Talk:Sigmund Freud

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And what's the deal with the long, op-ed following Nabakov's quote, blaming Freud for postmodernist Theory and God knows what else? That's a pretty egregious extrapolation! I can't find anything to indicate Nabokov shares the opinion of the editor who wrote the entry.

What's the deal with this long Russian canard about cocaine? Is there a reason not to delete it? Mgasner 07:25, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Quotes about a person belong in that person's article. See Wikiquote:Templates/People. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 08:50, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Quotes about Sigmund Freud?? That's like the last hundred years of more or less everything written. Mgasner 23:16, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Feel free to add quotes from more or less everything written in the last hundred years (mind you, about Freud, not psychoanalysis in general -- the later would belong in psychology). Personally, I have read much literature that has not mentioned Freud -- but then again, that might just be me and my own highly unique taste. I look further to your expansion of the Freud article (if the section gets big enough, of course, we might break it out to its own article and put a "see also" -- let us wait and see how it develops. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 15:15, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Why are some quotes bolded and some not? -- 21:34, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Dubious Freud quote about weapons[edit]

I noticed and researched a dubious quote about weapons, to the effect that fear of weapons is a form of immaturity. I don't think that Freud said it, first of all because it's out of character. But I also looked up the citation and did not find the quote in Freud's book that is supposed to have it. So I moved the quote to a new misattribution section. 16:27, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Why the quote is listed as misattributed[edit]

Someone feels entitled to call the Freud quote about guns "attributed" unless it can be proven that Freud never said it. Actually, you can never prove that kind of a negative about most false attributions. You could claim that Churchill heaped praise on the Nazis and it would be impossible to prove that it was never said.

What is true is that the quote has been traced to an essay by Don Kates in which the words were clearly Kates' and not Freud's. Moreover, even Kates' citation to Freud was misread, because he did not claim to be paraphrasing General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. There is that and the fact that the quote is out of character for Freud. Barring new evidence, it is fair call this quote misattributed. Quotes aren't "innocent until proven guilty." 07:28, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

So your argument is that if a claim is of such a nature that it could never be proven, you are free to assert it without proof? 03:59, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
The evidence of this statement being a misattribution is quite copious in its placement within the "Misattributed" section, and the evidence of it being genuine is zilch. I have thus reverted an effort to place it among the "Unsourced" quotations under the obsolete heading "Attributed". ~ Kalki 17:43, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
It appears that the NOR and RS policies apply here (per Wikiquote:Citing sources). Examples of original research include: "It introduces an argument, without citing a reputable source for that argument, that purports to refute or support another idea, theory, argument, or position; It introduces an analysis or synthesis of established facts, ideas, opinions, or arguments in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing that analysis or synthesis to a reputable source".
I see a source for the claim that a writer said something similar as a paraphrase of Freud's views. I see no source for the claim that this is the source for the quotation. That's original research. 21:10, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
On the contary, the quote itself is spurious original research; you're turning the prohibition on original research upside-down. Backers of this quote have repeatedly cited Don Kates to argue that the quote is genuine. But if you look at what Kates wrote, it's clear misattribution. The page directly cites the act of misattribution itself, on four occassions, not just Kates' essay.
Of course, whenever people misread a citation to put words into Freud's mouth, you could still throw up your hands and say, who knows, maybe Freud actually did say it some other time. But this kind of "who knows" isn't reasonable; it would mean that no quote could ever be called a misattribution. The quote in question is both undocumented and out of character; and there is a recurrent, sloppy citation that explains why people think that Freud said it. This isn't "original research", it's simple common sense. 15:49, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
In GUNS, MURDERS, AND THE CONSTITUTION, A Realistic Assessment of Gun Control, By Don B. Kates, Jr., discusses the "Penis theory" of gun control: "The idea of gun ownership as sexual aberration has been casually espoused by such anti-gun luminaries as Arthur Schlessinger Jr., Harlan Ellison, Mike Royko, and Joyce Brothers."
A final point of interest is Dr. Tanay's citation of Freud's view that weapons may symbolize the penis in dreams. This, Freud said, is true of dreams involving any long object (e.g., "sticks, umbrellas, poles, trees") but especially objects that may be viewed as penetrating and injuring ("... knives, daggers, lances, sabers; firearms are similarly used ..."). This passage refers to dreams in general without distinguishing gun owners from others. Dr. Tanay is perhaps unaware of--in any event, he does not cite--other passages more relevant to his argument. In these other passages Freud associates retarded sexual and emotional development not with gun ownership, but with fear and loathing of weapons.[49]
[49] Compare the passage from the 10th Lecture (at 507 of The Major Writings of Sigmund Freud, Great Books ed., 1952), which Dr. Tanay does cite, to S. Freud & D. Oppenheim, Dreams in Folklore (1958) at 33.
The example cited is from: Dreams in Folklore, by Sigmund Freud and D.E. Oppenheim, International Universities Press, Inc, New York, 1958. (This was available at but has since been removed due to copyright concerns.)
In reference to interpretation of a dream in which a woman was trying to draw a dagger and woke up to find herself pulling on her husband, Freud and Oppenheim wrote at page 33:
"The representation of the penis as a weapon, cutting knife, dagger etc., is familiar to us from the anxiety dreams of abstinent women in particular and also lies at the root of numerous phobias in neurotic people."
Naaman Brown (talk) 18:06, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

The weapons quote was removed[edit]

The quote was removed by an IP in this dif. If someone wants to add it back, consider whether it is a notable misattribution. I don't know how widely it is cited in significant sources. I don't consider it Wikiquote's mission to rebut all the errors in countless internet forums, if that's all there is to this. ~ Ningauble 14:43, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Cigar is just a cigar[edit]

This is a popular misattribution. Anyone who is vaguely familiar with Freud should know that for him, a cigar was /never/ just a cigar. -- 01:43, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

You're right, he actually said "Sometimes a pipe is just a pipe" in response to one of his students asking what his pipe meant.


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Sigmund Freud. --Antiquary 18:35, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

  • A belligerent state permits itself every such misdeed, every such act of violence, as would disgrace the individual.
  • Anatomy is destiny.
  • Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent.
  • Great revolutions in science have a common denominator: They knock human arrogance off one pedestal after another of our conviction about our previous conviction about our own self-importance.
  • He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.
  • Human life in common is only made possible when a majority comes together which is stronger than any separate individual and which remains united against all separate individuals. The power of this community is then set up as "right" in opposition to the power of the individual, which is condemned as "brute force."
  • I have found little that is "good" about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all.
  • In the long run, nothing can withstand reason and experience, and the contradiction religion offers to both is palpable.
  • It must be admitted that women have but little sense of justice, and this is no doubt connected with the preponderance of envy in their mental life.
  • Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.
  • Religion... comprises a system of wishful illusions together with a disavowal of reality, such as we find in an isolated form nowhere else but in amentia, in a state of blissful hallucinatory confusion.
  • Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis. ("In so doing, the idea forces itself upon him that religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis, and he is optimistic enough to suppose that mankind will surmount this neurotic phase, just as so many children grow out of their similar neurosis." Future of an illusion.
  • Sadism is all right in its place, but it should be directed to proper ends.
  • Sex is the mathematical urge repressed.
  • Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
  • The idea of a God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure: desire for such a deity sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father, for justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection of these desires, feared and worshiped by human beings out of an abiding sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity. It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind.
  • Such progress we have made! In the Middle Ages, they would have burned me as a witch, but now they are content to burn my book. (On the burning of his books by the Nazi regime in Germany.)
  • The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him.
  • The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is “What does a woman want?”
  • The moment a man begins to question the meaning and value of life, he is sick.
  • The only thing about masturbation to be ashamed of is doing it badly.
  • The only unnatural sexual behavior is none at all. - Actually I found a source. Or at least kind of a source, but since it doesn't give us time when these words were said, nor 100% percent probability I'm leaving it in a discussion. also there are problems with my account. sais that 'In 1987 the “Barnes & Noble Book of Quotations” edited by Robert I. Fitzhenry presented a variant expression ascribed to Sigmund Freud. QI has not yet attempted to trace this variant quote:

The only unnatural sexual behaviour is none at all. Freud'.

  • The paranoid is never entirely mistaken.
  • The pleasure of satisfying a savage instinct, undomesticated by the ego, is incomparably much more intense than the one of satisfying a tamed instinct. The reason is becoming the enemy that prevents us from a lot of possibilities of pleasure.
  • We are our desires. (appears at the end of the video of the Nu Virgos hit Stop! Stop! Stop!)
  • Secrets make you sick.
  • The meager satisfaction that man can extract from reality leaves him starving.
  • Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.


I was wondering if this quote has been rejected for some reason? It seems attributable, and a fairly popular quote (though usually unsourced), so I expected to see it included or in here as misattributed/rejected.

"I can only tell you of my personal experience," he said. "When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature." -- in "Listening with the Third Ear: The inner experience of a psychoanalyst", w:Theodor Reik, 1948, p. vii. In context, Reik had asked his mentor whether he should pursue a career in psychoanalysis, this was Freud's reply. Bazzargh (talk) 14:00, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Emigration from Austria[edit]

  • I can heartily recommend the Gestapo to anyone.

Removed. The quote the daughter gives is incorrect. The sentence was never written, the only testimony of the quote coming from Freud is not correct.

Martin Freud's daughter Sophie commented in her book Living in the Shadow of the Freud Family (Praeger, Westport CT 2007, p. 137
This document was later found by historians, and no such sentence appears in it. I can imagine a scenario in which Freud told his family what he almost wrote. It would indeed have been unthinkable for Freud to jeopardize the lives of 17 people for the sake of a clever joke.

Somercet (talk) 17:45, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Love and work quotations[edit]

I cannot find any citations to Freud's work which contain either of these quotations, both of which appear frequently on quotation websites and elsewhere on the interwebs:

  • "Work and love, love and work - that's all there is."
  • "Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness."

According to Elms (2001), something akin to those quotations "... was possibly said by Freud, in some form vaguely resembling the currently cited version. But it did not appear in print until eleven years after Freud's death, and its final form may owe more to the writer [Erik Erikson] who published it than to Freud."

Would it be appropriate to add these quotations to the Misattributed section?

Citation: Alan C. Elms, Apocryphal Freud: Sigmund Freud’s Most Famous “Quotations” and Their Actual Sources, Annual of Psychoanalysis, 2001, Vol. XXIX, pp. 83-104.

Thanks! Markworthen (talk) 20:08, 25 November 2018 (UTC)