A Freudian Trip

On the 26th of November I made a trip across London to Hampstead to pay a long-overdue visit to the Freud Museum. (A Freudian trip?). I was met by one of the friendly Learning Managers at the Museum, Stefan Marianski, and he introduced me to a roomful of 5-7-year-olds and they certainly kept me on my toes as I asked them what they thought thinking was and whether the mind was the same as the brain, whether mindreading is possible and whether you can see something with your eyes closed. One distinction that was discussed was whether thinking can be the same as seeing when one child said that they can see me with their eyes closed because they can think about me. The next (of two) session was with the 8-11s. A notable distinction that they drew was between knowing something and knowing how to know something; one boy saying that it is possible to know something without knowing how to know it. Compare this with Socrates’ distinction between having a true belief and a true belief with an account in Plato’s Meno, for instance.


There was thought, discussion and lots of laughter. By the end of the session I felt as young as them, though I looked more like Freud than them, with my grey hair, glasses and beard. Could I pass as Sigmund Freud or would they out me as Sigmund Fraud? What do you think?


When I left, I chuckled as I went through the shop and saw that they had pairs of novelty Freudian Slippers! Fabulous! Well worth a visit.


In the new year, we will be running regular sessions at the museum to help young and very young children engage with the museum and with thinking philosophy in the museum. Who says museums are dusty old places that are no fun!?

Posted by Kim Down on 14th December 2023 at 12:00am

Category: Philosophy