Most people think of Freud as a psychologist rather than as a philosopher. And worse, they often think of his work as achingly passé and of the man as a pseudo-scientist at best, and a charlatan at worst. But I think that Freud was a great philosopher who still has a lot to teach us about ourselves.
How ought we to understand psychopathy, especially child psychopathy? If some unlucky children are wired to lack empathy or remorse, can we justifiably call them evil? To what extent can an action be labeled evil in the absence of choice?
In the hit musical Next to Normal, a climactic scene portrays Diana Goodman, the lead female character, throwing out her bipolar medications, singing “I miss the mountains.”
The lyrics, written by Brian Yorkey for music by Tom Kitt, continue:
I miss the highs and lows,
All the climbing, all the falling,
All the while the wild wind blows,
Stinging you with snow
And soaking you with rain.
I miss the mountains,
I miss the pain.