Sunday, June 27, 2004

Finished reading two books by Steven Johnson: Emergence and Mind Wide Open. The latter is fresher. Quite liked it overall, although it does not feel as enlightening as Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker often do. But then, this might be too high of a measuring stick.

In the final chapter of Mind Wide Open, S. Johnson paints a bit too positive picture of Freud. Maybe it is a great insight indeed that the mind is divided, but it looks to me that there are a lot more misses than hits in the freudian view of the mind. It is a little bit like saying that the geosynclinal theory is very important because it got a few things right: sediments often do accumulate in big piles several miles thick and then become parts of folded mountain ranges. Well, that's true, but there is no explanatory power to it -- for that, you need modern plate tectonics and basin analysis. So, isn't it easier to just forget old and wrong concepts like id, superego, and miogeoclines?
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