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  1. #1

    Default Freud, Marx and more

    What do you think of theorists like Freud and Marx? If their theories have been exposed as reductivist or dated do they still have any value at all?

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    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Very different theorists, why are you lumping them into the same category? because of the resemblance of the Superego to Marx's Superstructure?

    Marx reductionist? sure, but Freud was ANYTHING but reductionistic. he was the opposite - he kept adding on layers and layers of complexity and just never had parsimony in his theories. He might have overemphasized sexuality, but at the end of the day Freud was not oversimplified - he should have simplified more, because maybe then people would not have listened to Skinner as much as they did.

    And the problems with Freud's theories aren't that they are outdated - the problem with Freud is his "takes" on the psyche are simply not testable, so they have been shelved indefinitely. To use an analogy, Freud was saying that there are invisible forces in the universe that work "beneath the radar" but nonetheless produce results in nature. There's nothing to grab at or test in Freud's account of the causal relations of human behavior.

    I don't think Marx, while reductionistic, is outdated either, he was just a horribly shitty economist. Everyday I walk around my Uni watching researchers, professors, faculty staff and I ask why do they do what they do? What are their overall motivations? "The history of Academia is an economic history" is all that echoes in my ears over and over everytime I observe my fellow academics. People don't give a flying fuck about science or medicine save for a scarce few - most people in academia and research just want a damn job and a high-paying salary while doing as little as possible. They only care for preserving their pet theories like a sinner of avarice hording a stash of Gold, prodding and attacking any and all who would attack their sacred theory; they only care for "Publish or Perish". Marx hit the nail on the head with that one, I almost hate him for being so truthful about it, because I can't prove him wrong. Only the most eccentric NTP or NTJ scientist/mathematician makes me realize Marx was oversimplifying.

  3. #3

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    I do think Freud was reductionist in the extreme, he tried to explain all mind and behaviour as corresponding to sexual instinct, in analysis just compare him to Jung and you'll have a real contrast between the reductionist and the alternative but Freud felt his approach was scientific as a direct result of its reductionism.

    Likewise Marx tried to construct a similarly reductionist and deterministic theory, like Freud, I tend to think he was as great an economist as others of his day and age, just saw the invisible hand guiding society in a different direction to that predicted by classical liberals. Or rather saw the visible hand to class struggle in the place of invisible market forces. His theories about motivation and individuals being frustrated producers instead of frustrated consumers, they all predate him. He was really an archetypical student who spent time in the British Libraries reading rooms trying to weave his favourite authors (German philosophy, english economists, french socialists) into a single tapestry.

    I think both have some literary and conceptual value perhaps and I like theorising and they are theorists. Whatever way advances in research or original and recent insights, for instance into the genome or genetic determinism, are made the older theories still have a place.

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    I don't know if I see any evidence to believe Marxism isn't outdated and will grow to be anything but less relevant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaunward View Post
    I don't know if I see any evidence to believe Marxism isn't outdated and will grow to be anything but less relevant.
    the THEORIES behind Marxism are all but obsolete, but the original observations they are founded on are as relevant as ever. Quite frankly I'm surprised we haven't seen an uprising in interest for socialism/communism in America during this bank bailout and recession shit, because our population demographics and economic disparities DO resemble that of a "class struggle". Don't shy away from Marxism just because it's immensely unpopular - the perspectives and observations still very much apply.

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    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    the THEORIES behind Marxism are all but obsolete, but the original observations they are founded on are as relevant as ever. Quite frankly I'm surprised we haven't seen an uprising in interest for socialism/communism in America during this bank bailout and recession shit, because our population demographics and economic disparities DO resemble that of a "class struggle". Don't shy away from Marxism just because it's immensely unpopular - the perspectives and observations still very much apply.
    Indeed: sociologically, Marxism remains deeply true, especially the concepts of mass alienation and class struggle. Many prominent thinkers can call themselves "Marxist" under that light. Since I agree with the conclusions of Frankfurt's school, and especially Habermas, I could conclude I'm Marxist too.

    But politically, it's a completely different story. Many of the same Marxist sociologists (Arendt, for instance) also were the first to denounce the totalitarian trend that deeply permeates the economical and political sections of the Marxist theory, and the grave danger they represent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    the THEORIES behind Marxism are all but obsolete, but the original observations they are founded on are as relevant as ever. Quite frankly I'm surprised we haven't seen an uprising in interest for socialism/communism in America during this bank bailout and recession shit, because our population demographics and economic disparities DO resemble that of a "class struggle". Don't shy away from Marxism just because it's immensely unpopular - the perspectives and observations still very much apply.
    The one advocating the contemporary relevance of Marxism is surprised by how things played/are playing out, the one doing the opposite is not.

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    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I find their respective worths extremely different.

    Both have put forth highly rebuked notions, but between the two:

    Marx has contributed considerably more that has stood the test of time. He mostly gave us conflict theory in sociology, and fundamentals of commodity markets that are used today in economics even by rabid capitalists.

    Freud on the other hand, has very little work still standing in positive academic esteem. Perhaps his notion of the sub-conscious and some of the matter concerning the ego are still used, but for the most part, no. He is best known for celebrity status, and popularizing the already established field of psychology, but is no longer of much academic worth.

    EDIT: Jesus. It took Backmail! to remember that Marx concerns more than just political movements.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Marx has contributed considerably more that has stood the test of time. He mostly gave us conflict theory in sociology, and fundamentals of commodity markets that are used today in economics even by rabid capitalists.

    EDIT: Jesus. It took Backmail! to remember that Marx concerns more than just political movements.
    My field is capitalist economics. What fundamentals of commodity markets originated from Marx that are used today by capitalist economists?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    EDIT: Jesus. It took Backmail! to remember that Marx concerns more than just political movements.
    nice to know i'm on your ignore :P

    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber
    Everyday I walk around my Uni watching researchers, professors, faculty staff and I ask why do they do what they do? What are their overall motivations? "The history of Academia is an economic history" is all that echoes in my ears over and over everytime I observe my fellow academics. People don't give a flying fuck about science or medicine save for a scarce few - most people in academia and research just want a damn job and a high-paying salary while doing as little as possible. They only care for preserving their pet theories like a sinner of avarice hording a stash of Gold, prodding and attacking any and all who would attack their sacred theory; they only care for "Publish or Perish". Marx hit the nail on the head with that one, I almost hate him for being so truthful about it, because I can't prove him wrong. Only the most eccentric NTP or NTJ scientist/mathematician makes me realize Marx was oversimplifying.
    Marx was a social theorist first, political theorist second. His observations pertain to social theory, his theories and implimentations were political. But I guess I didn't "remember that"! Sorry!

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