17 Answers

  1. A genius whose mistakes influenced the perception of his work so much that they decided to call him a charlatan. We can say that we still have problems with adequately perceiving Freud – the very formulation of the question suggests this. The very approach to Freud's teachings is obviously more suspicious and distrustful than any other thinker – this is definitely not a coincidence.

    Interestingly, Freud himself had an explanation for this audience reaction. Imagine telling a stupid person that they are stupid – what kind of reaction will this cause? It is unlikely that he will say that he agrees – most likely, the reaction will be aggressive.

    In this sense, Freud talked about what he saw in people's behavior too openly, so it caused the audience such a reaction – in psychoanalysis, this is called “denial”. In general, Freud's texts generated many different reactions – for example, accusations that he had “sex everywhere”.

    Freud did not invent bicycles, but simply sought a good explanation for what he saw around him. We can say that for a calm reading of his texts, a certain level of “awareness” is needed, so that these texts do not cause resistance – you need to do internal work on your own denial.

  2. A genius, of course. It is difficult to overestimate his contribution to the development of mankind. Not only in psychology, but in general in understanding human nature. I am always amazed at how one person made so many amazing discoveries, so many elusive cause-and-effect relationships in human development.
    He is an absolute and perfect genius. All subsequent generations should be grateful to this person for so many discoveries.
    He may have been wrong, he may have been wrong, but no one before him did even 10% of what he did.
    And it is very cool that his students did not agree with him and created their own schools and directions. From psychoanalysis, rivulets began to flow, which turned into huge currents.
    I can't imagine how long humanity would still be stuck in understanding its nature if it weren't for him.

  3. Freud is neither a genius nor a charlatan.

    First, in modern terms, Freud is a talented marketer who very accurately captured the main marketing trick of his time to promote psychotherapy practice, and very accurately identified the target audience of his time.

    The main marketing feature was the ability to freely talk with him about sex and their sexual fantasies.

    The target audience was a huge audience of middle-aged ladies, driven to hysteroid psychosis by the powerful repression of sexuality that was characteristic of the public consciousness of that time.

    Secondly, Freud is a brilliant practitioner who was able to summarize and systematize his extensive consulting experience.�

    As a theorist, of course, he is weak, and psychoanalysis as a method was formed,rather, not by him, but by his followers. That is why the practical part, examples and episodes are more important in his works, rather than attempts at theoretical conclusions.�

    But this is not so important, because any methods become obsolete, transformed, transformed, as it happened with psychoanalysis. And Freud's research boldness, expressed in hypotheses and their practical testing, deserves every respect.

  4. Not a charlatan. Not a genius. I love the way Frager and Feydiman write about his contributions in their excellent textbook on personality theories. BUT it was through the comprehension of his theories, their refutation and speculation – in short, starting from him-that practical psychology began to develop to a great extent.�

    That is, it is already large in terms of this kind of contribution, even if we ignore its actual models and guesses. And they are also cool; and modern psychoanalysis is quite alive and well, and has a piece of the market of grateful customers. (True, um, religious denominations-too…)))

  5. After reading all the answers, I was left with a mixed impression. It's as if almost no one has read Freud's work and subsequent criticism (or is satisfied with Wikipedia).

    In general, of course, the main achievement of Sigmund Freud is the creation of psychoanalysis. It all started with the 1905 work “Interpretation of dreams” – the first work on psychoanalysis. Now, more than 100 years later, psychoanalysis is generally viewed in three ways::

    1. As a philosophical teaching. Psychoanalysis quickly went beyond psychology and spread to all spheres of culture, gained popularity and began to reflect a certain view of society and a person.

    2. As a psychological theory. Here, in fact, everything seems to be clear. Although it is worth noting that in Freud's scientific work, it is customary to distinguish periods (within periods, ideas evolved and changed).

    3. As a psychotherapy technique. Psychoanalysis is the first model of psychotherapy and includes a set of specific techniques and procedures.

    Freud's ideas were revolutionary and scandalous for their time. In particular, this applies to several points. First, earlier in scientific psychology, it was believed that the human psyche and his consciousness are identical (for example, V. Wundt, F. Brentano, E. B. Titchener believed). Freud also demonstrated quite convincingly that the unconscious in the human psyche not only exists, but also, apparently, exceeds consciousness in volume, and has a colossal influence on our lives. Second, the idea of child sexuality was also new. Third, Freud put forward the idea that there are protective mechanisms of the psyche that help to cope with difficult situations and experiences (but have peculiar “side effects”). Fourth, Freud was the first in psychology to introduce the idea of development and the passage of an individual through a series of stages from birth to maturity (in psychology at that time, this seemingly obvious idea was absent).These ideas are firmly embedded in psychology and are especially not disputed by anyone.�

    But a number of other ideas of Freud began to be discussed and criticized during his lifetime. His first student and follower, Alfred Adler, questioned Freud's ideas about motivation. In particular, denying that the leading motives may be the desire for aggression or sex. Carl Gustav Jung challenged the idea that the unconscious can only be personal and proposed the idea of the collective unconscious and archetypes. Later, Karen Horney criticized the idea of “penis envy” as a moment in a woman's sexual development. Erich Fromm criticized the excessive biologization of Freud's theory and emphasized the importance of social factors in human development. Freud's idea that creativity is just a sublimation (and all works of art are just an attempt to vent unspoken sexual energy) caused a great resonance. No one denied that this may be one of the motives. The simplistic nature of this view and its absolutization have been criticized. Erik Erikson based on the periodization of Freud's development created his own (recognized all over the world).

    Already in 1913 in the United States there is such a direction in psychology as behaviorism (from the English behavior – behavior). In this area, psychoanalysis was considered unscientific, since it dealt with concepts and phenomena that were not available for observation or recording with the help of devices.

    In the 1950s and 1960s, humanistic psychology appeared, which positioned itself as a “third force”. Humanistic psychologists (for example, A. Maslow) opposed themselves to behaviorists and psychoanalysts. In this case, the author criticized the view of a person as a passive individual, who is affected only by external and internal forces that determine his behavior. Humanistic psychologists emphasized the role of a person's own activity.

    In Russian psychology, represented mainly by the activity approach, Freud's ideas were also studied and criticized. The idea of the unconscious nature of motivation ( that we often do not know the true reasons for our actions) was recognized and migrated to us. But Freud's views on culture have been criticized as simplistic. Culture cannot be presented as a set of rules and prohibitions that limit our aspirations. This is a much more complex concept. I will not delve into the wilds of discussions.

    Finally, psychoanalysis itself has also undergone a significant evolution and revision of its basic assumptions. Modern psychoanalysis is very different from the original version. But from the point of view of the norms and rules of conducting scientific research accepted in the psychological community, psychoanalysis is not scientific. If we recall K. Popper and his criterion of falsification, then psychoanalysis cannot be falsified. What is it about? Completely opposite phenomena can be explained using the same concept, so it is impossible to refute any ideas of psychoanalysts. Why does a 4-year-old boy not get along with his father? The Oedipus complex! Why does a 4-year-old boy get along with his father? He has overcome the Oedipus complex!

    I will briefly note a couple more points. Freud is not the absolute author of the idea of the unconscious. For example, Leibniz assumed the presence of unconscious elements in the human spirit. G. Helmholtz called “unconscious conclusions”as one of the mechanisms of perception. Freud himself admitted that the ideas about the confrontation between libido and mortido were drawn from ancient Greek philosophy (in particular, from Empedocles, whom he loved very much). No theories come up out of the blue.

    Decide for yourself whether Freud is a genius or not. But it's stupid to do two things. The first is to “take all his ideas seriously” in our time. The second is to underestimate his contributions to psychology, philosophy, and psychotherapy.

  6. Sigmund Freud is definitely an outstanding scientist who has made a huge contribution to the development of Psychology.

    Freud brought our unconscious to light and described the structural model of the human psyche. The psychologist divided it into three elements:

    The Id or It is a completely unconscious component that is controlled by instincts. The ID operates on the principle of immediate satisfaction of all desires and needs.

    The ego is a component of the personality that is responsible for connecting with reality and functioning based on circumstances. The ego controls the Id, including not allowing it to get what it wants right now, as this is unacceptable for various reasons.

    The super-ego is the last to develop in the individual and secures all the moral attitudes that a person has received as a result of upbringing. According to Freud, the Super-Ego begins to mature around the age of five and forms socially acceptable behavior.

    This model formed the basis of many later attempts to structure a person's personality. But before Freud, scientists only considered consciousness. The psychologist was the first to dig deeper and find out where the true essence of a person — Id-is hidden.

    Now psychologists of all directions turn to the unconscious, from which they extract not only problematic issues, but also hidden resources.

  7. As a specialist in the field of psychology, I will say directly: the more you search, the less you find. You can talk about Freud or other schools of psychology as much as you want, but in the end, all we want to do is understand ourselves… Heal your soul… Did Freud help people? Definitely. How tobacco and alcohol help someone, a trip to a museum or an amphitheater helps someone, and a psychologist helps someone, God save you.

  8. Is Sigmund Freud a Genius or a Charlatan?

    Not a charlatan I think exactly..
    A genius ? Most likely, however, what is a genius? Genius is translated from Latin as spirit..
    Yes, most likely there was a spirit behind his views, but not every spirit is a spirit of Truth, there are other spirits. Freud delved into the problem of the human soul, but examined it from the point of view of an atheist – therefore, he made exclusively godless conclusions in the direction of indulging human vices and delusions.

  9. Of course, he is a genius, he is the founder of the psychoanalysis that we know now, yes, there are many holes and inconsistencies in his theory, but still he was close to the truth, especially in his later works, when he came to the concept of “eros” and the death instincts, but still his student and follower Fromm surpassed him in his humanistic psychoanalysis, eliminating the shortcomings of Freud.

  10. If we look at this issue from a Christian point of view, then this is a charlatan. An occult thinker, a philosopher who distorted Christian views, spiritual life, completely turned all ideas in the opposite direction. Everything that was developed in the Christian era in the process of religious counseling was turned upside down.

    Sigmund Freud was a member of Masonic organizations, and all his major writings and works first received approval in Masonic organizations in Europe. For example, “Bnei-Brit” — “Sons of the Covenant”. A Jewish organization of the Masonic type, it still exists today. And only then, when his works received an anti-Christian sound and approval, they were published. That is, targeted subversive activities were carried out against the Christian Church. And the task was to tear European humanity away from pastoral psychology, that is, to reorient it to Freudian psychology. After all, all questions of spiritual life were solved in the church, and Freud in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was an atheist in the field of psychology.

    Moreover, Freud was not recognized even by psychiatrists of his time. For example, Academician Pavlov believed that Freud's ideas were pure falsification. And a number of European thinkers, not just psychiators, believed that Freudianism is an occult teaching. Freud developed the Old Testament paradigm of attitude to man and his spiritual life. In a sense, it was encrypted Judaism. That is, the ideas that were developed in Jewish culture were used by Freud and brought to the fore. For example, the problem of dream interpretation. Everyone knows that the problem of dream interpretation is the cornerstone of Freudianism. His first book was called The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud turns everything upside down there. If earlier in the Christian culture a complete ban was imposed on any interpretation of dreams, then Freud suggested on the contrary to unravel, unravel and apply in life. Christianity says that this is not true, that it is impossible to live in dreams and illusions, which are partly of demonic origin. And Freud says that we need to restore everything. And this is also a pagan tradition. Because in pagan culture, unlike in Christian culture, dreams were interpreted. That is, Christianity imposes a taboo on the interpretation of dreams, and Freud removes it.

    Then there is the development of his ideas: sexuality, child sexuality. Freud did not confirm his data with scientific research, he has no scientific evidence. In addition, he considered all religious people, and especially monks, psychopaths.

    At first, his theory was perceived as another Masonic conspiracy against Christianity. It seemed that Freudianism was a bubble that would soon burst. But it turned out the opposite. Journalism of the time took up this philosophy to use it as a kind of battering ram of Christian psychology to destroy ideas. Freud has sometimes been compared to Marx in this sense. Marx is a radical, a destroyer. In fact, Freud had the same destructive ideas. And modern philosophers and psychologists, when they get acquainted with Freudianism, do not understand its dark side. No one delves deeply into this topic and no one takes into account the historical context.

    Until 1996, psychoanalysis and Freudian methods were banned in our country. And Yeltsin has already signed a decree that this technique can be used. Now it is officially allowed as one of the methods of psychotherapy. At the same time, Freudianism is extremely dangerous for a person's mental health. I have a number of publications on this topic, where I show victims after attending psychoanalysis sessions. Many people go to the point of suicide, others have their immune systems destroyed, and sleep is disrupted. There are a number of irrefutable facts that confirm the anti-scientific nature of this method. For example, the psychologist Hans Eysenck conducted scientific research in hospitals where elderly people with cancer were kept. And in the West, psychological techniques are widely used. Doctors work with the dying and seriously ill. Hans Eysenck used statistics to show that the number of deaths among people with cancer and coronary heart disease who underwent psychoanalysis sessions increased. The work was published in the 90th year in the journal “Psychological Sciences”. It shows the absurdity of Freudianism. Moreover, other critics of Freudianism, philosophers, and sociologists also wrote about this.

    The question is ambiguous. Now in our country psychoanalysis is well developed. There is an Institute of Psychoanalysis, which is located at the metro station “Kutuzovskaya”, where they even train specialists in this field. Someone accepts these methods, and someone denies them. There is a certain struggle going on. For those who stand on narrow national, Christian positions, Freud is an unambiguous antipode, the banner of Western modernity. And for those who profess liberal values, Freud is a star, one who made a revolution in psychology.

    I've studied psychoanalysis myself, and I have degrees in that field. But at first, when you study it, everything seems objective. Then, when you start trying to understand the topic more deeply, the reverse side immediately appears. Initially, of course, in my creative search, I was in the position of Freudianism. But when I turned to Christian doctrine, to Christian psychology in particular, I saw that there was a serious critique of Freudianism. I discovered a lot of new things. The views have changed, and the assessment has also changed.

    Now as they say: a person has the right to choose. He can go to an occultist magician, an astrologer. Or he can go to an Orthodox priest. That is, a person has freedom, there are many methods, as well as different approaches to psychology: psychoanalysis, humanistic psychotherapy, existential approach, and others. It seemed that Western values would dominate. But in our country there is a bias in the Christian direction. Now almost every church has psychology classes, that is, the same psychologists who received their education.

  11. Neither. This is simply a figure that indicates the breakthrough of the barrier to the integration of sexuality into the everyday life of” Western ” society. It is impossible to explain this to a Russian; to understand the significance of this event, one would have to grow up in a formalized society.

    Just for the record: I formulated the main points of the ZF theory for fun to my friend during the night shift, so that I wouldn't fall asleep while drawing drawings. It took me about an hour and a half with all the carts. I was 19 years old, and at that time I didn't know anything about ZF at all. This is all you need to know about the tremendous depth and significance of Freud's “teaching.”

  12. A genius, of course, who has contributed not only to the “psychology” that undermines the farts of cattle, but also to the completely mundane sciences of psychiatry and neurology. Naturally, he was not right in many aspects a little less than completely, as befits a pioneer-medieval grave diggers also would not have received a diploma in our institutes, but without them our medicine would not have existed. It's just that, as it should be, they first declared him infallible, and then began to bombard him from any mistakes. In the Soviet Union, they hate him for ideological reasons, knowing nothing about him-just so as not to interfere with believing in the next ideology and not interfere with the illusion of security. As a familiar psychologist said-our people will call me a charlatan, and go to the fortune teller to remove the damage-so we live 🙂

  13. Given that all psychotherapy is based on the “psychosomatics” of a person, and not on the techniques of “psychotherapy”, then “rather the old man Sigmund” is a manipulator , a prydokha and a charlatan, but a talented one. He has as much to do with real science as any theologian.Actually, psychotherapy “before Sigmund” was handled by “priests” and priests .It was only necessary to understand that confession is psychotherapy, or rather part of it.In psychotherapy, unlike “real science”, there is no “calculated result”, as for example in mathematics”.The same psychotechnics “works with” people differently ” or doesn't work at all.Actually, this is why ” on earth “still can not cure”, for example, drug addiction “and alcoholism.In �clinics for drug addicts � psychologists and psychotherapists fill up customers almost all �available �a psycho �based on the result and it looks more like a carpet �bombing , than surgical strikes.The emergence of psychotherapy ” coincided “with the departure “from religion in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, psychotherapy” firmly took the place of religion in society.Although some people still go to a place of secular psychotherapy, priests, meditation, and other spiritual practices.

  14. Again, not a genius or a charlatan. Anyway, the main thing is that he started a psychodynamic school, a lot of students who created their own theories. Freud expressed many things, and from those who did not agree with him, other teachings flowed out, and there is merit in this.�

    Reading Freud, at some points I personally really think that something is too connected from the fence to lunch. He might have been a little extreme in his judgment. That is, in many examples, for example, in the part of “descriptions, erroneous actions” – Freud reflects that some of his mistake in speech/action is associated with a completely forgotten almost insignificant event that occurred as much as three years ago. On the other hand, in some of his examples, it begins to seem that he is really a genius.

    Nevertheless, his work is a space for his own reflection and analysis.�

    And, yes, here I remember one quote, I don't remember where, something like: “Jungians also have Jungian dreams.” In short, what you start to immerse yourself in, accept it, can start to work for you. Freud and his teachings are one of the possible prisms through which you can look at a person from a different angle, and this is a plus. As in the fact that disagreement with this – creates a new one.

  15. Thanks to Freud's fantasies, modern research in psychology has become statistical and experimental in nature, i.e. it has become more or less clear how the human psyche really works.

    Accordingly, how you can help if necessary. BUT-a psychologist is just a consultant, only its owner can successfully work with his psyche))). A psychologist helps you see the problem and give you techniques for correcting it – you have to do the rest yourself.

    Freud – not a genius and not a charlatan-he is a SUCCESSFUL, sincerely deluded psychoanalyst))). In any modern psychoanalyst, the ratio of genius and charlatan remains approximately the same)))

  16. In marketing and myth-making, he is an undeniable genius. Of course, this is not a reason to take all his fiction about phalluses and masturbation multiplied by childhood experiences seriously. Of course, childhood has a great significance for the future of human life, but it is far from as unambiguous as it is customary for Freud and the followers of his cult.

  17. The theory of pansexuality is the main achievement of the “Vienna charlatan”, as Vladimir Nabokov called Dr. Freud. Many, however, give him credit for creating psychoanalysis and being Jung's teacher, but patients go to psychoanalysts for years, some all their lives-without any visible result. And there are most of them. Success in treating their problems is achieved only with the help of psychiatrists and special medications. “But these are sick people!” someone will exclaim. So healthy people go to a psychoanalyst? But why? To take the surplus material resources to him? This is the reason to call Freud a charlatan. Anyone who has carefully read his writings will realize how much ordinary fiction there is, which has nothing to do with even simple logic. What is, for example, the psychology of dreams? Speculation, that's all.

    Freud's books became fascinating reading, and for perhaps the first time, medical nonfiction was formally fashionable reading material, even erotic literature. Sigmund Freud was read by the very ladies who lived in the rich neighborhoods of Vienna, who then formed the main body of his clientele. They were able to legally talk about sexuality, incest, and the corresponding feelings and experiences, which created the illusion of their emancipation: previously, such topics were the prerogative of men. In addition, Viennese women were pleasantly surprised by the breaking of the taboo on discussing piquant subjects, and with an outsider (and what woman does not like flirting?). This is the secret of its success.

    It is generally accepted that Freud was a pioneer in the study of the unconscious. Meanwhile, he had very worthy predecessors. Plato also believed that the human soul has three principles: lust, fervor and prudence (compare with the Freudian triad!). Aristotle develops the ideas of Plato, dividing the soul into rational and speculative parts, and human needs – into “passionate” and “aspiring”. One of the most famous dyads-the antitheses of Epicurus – is pleasure and pain (it is not difficult to recognize Freud's Eros and Thanatos here). Stoic philosophers interpreted the soul to include four elements: the ability to imagine (fantasy), consent (synth-thesis), attraction (orme), and general intelligence (logos). (And here you can find many correspondences to the teachings of Freud).

    But his philosophy turned out to be simple, understandable, predictable, and therefore revered by its many fans. People like it simple. And with the human psyche, this does not happen. It's not all about sex.

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