Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud are both theorists and aim at being scientific. Darwin’s main subject is evolution and classification of species, but Darwin also wrote the first treatise in evolutionary psychology. Freud’s main subject is how the mind perceives and experiences behavior, but he sometimes also speaks about the ancestral origins of the mind. What is dissimilar is that Darwin’s theories could later be proven. While Freud’s could not and are now regarded as outdated. Consider Hamlet and the Oedipal Complex. Hamlet’s anger to his mother may look like the Oedipal Complex, but he is not representative of mother-son relations in general. In our days families come in different shapes and forms, while members of an unconventional family have reached different modes of acceptance and tolerance. Darwin could have assumed that we live in a world that is evolving. Freud, on the other hand believes in inherited traits as does Darwin.
Freud’s theories might have been true for people like himself, or rather, Jewish men from Galicia in the 19th century. The region of Galicia mainly was populated by Jewish people and rich families whose kids were raised by nannies. In my opinion the European middle-class culture made the mother’s role more playful; she is more of a sex object instead of a caretaker. Freud asserted his theories by projecting from his own life experiences as well as from those of his particular patients. Freud ignores the social order in regard to women during the 19th century in Europe, assuming women’s passive role as a given, and bases his theory on the bourgeois life that women led at that period.
Darwin’s manuscripts were basically quantitative, and his ideas could be expanded with future modern science. His in-depth studies awoke Scientists to the further truths regarding evolution to this day. Darwin’s belief about, “struggle for existence” remains current to this day and age.
The more distinct the forms are which we may consider, by so much the arguments fall away in force. But some arguments of the greatest weight extend very far. All the members of whole classes can be connected together by chains of affinities, and all can be classified on the same principle, in groups subordinate to groups. Fossil remains sometimes tend to fill up very wide intervals between existing orders. Organs in a rudimentary condition plainly show that an early progenitor had the organ in a fully developed state; and this in some instances, necessarily implies an enormous amount of modification in the descendants. (ELF, 51)
Another clue in support of evolution is that fetuses in humans mirror those of other mammals to an extent. Darwin’s desire to build a classification system for species, was enigmatic yet obvious. He counted species on his own and started to classify, sort, and label them. He saw these creatures as “life” and yet again, they were proven to be forms of life.
Many of Freud’s theories are faulty, including his thoughts on play vs. phantasy. He claims that play is for children who use objects to construct the basis for phantasy; or what develops from the play. Freud thinks that dreaming is a way to subconsciously experience a phantasy. Overall psychoanalysts used the term to describe unfulfilled wishes. Again, Freud’s theories can never be proven OR tested, like a “unicorn in the sky.” Freud can be labeled as “Science Fiction.” He is known for saying that the brain is divided into three parts: Id, Ego, and Super Ego. The Id is sexual, the Ego is rational, and the Super Ego is the super rational filter to the Ego. Still, none of these are provable theories or truly observable in today’s societies. Darwin focuses outside the human limits, while Freud is very insular with the human brain
Freud’s style is very convoluted, complex, yet very convincing. He strings a lot of free flowing observations together and somehow has his interpretations make sense, despite the fact that his theory is not based in scientific knowledge. His work on “phantasies” is as subjective as the rest but is persuasive to some psychologists and Humanities experts, who find his theories fascinating. He is fascinating but not factual; Darwin is daring and irrefutable.In the light of the insight we have gained from phantasies, we ought to expect the following state of affairs. A strong experience in the present, awakens in the creative writer a memory of an earlier experience (usually belonging to his childhood) from which there now proceeds a wish which finds its fulfillment in the creative work. The work itself exhibits elements of the recent provoking occasion as we as of the old memory. (Freud, Creative Writers and Day Dreaming 151)
Freud is still respected, as he should be, however his name today is mostly associated with popularity or outrageousness rather than with established psychological science. The Oedipal complex is more so true for Central European men like himself who see their mothers as well as women in general as sexual objects, especially if the mother’s main role is to serve their husbands and concentrate solely on pleasing the men in their lives, creating competition within the male population in the household.
Freud sees human suffering and analyzes it with what he sees as assumptions of human behavior. Darwin looks at nature and sees a complex world of all other living creatures. Darwin knows that humans are only part of this complicated mysterious universe. Though Freud based his narrative on Ancient Greek legends and myths, Darwin had to face the Judeo-Christian religious teachings about the creation of the world that was not ready to recognize the evolution theory. Evolution vs. Creationism still remain debatable by many.
Yet Darwin’s theories become the stepping stones for further research and opens up to a world where the fittest of species survive. As to Freud, scientists still know very little about the brain and there are many human behaviors still that are a mystery to us.