Freud: the last great Enlightenment thinker | Prospect Magazine

Today the idea that psychoanalysis is not a science is commonplace, but no part of Freud’s inheritance is more suspect than the theory of the death instinct. The very idea of instinct is viewed with suspicion. Talk of human instincts, or indeed of human nature, is dismissed as a form of intellectual atavism: human behaviour is seen as far more complex and at the same time more amenable to rational control than Freud believed or implied. Theories of human instinct only serve to block those impulses to progress and rationality that (for all the scorn that is directed against the very idea of human nature) are considered to be quintessentially human.

viaFreud: the last great Enlightenment thinker | Prospect Magazine.

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