Totem and Taboo

book by Sigmund Freud

Totem and Taboo is a book by Sigmund Freud. It is four articles in the magazine Imago then combined as a book in 1914. The first article is "The Horror of Incest", the second "Taboo and Emotional Ambivalence", the third "animism, magic, and the omnipotence of thought", and the fourth "the return of totemism in childhood". It was written partly as a response to Wilhelm Wundt's ideas on psychology, and partly as a response to Carl Jung's ideas. It describes Freud's idea of how the incest taboo began. The last article combines Charles Darwin's idea of an ancient family with William Robertson Smith's idea of human sacrifice being the origin of religious ceremonies, to argue that an ancient group of brothers killed their polygamous father and took his wives and then created totemism as an idea to create conscience and prevent their action from being repeated.

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