Popular quotes: The meaning an history behind "Men are more moral than they think..."
"Men are more moral than they think and far more immoral than they can imagine." - Sigmund Freud.
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, was born in
Freiburg, Moravia (then part of the Austrian Empire, now part of the Czech
Republic) in 1856 of Jewish parentage - 2006 marks his 150th anniversary. He
studied medicine at Vienna, then specialized in neurology, and later in
psychopathology. In 1886 he went into private practice specializing
in nervous and brain disorders, and started to experiment with hypnotism with his most hysterical patients, but gave this up in favor of simply getting
his patients to lie on a couch and say whatever came into their minds (which he
termed "free association").
He became convinced that infantile sexuality was a fact - a theory that isolated
him from the medical profession of the day, but overtime his theories became
more accepted and in 1902 he was appointed to a professorship in Vienna where he
developed a loyal following including Adler and Jung; he later formed the
Vienna Psychoanalytical Society (1908) and the
Association (1910). By 1930 he had won some acceptance for his
theories, and was awarded the Goethe Prize (a prestigious German literary award
that had been introduced a few years earlier - which still exists today but is
now a triennial, not annual, award) in recognition of his contributions to
In 1933, the Nazis seized power in Germany and Freud's books
were publicly burnt when Hitler banned psychoanalysis. Following the Nazi
invasion of Austria, Freud and his family escaped to England, where they settled
in Hampstead, North London (their house is now a
A heavy cigar smoker (an entire box daily), he contracted cancer of the mouth in
1923 at the age of 67 and underwent more than 30 operations including having his
jaw removed, which required him to wear a painful prosthesis to seal his mouth
from his nasal cavity. Unable to tolerate the pain any longer he died in
1939 of a physician-assisted morphine overdose. He was 83.
His family stayed in England - his eldest daughter, Anna, became a distinguished
psychologist, his grandson,
is a well-known painter and another grandson is the politician and writer,
Clement Freud; and his great-grandchildren include the journalist Emma Freud, and
Matthew Freud - who runs an influential PR company.
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