Freud, Women, and Morality: The Psychology of Good and Evil

Eli Sagan, Author Basic Books $19.95 (270p) ISBN 978-0-465-02570-1
To Freud's way of thinking, each person behaves morally because of his or her superego, one of the three major components of mind (the other two being ego and id). But the fatal flaw of his system, according to Sagan (At the Dawn of Tyranny), is that the superego is merely a transmitter of cultural values: for example, in a slave society, it would command one to accept slavery. What, then, is the basis of morality? The author contends that conscience, formed during the time a child is under the guardianship of a mother or some other caretaker, has primacy over the superego. Freud's sexist view of women as inferior clouded his ethics, argues Sagan, because to repress women is to undervalue compassion, love and nurturing. This brilliant study is a sweeping reappraisal of psychoanalysis and the way we think about morals. (March)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988
Release date: 02/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-465-02572-5
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