… Sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson subscribes to many of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud’s psychological theories – Wilson does, for instance, believe in Freud’s model of the id, ego and superego – but when it comes to interpreting the finer points, they quite often disagree. Chief among these disagreements is the conflict in deciding on the origins of the superego.
For Freud, defining the origin of the superego was problematic. Initially, in his study, Moses and Monotheism, Freud addresses the origin of the superego with respect to the murder of the ‘primal father.’ This incomplete explanation, made mostly in passing and with reference …
… genes, reflecting the rules carried within our parents and their parents before them. If we act like our parents, it is not because we have been taught by them, but because we carry their genetic components.
The difference, then, between the theories of the origin of the superego of Freud and Wilson, is the difference between the sides of old debate of nature versus nurture. For Freud, our superego is formed by our experiences and traumas, for Wilson, the eventual development of our superego is carried within us from the day we are born.