Welcome to Episode 27 (Part III/IV) on the conscience.
Most people understand conscience as something which tells us right from wrong. The conscience is that little voice in your head that tells you to do your homework, go to bed on time and eat 5 a day. In fact, the Oxford Dictionary defines conscience as: “A person's moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one's behaviour.”
We’re going to be questioning this definition extensively. What is conscience? Where does the conscience come from? Where does the word conscience come from? Is conscience fundamental in its own right, or is it acquired through our development? Does the conscience carry any moral authority, and if so, what should be the function of conscience in ethical decision-making? Is conscience just an illusion?
To aid our exploration of these questions, we’re going to be consulting C. S. Lewis’ Studies in Words in Part I, Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae in Part II and Sigmund Freud’s The Ego and the Id in Part III. In Part IV we’ll wrap up the show with some further analysis and discussion and the return of philosophical ultimatum.
This week in Part III, we'll be discussing Sigmund Freud's view of the conscience.
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Part I. The Etymology of Conscience. (start of Part I)
Part II. St. Thomas Aquinas and the Conscience. (start of Part II)
Part III. Sigmund Freud and the Conscience. (start of Part III)
Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion. (start of Part IV)