a1 Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen, Germany
Sigmund Freud speaks of three offenses against the human love of self. The first blow is “cosmological” and is associated with the name Copernicus. The second blow is “biological” and conjures up the name Darwin. Freud himself performs the “psychological blow,” which is directed at human narcissism. This “psychological blow” follows from the fact that “mental processes are in themselves unconscious and only reach the ego and come under its control through incomplete and untrustworthy perceptions.” These discoveries “amount to a statement that the ego is not master in its own house.”
* I would like to thank Thomas Reinhuber for the intense conversations that inspired many ideas used in this lecture. Christine Helmer translated the article.