Civilization and Its Discontents

English language

Published June 20, 2004 by Penguin Books.


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3 stars (3 reviews)

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.

37 editions

Review of 'Civilization and Its Discontents' on Goodreads

3 stars

Not much for answers, a smattering of cautious and cautionary analysis. Freud definitely comes around to the view that humanity has a destructive instinct at heart, tempered in society by self-guilt. "[T]he sense of guilt as the most important problem in the development of civilization [...] the price we pay for our advance in civilization is a loss of happiness through the heightening of the sense of guilt."

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