Freud an Hrdy

Chinwendu P Okere
Prof. Bambi Chapin
Anthropology 424
Feb. 4, 2016
Freud and Hrdy
Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents creates food for thought on how we humans are affected by civilization, while Hrdy’s Evolutionary Contexts of Human Development gives an in-depth explanation of how we, as a species, have evolved into civilization. On reading the two texts, it is obvious that both accounts offer insightful and engaging arguments. The aspect I have chosen to compare from the two differing accounts offered by Hrdy and Freud is the intriguing roles of our human instincts, and evolution of our human minds in relation to the society and how civilization has shaped and is shaped by the human psyche. The two accounts are different in the sense that in Freud’s argument, he argues and focuses on the causation of human unhappiness and how this relates to the development of civilization, while Hrdy argues that the society makes us survive, and that we selected into civilization. Arguments that support these claims are first, arguments on the happiness of man by Freud and Hrdy’s argument on the evolution of human mind. Second, their individual provisional claims and logical arguments on the topic, and third, evidence that support their claims including examples on Freud’s part and case studies (primate and forager group studies) on Hrdy’s part.
First and Foremost, it should be noted that the two accounts are similar in that they both discuss how our instincts- although each present different instincts- have aided in the development of civilization. Freud and Hrdy present their arguments based on their different points of view. Freud’s account suggest that the human instincts such as love and necessity, aggression, ego and super-ego etc. is the drive for life, and that civilization disrupts man’s natural instincts (especially aggression), and as a result causes man unhappiness. Therefore civilization is largely responsible for our misery. While Hrdy claims that...