing psychology as a science.

(Good rant on evo psych though. That's another field that really needs to be brought down a notch or two!)