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Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between The Psychic Lives of Savages and Neurotics

Sigmund Freud

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ISBN 10: 1578988314 / ISBN 13: 9781578988310
Published by Martino Fine Books, 2009
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between The ...

Publisher: Martino Fine Books

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

About this title

Synopsis:

2009 reprint of 1919 edition. Totem and Taboo is a collection of four essays first published in the journal Imago (1912-13) employing the application of psychoanalysis to the fields of archaeology, anthropology, and the study of religion. The four essays are entitled: The Horror of Incest; Taboo and Emotional Ambivalence; Animism, Magic and the Omnipotence of Thoughts; and The Return of Totemism in Childhood. The English translation was published in 1918; it met with an initially chilly reception from the anthropological community, reflective of a change in scholarship towards ethnography and away from the more speculative "theoretical anthropology". However in later years, Freud's approach, if not the specific theory advanced, would become much more prominent within anthropological literature as incorporated into the post-structuralist approach.

From the Back Cover:

In this brilliant exploratory attempt to extend the analysis of the individual psyche to society and culture, Freud laid the lines for much of his late thought, and made a major contribution to the psychology of religion. Primitive societies and the individual, he found, mutually illuminate each other, and the psychology of primitive races bears marked resemblances to the psychology of neurotics. Basing his investigations on the finding of anthropologists, Freud came to the conclusion that totemism and its accompanying restriction of exogamy derive form the savage's dread of incest, and that taboo customs parallel closely the symptoms of compulsion neurosis. The killing of the 'primal father' and the consequent sense of guilt are seen as determining events both in the misty tribal pre-history of mankind, and in the suppressed wishes of individual men. Both totemism and taboo are thus held to have their roots in the Oedipus complex, which lies at the basis of all neurosis, and, as Freud argues, is also the origin of religion, ethics, society, and art.

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