Here's a review by Lesley Chamberlain of Alfred Tauber's Freud, the Reluctant Philosopher,which connects Freud's idea of the Id to Schopenhauer's notion of Will, and also traces the lines of influence back to Nietzsche and Kant.
I enjoyed the summary here and the quick attempt to put Freud's fallen star (as far as being a scientific figure to the modern era) in perspective, but Chamberlain's attempt to make a philosophical point doesn't jibe with me:
Philosophers have a problem with Kant's "amphibian" view of humanity. They consider the idea that we should be part determined and part free to be sheer metaphysical invention. But isn't this just what reflective individual existence feels like? We would forfeit our humanity if we believed we could not intervene in our physical destiny. Arguably, all the reluctance to accept Freud comes down to his similarly dual view of the human condition.
On the contrary, I find just about any philosopher I can seriously take, including all those mentioned above, hold some kind of compatibilist view, which seems to me inseparable from naturalism, i.e. the only reason to reject the determinism part of compatibilism is if you have an incoherent notion of soul (meaning one which could only be believed as an article of faith, as it doesn't actually make ordinary sense) or if you proclaim that we are clockwork and reject your own experience of your own freedom, which is the kind of thing you can do with your mouth but is a practical impossibility when it comes to the matter of living day to day. So Chamberlain appears to me to be attacking some kind of straw man in Freud's defense.
Have you read any of Tauber’s work? He has a respected book on Thoreau and moral agency.
Also, something you might enjoy as synthesis (and I think you enjoy the back and forth of ideas that cross disciplines and seek to “say” meaningful things there)–this by English prof (so, mark well his lack of certain “bona fides” that make him akin to a PEL philosopher) Mark Edmundson, Towards Reading Freud, http://is.gd/ku5xr, which for me is most interesting as he applies Freud’s On Mourning and Melancholy to Emerson’s work (having lost his first wife, if first child, and two brothers so early in all their lives).
Mark Linsenmayer says
Thanks, Douglas; I’ll look for the Tauber book when we get to Thoreau. …Also an interesting connection between Emerson and Freud.