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(1,471 words)

Author(s): Figal, Günter | Hailer, Martin | Wahl, Heribert
[German Version] I. Philosophy Wisdom is the knowledge that philosophy aspires to. It is an element of the Greek word for philosophy, which combines the verb φιλέω/ philéō, “love, aspire to,” with the noun σοφία/ sophía. Initially σοφία had no particular philosophical significance. The word denoted expert skill in the practice of an art or craft. Aristotle, who was responsible for developing the word’s specifically philosophical sense, introduced σοφία by calling it “the perfection of an art” (ἀρετὴ τέχνης/ aretḗtéchnēs; Eth. Nic. 1141a 12). The designation of philosophical ins…


(8,968 words)

Author(s): Hoheisel, Karl | Seebass, Horst | Gödde, Susanne | Necker, Gerold | Rudolph, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Phenomenology Western, Christian connotations of the concept of the soul, imposed on the religio-historical evidence by outside studies, must be generally excluded if the soul is understood as the principle of manifestations of life that are perceptible (or culturally considered to be perceptible), although they are rarely categorized under a common umbrella term. It is therefore reasonable to speak of a multiplicity of souls – for example four among the Ob-Ugrians (Hasenfratz, Einführung, 38–41), five among the Proto-Germanic peoples ( ib…


(1,162 words)

Author(s): Wahl, Heribert
[German Version] S. Freud developed psychoanalysis as a method of investigating unconscious processes, as a theory of behavior and experience, and as a psychotherapeutic “talking cure” (Psychotherapy) for mental disorders. Psychiatry was revolutionized: for the first time, mentally ill individuals were recognized as subjects of their own biography and illness. Freud’s worldview as an atheistic Jew and as a natural scientist in the 19th-century Positivist tradition, the “cultural sexual morality” of fin de siècle Vienna decadence, his ethos as a physician, and his per…


(815 words)

Author(s): Wahl, Heribert
[German Version] I. The Term There is still dispute about the psychogenic or organic aetiology of neurotic diseases, since William Cullen coined the term neurosis in 1769 to denote non-inflammable affections of the nervous system. According to S. Freud’s constructive idea of a “supplementary series,” neuroses are genetically co-determined, but primarily psychologically determined, inappropriate, partly infantile patterns of experience and behavior constituting a disease. They arise under acute mental stress, against the ¶ background of biographical factors (self-trau…


(581 words)

Author(s): Wahl, Heribert
[German Version] Terminology. Our culture labels patterns of behavior and perception that display massively disturbed stimulus processing, ego alteration, and lack of insight into reality and the individual’s morbid state as pathological psychotic aberrations. Major symptoms include delusional ideation, formal and substantial disturbances of cognition and affect (impoverished, disjointed, illogical thinking; panic, mania, depression), hallucinations, incoherent communication, and bizarre behavior. The term psychosis, clinically popular, is disappearing fro…


(406 words)

Author(s): Wahl, Heribert
[German Version] a concept formulated by J.F. Herbart (1806); cf. also “controlled forgetting” (Hermann Ebbinghaus, Über das Gedächtnis, 1885; ET: Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology, 1913). From the perspective of psychoanalysis, repression is not an arbitrary act for the avoidance of frustration (“suppression”) but a distinct defense mechanism that prevents from reaching consciousness libidinous, aggressive or self-(esteem-)related representations, drive impulses, and feelings that are conflict-laden or …


(733 words)

Author(s): Wahl, Heribert
“Trauma,” which derives from the Greek word for wound, hurt, or defeat, denotes either physical-organic injury (e.g., to the skull or brain) or psychological hurts that are more than the ego can cope with and that plunge one into a helpless panic, for example, the sexual seduction of children (Childhood), which S. Freud (1856–1939) regarded as the decisive factor in neurosis. When Freud abandoned this monocausal hypothesis in favor of an unconscious infantile fantasying, he still did not contest the pathogenic role of traumatizing in actual life. Psychologically, no “objective” in…


(1,067 words)

Author(s): Wahl, Heribert
1. Definitions The term “neurosis” really means nervous sickness, but from the days of S. Freud (1856–1939) it has taken on the sense of psychoneurosis. Disturbances in development (§2) at specific phases, as well as unconscious anxieties and their defense, result in a conflict between the claims of impulse (Libido) and a constitutionally and biographically weakened ego that manifests itself in certain symptoms and character distortions. More importance is now attached to the role of early pathology of the self. In behavior therapy neurosis is seen as the result of emotiona…