Freud on Sublimation: A short animation video

A lot of what we long for and desire will never be ours; we might go out of our minds with frustration, were it not for a very useful manoeuvre first identified by Sigmund Freud: sublimation.

Read online Freud’s Leonardo da Vinci, A Memory of His Childhood

"Process postulated by Freud to account for human activities which have no apparent connection with sexuality but which are assumed to be motivated by the force of the sexual instinct. The main types of activity described by Freud as sublimated are artistic creation and intellectual inquiry.

The instinct is said to be sublimated in so far as it is diverted towards a new, non-sexual aim and in so far as its objects are socially valued ones.

Introduced into psycho-analysis by Freud, this term evokes the sense ‘sublime’ has when it is used, particularly in the fine arts, to qualify works that are grand or uplifting. It also evokes the sense ‘sublimation’ has for chemistry: the procedure whereby a body is caused to pass directly from a solid to a gaseous state."

― Excerpted from The Language of Psychoanalysis

See also

  • 'What is Psychoanalysis?' is a 4-part educational film series by Freud Museum London​ for students and teachers.

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