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Gershman, H. (1947). Neurotic Pride and Self-Hatred According to Freud and Horney. Am. J. Psychoanal., 7(1):53-55.

(1947). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 7(1):53-55

Neurotic Pride and Self-Hatred According to Freud and Horney

H. Gershman

BEFORE the factors of neurotic pride and self-hatred are compared from two vistas of orientation—namely, Freud and Horney—a brief inquiry must be made into their fundamental theories. This much they have in common—they are both psychological; they both recognize the significance of the unconscious mind in the control of our daily lives; they both study the nature of these unconscious drives by means of free association, dream analysis, and slips of the tongue. Nevertheless, there is a fundamental divergence in their basic concepts as well as their therapeutic approach.

Freud's Viewpoint

Freud lived in an era dominated by mechanistic, structural, evolutionary theories of Darwin. He believed that human personality was the product of instinctive drives. He then transposed almost in toto the Darwinian principles of evolutionary change to these instincts. These primitive forces underwent a very complicated series of evolutionary changes during the maturation of an individual. There were two fundamental impulsive drives—the life instinct, Eros, and the death instinct, Thanatos. These two instincts, in pure form or mixtures thereof, somehow, almost mystically, attached themselves to the fertilized egg and remained indefinitely bound until complete demise. The evolution, then, of these instincts was not at all dissimilar to the embryological evolution of the egg itself. During the course of this evolutionary process, as one might expect, points of weaknesses or fixations appeared which ultimately were translated into deformed character or personality, since Freud believed that these drives were the ultimate determinants of character.

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