Freud Structural Theory

1484 Words6 Pages
Freud’s Structural Model of the Psyche Since their conception, Freud’s ideas about how our mental lives are organized were central to psychoanalysis until the mid 19th century. His thoughts about personality and development were the cornerstone of early psychoanalysis. However, Freud’s proposed structural model is not sufficiently robust to be consistent with Freud’s previous ideas about psychoanalysis. Specifically, if psychotherapy is a method to cure neuroses then the mental categories in the structural model are incompatible with classic psychoanalytic theory. Furthermore, the consequences regarding the very nature of human thinking and action arising from the structural model are inconsistent with observed human nature. Freud’s conception…show more content…
In addition, the way in which he describes the relationship between the ego and the id suggests that the id is able to exert a very strong influence on the ego. This characterization is not entirely compatible with observed human nature and moreover seems to be rather specific to the ideal and morals of the society in which Freud developed his theory. Firstly, Freud’s ideas of the id posit an unbalanced and somewhat pessimistic view of human nature. The id represents the most primal of instincts in humans, and contains within it two separate drives; sex and aggression (Lear 86-7). For Freud, all creativity, instincts of self-preservation and reproduction stemmed from the sex drive, or eros. For this reason it is deemed the life force. In contrast, the aggressive drive, or thantos, brings, as the name suggests, aggression, destruction and sadism. For Freud, these two drives are the impetus for much of human behavior, with the life force bearing a considerably larger influence. Eros is thought to be responsible for the vast majority of human motivation and stands behind man’s greatest…show more content…
This stands in stark opposition to what we actually observe about human kind. Our ability to reason, show compassion, inclination towards benevolence and logic are results not of the drives of the id, but the ego and superego. If humans were indeed as id driven as Freud thought, much of what distinguishes us from other living beings would not exist, or at the very least comprise of but a small part of our behavior. We do not observe this to be the case and therefore Freud’s conception of the id and its role in human motivation is problematic, as it does not coincide with what we observe of human
Open Document