This page aims to make learning about the philosophy of Freud as easy as possible by bringing together the best articles, podcasts, and videos from across the internet onto one page. To get started, simply choose one of the resources listed below, or browse a selection of key quotes by Freud at the bottom of the page.
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
This section features short articles written by professional philosophers and aimed at a general audience. These articles are ideal for anyone looking for a shorter or more beginner-friendly introduction to Freud than the encyclopedia articles listed above.
- From philosophy to psychoanalysis: a classic Freudian move
- Can neuroscience rehabilitate Freud for the age of the brain?
- Freud versus Jung: a bitter feud over the meaning of sex
- How midcentury Arab thinkers embraced the ideas of Freud
- Every Sufi master is, in a sense, a Freudian psychotherapist
- Was Freud right about dreams all along?
- Love and identification lie behind the dark urges of the mob
- Is the Freudian slip still a road to the unconscious?
- Why Freud was right about hysteria
- Was Freud right about dreams after all? Here’s the research that helps explain it
- A dangerous method? In defence of Freud’s psychoanalysis
The New York Times (The Stone)
This section features episodes from leading philosophy podcasts. These are also aimed at a general audience and are a good option for beginners who prefer audio content.
In Our Time
The Philosopher’s Zone
The Partially Examined Life
Short Videos (<30 mins)
This section features short videos aimed at beginners.
Lectures/Longer Videos (>30 mins)
This section features longer videos and lectures. These tend to be less beginner-friendly and aimed at a more academic audience.
This section features a selection of university course syllabi. Browsing course syllabi can be a useful way to find reading recommendations.
- Freud: The Invention of Psychoanalysis – GRMN 253 | University of Pennsylvania
- Freud and the Literary Imagination – Lit 396 | University of Washington
- Psychoanalysis and Philosophy – freud.org.uk
This section features requests for book recommendations on philosophy forums. These can also be useful to browse when trying to find reading recommendations.
- Where to start reading Freud?
- Should I read Freud?
- Philosophy of Psychoanalysis where should one start, if they are interested in focusing on this field?
There is only so much that you can learn using free online resources. This section features books that may be useful if you’re looking to learn more about Freud. This list was created using the books featured in the course syllabi and forum recommendations above.
- Freud: A Very Short Introduction – Anthony Storr
- Freud – Jonathan Lear
- The Freud Reader – Peter Gay
- The Cambridge Companion to Freud – Jerome Neu
- The Interpretation of Dreams – Sigmund Freud
- Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality – Sigmund Freud
- Civilization and Its Discontents – Sigmund Freud
This section features online courses on Freud.
This section features a selection of key quotes by Freud.
The unconscious is the true psychical reality; in its innermost nature it is as much unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is as incompletely presented by the data of consciousness as is the external world by the communications of our sense organs.
– The Interpretation of Dreams
In the course of centuries the naive self-love of men has had to submit to two major blows at the hands of science. The first was when they learnt that our earth was not the centre of the universe but only a tiny fragment of a cosmic system of scarcely imaginable vastness … the second blow fell when biological research destroyed man’s supposedly privileged place in creation and proved his descent from the animal kingdom and his ineradicable animal nature … But human megalomania will have suffered its third and most wounding blow from the psychological research of the present time which seeks to prove to the ego that it is not even master in its own house, but must content itself with scanty information of what is going on unconsciously in its mind.
– Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
One might compare the relation of the ego to the id with that between a rider and his horse. The horse provides the locomotive energy, and the rider has the prerogative of determining the goal and of guiding the movements of his powerful mount towards it. But all too often in the relation between the ego and the id we find a picture of the less ideal situation in which the rider is obliged to guide his horse in the direction in which itself wants to go.
– New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
We are warned by a proverb against serving two masters at the same time. The poor ego has things even worse: it serves three masters and does what it can to bring their claims and demands into harmony with one another. … Its three tyrannical masters are the external world, the super-ego and the id.
– New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built up on renunciation [of instinctual desires], how much it presupposes the non-satisfaction of powerful drives – by suppression, repression or some other means. Such ‘cultural frustration’ dominates the large sphere of interpersonal relations; as we already know, it is the cause of the hostility that all civilizations have to contend with.
– Civilization and Its Discontents, ch. 3
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