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I would actually like to question the concept of “doctrine of opposite” as it was emphasized in this part of the book. What if the doctrine of opposite is not a universal concept, but actually just a mammalian conceptualization that has been caused by the cerebral lateralization in mammals? For instance, as for the frame of male vs female, which is considered the “prime example” for the doctrine of opposite, it is now being theorized by neuroscientists that the features that we usually labeled as “masculine” belong to the right hemisphere of the brain, while the features that we historically labeled as “feminine” belong to the left hemisphere of the brain.
What if there existed a sentient alien species on another planet that has evolved directly in the ocean, and resembles the anatomy of sea anemones as the result? (Sea anemones have their body not symmetrical by the binary lateralization but symmetrical by 4-5 different branches.) What if the “doctrine of opposite” is completely unheard of for this alien species because of their different physiological anatomy?
I will have to say that the Freudian concept of “Phallic Stage” is highly unscientific, which is quite tragic given that the concept has become the most popularized part of the entire Freudian theory.
The reason why I would say that “Phallic Stage” is highly unscientific is because it is not exactly in accordance with modern evolutionary biology, in which it is now accepted in the academic circles that most organisms are programmed in a way that they avoid incest as much as possible.
Therefore, exactly because the Freudian concept of “Phallic Stage” depicts the desire for incest as something “natural,” I think I have no choice left but to say that it does not go hand in hand at all with the discoveries of evolutionary biology. In fact, even apart from this subject of incest, Freud’s ideas in general seem to neglect the concept of genetics and evolution too much, which is easily seen in the fact that Freud’s explanations of obsessive-compulsive disorder and conduct disorder, as they are also illustrated in this chapter, have their basis exclusively on the concept of “Anal Stage,” which fails to explain the reason why there exist genetic correlations in those disorders. If obsessive-compulsive disorder and conduct disorder were really caused by wrong kinds of experiences during “Anal Stage” in an individual’s life span, then why would even his sons, daughters, and distant cousins be also more vulnerable to these disorders than people who are unrelated to this individual with the disorder?
I would come up with neurological details again, as this part of the book mentioned the concept of Id, Ego, and Superego again. If we were to say that Id stands for the reptilian brain (the brain stem) and Ego and Superego stand for the neocortex, which evolved later in birds and mammals, would it mean that the “Avian Ego” is completely geared towards the activity of flying? I address a question like this, primarily because the neocortex of birds is considered the prime example of multiple realizability in cognitive science. Both mammals and birds have a neocortex, but the neocortex of birds has a completely different evolutionary path in a way that it is programmed completely for the sake of helping its agent fly in the air. So I wonder if this would mean that so labeled the “Avian Ego” might be completely different in its primary objective from the kind of Ego that we more commonly identify with.
The fact that Freud himself saw the real importance of psychoanalysis as a tool for understanding human nature and culture may explain the reason why he spent so many years coming up with the list for unconscious symbols. It is rather tragic that he spent so many years with that, instead of devising more counseling skills to be used for his clients, I would say. In fact, upon the historical fact that Freud’s main clients were women with hysteria, who also became the theoretical basis for the Freudian theory, I actually wonder why Freud, despite his considerable amount of interests in human cultures, could not realize in advance that the core problem with female hysteria actually lied in the practice of arranged marriages at the time. Back then in his period, it was very prevalent for girls to be a part of an arranged marriage with whomever their father came up with as a “groom,” and it was even common that the girls were forced to marry someone they had not known for their entire lifetime. Obviously, sexual romance was a completely distant condition to be met under these circumstances, and I would say that it was kind of natural for women under these circumstances at the time to eventually develop hysteria as a result. It baffles me why this conclusion did not become a part of the Freudian theory as we know, despite a lot of personal environments for Freud himself to realize it.
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