No philosopher has had such a profound influence on all subsequent thought as Sigmund Freud. His theories, particularly those of this volume, have become such an integral part of daily discourse that most people fail to even realize how much they buy into the psychobabble. However, Freud must be viewed as a philosopher, not as the scientist he believed he was. His conclusions are either backed by superficial research or, more commonly, no research at all, and this book's most famous theory, that of the Oediple Complex, is argued (poorly) through literary examples, not scientific ones. The fact is that Freud is simply following a long-standing METAPHYSICAL tradition of dream interpretation which goes all the way back to Ancient Greece and Biblical tribes. All he does is invent his own gods to send the messages. The underlying motives for the book are quite obvious, though often overlooked--this paranoid cocaine addict wished to deal with his own psychoses by projecting them onto everyone else. We laugh at comedians when they tell of common acts of stupidity, mainly because we are relieved that we're not the only ones who do such things. Similarly, Freud, who fell in love with his mother when he saw her naked at age 2, concluded that everyone must want to sleep with their mother, because to do otherwise would be to admit that he was mad, which indeed he was. This is not to say that the book should not be read, only that it should be read because of its influence, and not because its ideas have any validity whatsoever.