How Do Nietzsche and Freud Differ in Their Evaluation of Civilisation? - Essay Example

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How Do Nietzsche and Freud Differ in Their Evaluation of Civilisation?

This essay examines the extent the Freud and Nietzsche differ in their evaluation of civilization. Analysis There are a number of overarching considerations in regards to Nietzsche and Freud’s perspectives on civilization. One considers that in many regards both thinkers share a similar cynicism towards mass society. Nietzsche was greatly suspicious of the notion of morality and sought means of examining the underlining significance of moral actions, concluding that ultimately individuals were self-interested. Freud additionally questioned notions of selflessness (McGrath 1995, p. 111). Perhaps more significantly both thinkers recognized the prominence irrationality plays in civilization and human existence. While Freud embraced the Western scientific tradition of social progress, Nietzsche largely disregarded these notions. In addition to his disregard of society in this way, Nietzsche also believed that, to a large-extent, social reforms were useless and impossible (McGrath 1995, p. 111). Nietzsche viewed society as constricted by too many rules and regulations that hindered one’s pursuit of a richer and fuller human existence (McGrath 1995, p. 111). Freud’s emphasis on scientific progress seems conflicted with Nietzsche’s abandonment of social reform. ...Show more

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How do Nietzsche and Freud Differ in Their Evaluation of Civilisation? Introduction While contemporary perspectives on civilization have increasingly moved towards scientific understandings through sociology and anthropology, some of the foundational perspectives emerged largely from a philosophical perspective…
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