Term Paper: Freud and Foucault

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Freud and Foucault

Sigmund Freud and Michel Foucault on socialization, self-control, and discipline

Twentieth century society had witnessed the development of ideologies and philosophies that eventually shaped and altered society's perspective in viewing the development and nature of humanity. Sigmund Freud and Michel Foucault's discourses on the nature of the human being in the midst of a civilized world were reflected in their works, "Civilization and its discontents" and "Discipline and punish," respectively. In these works, both philosophers discussed their observations about how self-control is both an essential and detrimental factor in the improvement of the individual and civilization.

Freud expressed this view in "Civilization and its discontents," wherein he explicated on the restraints or self-control that people had to develop in order to maintain the status quo of human civilization. The early years of human civilization characterized humanity as being dependent on Nature and its dynamicity. However, as humans were able to utilize their knowledge and rationality in developing civilization, Nature was gradually put under humanity's control. Control, in Freud's terms, was considered the restraint that the individual gives to himself/herself given the possibility that indeed, s/he can manipulate and create change in the physical and social environments s/he lives in. Modern society had more power than previous societies in history, and self-control was ultimately determined by the individual.

Indeed, Freud considered it necessary for self-control to be exercised among people, despite their apparent control and power over Nature and its elements. This was because he saw contentment in moderation, especially when he observed that as civilization improved and developed, humanity's discontent increased rapidly: "During the last few generations mankind has made an extraordinary advance in the natural sciences and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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