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One of the main concerns of contemporary philosophy has been the role of the memory in the life of the individual and the group or more precisely - the lack and excess of memory Memory is something very unreliable because it causes the same kind of decay that invades our physical bodies undermining the identity of every individual and every society Even though human identity is based on historical memory neither individuals nor societies should be limited in categorical way by it and the importance of forgetting should not be diminished In consideration of memory psychoanalysis and history as disciplines may be merged to provide one with a more expansive view of this phenomenon without reducing one to the other Reading Freuds account of melancholia in relation to Nietzsches account of historical illness can help enhance the understanding one derives from each individual discourse in addition to highlighting an important theme in contemporary philosophy In Freuds essay Mourning and Melancholia he considers the act of mourning which if carried out incorrectly can result in melancholia a pathological illness Freud states In mourning it is the world which has become poor and empty in melancholia it is the ego itself An individual suffering with melancholia often cannot pin point what they have lost as it is often not a person but an abstract concept Their fixation on this object is intense often due to the narcissistic basis of the attachment therefore when they lose this object they lose something more drastic - themselves and their will to live Symptoms of melancholia are similar to those of mourning however melancholia is differentiated by an extraordinary diminution in self-regard and the absence of shame Freud believes that a certain period of mourning is necessary when confronting loss in fact if this process were not to occur or if this process were to be interrupted it could be of great detriment Mourning should be used to recognize the loss
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