Civilization and Its Discontents

Paperback, 103 pages

English language

Published July 4, 2002 by Penguin.


View on Inventaire

4 stars (1 review)

Civilization and Its Discontents is a book by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. It was written in 1929 and first published in German in 1930 as Das Unbehagen in der Kultur ("The Uneasiness in Civilization"). Exploring what Freud sees as the important clash between the desire for individuality and the expectations of society, the book is considered one of Freud's most important and widely read works, and was described in 1989 by historian Peter Gay as one of the most influential and studied books in the field of modern psychology.

38 editions

Everyone should read this book

4 stars

I was directed to this work by listening to an episode of France Culture's Chemins de la philosophie: L'universel, à l'épreuve du mal.

I won't go into the details but Kristeva was talking about the attitude contemporary society should adopt towards the conept of "evil", given the spreading of what has come to be called polulism. Freud, looking out from the basic economy (not money but the management of forces in the mind) of the libido and death drives gives us a very raw vision of society and it's attempt to organize and maintain a semblance of cohesion. I'm very surprised that a work that, to me, seems so rich in consequences and potential has not been looked into by others.