Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sigmund Freud (1 of 3)

Early Life

Freud was an Austrian Jew born in Frieberg, Moravia in 1856.  His father’s textile business in Freiberg had supported himself and his family, but eventually failed. At four, due to his father’s failed business alongside increasing prejudice against Jews, he and his family moved to Vienna, where he would spend the rest of his life.
Painted Portrait of Freud As An Adolescent

Amalia Freud was said to favor her first child, Sigmund Freud, who she called her “golden Sigi". Sigmund Freud took notice of the favoritism and went on to say, “when you were incontestably the favorite child of your mother, you keep during your lifetime this victor feeling, you keep feeling sure of success, which in reality seldom doesn't fulfill". Freud would fear being replaced by his multiple siblings, but would remain the family favorite.

Not much is known of Freud’s early life, but during Freud’s childhood he would have two significant memories of resentment from his father that would shape his philosophy. One when he was 8 and had urinated in his parents' bedroom. His father humiliated him and claimed, "There will come nothing of this boy!" From that moment, Freud claimed he wanted to prove his father wrong. Another time when Sigmund and his father were taking a walk and someone yelled at him, "You, Jew - get down from the sidewalk!" and Sigmund took offense when his father didn't defend him.

I believe these early childhood experiences would help him develop his neurosis theory and his belief that the Oedipus Complex was implicit in normal human development, which I'll talk about in my next blog post.


  1. That's a very telling anecdote, about his father. We forget that great thinkers also had childhoods, when their most impressionable moments made them the adults they would become.