Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Evan Lester - Section H1- Final Report (1/3)

 Epic Philosophy Battles of History (1/3)
By: Evan Lester
For my philosophy final report, I am going to do a spin-off of YouTube’s series of Epic Rap Battles ofHistory!! Instead, my blog is going to be called the Epic Philosophy Battles of History! Sorry, there will be no rapping involved! I have to give credit to Dr. Oliver (from his suggestion on the CoPhilosophy Blog) and Logan Whiles (from his Deadliest Philosopher blog for his midterm report) for inspiring me to do this. I will be comparing two philosophers in a situation where they will show their thoughts on a particular topic during the situation. This will also be a three part series.

            Freud                  vs.             Popper                                      

SigmundFreud was a psychologist who lived in Vienna, Austria from 1856 to 1939. While working with younger patients as a psychologist, he focused on the idea that there was something driving their behaviors. These people, according to Freud, were unaware that these influences were causing their behavior. As a result, Freud believed that a person’s problem had to be from a horrible memory or a desire for something or someone. Therefore, Sigmund Freud thought that the third great revolution in human thought following Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and the Copernican revolution was his discovery of the unconscious.
            However, there was a philosopher that did not like the idea of the unconscious. This philosopher was Karl Popper who was also born in Vienna, Austria, and lived from 1902 to 1994. Popper was a big supporter of the scientific method. Although, Popper mainly focused on how the hypothesis was tested. He believed that a hypothesis should be tested in order to be proven false. Popper believed that this would get people that much closer to the truth. If a hypothesis withstands a falsifiable test, then people know that it might be true but there is still uncertainty, which means more falsifiable tests need to occur.

 This is where we transition to the Psychoanalysis Room where Sigmund Freud is doing psychoanalysis with a patient named Fred.

 Psychoanalysis Room, APR, Room 2013-16
Operation: Sigmund Freud is beginning to test a man named Alfred to see if there are any unconscious drives that are causing him to act in a particular way.

(Begin Scene) 
Freud: So Fred, I want you to lay down in that MTSU blue couch and I want you to think for me. I want you to think about your last few days in your life, and I want you to tell me any actions that you have done that are repetitive.

Alfred: Well, I have been doing one thing in particular a lot lately. I have been finding myself doing a lot of studying for different tests that are 2 months away. I can’t seem to pry myself off the books. I mean, I try to, but I find myself coming right back to studying. For example, I went to try to watch television the other day, but I felt this panicky feeling that told me that I needed to be studying. It is so weird! I feel like there is something wrong with me but I have no clue what it is. That is why I came to you Mr. Freud. I need help bad. I can’t continue to do this all of the time. I am going to go bald or even have gray hairs again! The hair growth product is not working anymore!!!

Freud: All right now son, calm down for me. It seems to me that this feeling of needing to study constantly is being driven by something. So, tell me Alfred, do you ever feel the need to go do something else like playing Xbox or watching baseball games at your high school.

Alfred: Unfortunately, I do not feel like I can make myself at all. I mean that all sounds fun, but there is something in me that is keeping me away from enjoying life. Please help me! Please!

Freud: All right, please be calm. I am here for you! Okay, well now that you have described to me that you have a sudden urge to continue to study is telling me something. I believe that you are being driven by an unconscious force that we psychologists like to call Pluto mania.

Alfred: What is that?

Freud: This is the unconscious idea that is behind your studying addiction. Your study habits are the result of the unconscious drive to go to Pluto. You continue to study in order to hopefully travel to Pluto to see your reflection in the vast ice that is on that dwarf planet.

Alfred: Oh thank you Mr. Freud! That must be it! You are an amazing psychologist!


Popper: Freud, how many times have I told you that your answers to someone’s problems are ridiculous! How in the world can you come up with the idea that he has the unconscious desire to go to Pluto from studying all of the time? Or how can you even tell people that they are driven by this unconscious desire or memory?

Freud: That is just how it is. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen a snake, umbrella, or sword in your dreams! You would be lying to me if you said you haven’t seen them.  Everything you do is influenced by some unconscious desire, especially with the previously mentioned items.

Popper: You are ridiculous! There is no way to test if this is false or not. I think it is great that you are trying to help a young man in need of advice, but you cannot give him a conclusion that he wants to go to Pluto. You have to try to test different theories that are not only acceptable to mankind, but also theories that can actually be proven to be false. If you say that someone is influenced by an unconscious factor, then how are you going to test it? The answer is you cannot test it. If you cannot test your hypothesis that someone is driven by unconscious factors, then you cannot tell if your hypothesis is false. If you are able to falsify your theory about what his symptoms or influences might be, then you will be that much closer to figuring out the truth.

Freud: Oh, I see where you are coming from.

Popper: You do?!

Freud: Yes! Since you deny the fact that the unconscious affects people, you must have the unconscious desire to ride on a shooting star!

Popper: Wow! I cannot believe that you did not listen to what I have been saying!

Freud: I think you need to jump on the next shooting star to cool you down!

Popper: I am just going to leave now……

(Exit Popper)

Alfred: Man, I am so confused…………..

(End Scene)

This is an example of how Popper believed Freud was wrong with his ideas about the unconscious. Popper thought Freud could not make the assumption that there were unconscious influences that were affecting someone since those influences could not be tested to be false. If I had to choose a winner in this situation, I would have to choose Karl Popper. I don’t really agree with Sigmund Freud and his theories about the unconscious. For example, his classic Freudian symbols are not really reasonable to me. I do not see how anyone can make a connection to a desire just by seeing a snake, umbrella, or sword in a dream. I am a major scientific person, and I believe that you have to test if a theory is true or false in order to come to a conclusion. For example, if someone goes to a doctor to find out why he or she is sneezing so much, the doctor will run several tests and come up with the best solution. By doing this, the doctor is able to test what is and is not wrong with the person. Looks like someone has the upper hand in my battle….

 Karl Popper!
Word Count: 1,331 Words


  1. And he did it without a poker!

  2. Great post, Evan!

    I like how you've formatted these — very entertaining and informative!

    Can't wait to see who battles it out next!

    1. Thanks Keaton! I hope you enjoy the next two as much as I had writing them! My last two posts have been posted so please let me know what you think!

  3. Nice post Evan! I think you approached this from an interesting angle! I like how you set it up, went into the battle, then concluded it!

    1. Thanks Yusra! I tried to take a fun way of looking about how different philosophers would respond in a certain situation! I think it is best to try to get the message of what exactly the philosophers stand for then make sure you understand what I am explaining in the situation in the conclusion. Let me know what you think in the other 2 I have posted!