Questions

1. Freud believes that even the most seemingly incidental “slips” or “paraprazes” have meanings? On what evidential basis does he make the claim? Is his theory of slips plausible?

2.“Symptoms express the sexual life of neurotics.” Explain what Freud means by this and how it relates to the claim that symptoms have a meaning.

3. What are the essential features of a symptom, according to Freud? And how are symptoms formed? Critically evaluate Freud’s account.

4. Do children have a sexual life according to Freud? If so, of what kind?

5. Is there such a thing as ‘normal’ when it comes to sexuality? Where does Freud stand on the issue?
6. What is the Oedipus complex and how is it resolved for Freud?

7. What are “the special type of object choice made by men” and the “universal tendency to debasement in love” that Freud postulates? How plausible do you find their hypotheses?

8. Did Freud ever understand “what women want?”, in your view, and why they want it?

9. Explain Freud’s claim that every dream is the disguised fulfilment of a wish. Is the claim true of all dreams, without exception? How does Freud explain the apparent exceptions? How plausible is his explanation?

10. Explain Freud’s theory of the dream work and examine the criticisms made of it.

11. Freud tells us that the unconscious is characterised by “primary process” thinking. What are the primary processes, with examples? How do they affect Freud’s understanding of dreams and other formations of the unconscious?

12. Take one of Freud’s classical case studies, those of Anna O, Dora, the Ratman, Judge Schreber, or the Wolfman, and critically examine the course of the treatment, and Freud’s interpretation. What are his key claims? How plausible are they?

13. Why do people fall ill (psychologically ill), according to Freud? What are the different kinds of mental illness, and how does Freud differentiate between them?

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Freud and Philosophy First Essay