From nature in love: The problem of subjectivity in Adorno and Freudian psychoanalysis [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Continental Philosophy Review 40 (4):365-387 (2007)
This paper investigates the potential of the concept of sublimation for thinking subjectivity at the intersection of psychoanalysis and critical theory. I first rehearse a recent argument by Whitebook that Freud’s notion of sublimation presents a nonviolent integration and expansion of the ego, which can mediate the modern dichotomy between the rational subject and nonrational impulse and desire. On this view, sublimation turns subjectivity into a site of possibility in the context of modern, rationalized thought and society. I then argue that the concept of sublimation offered to critical theory in this form is insufficiently developed. Both Freud and Adorno analyze a deep-seated destructiveness of the modern subject, which turns up right at the heart of attempts to mediate the dichotomies of rationalized modernity. What is needed to counter this problem is a theory of love in which love is not separated from, but, rather, correlated with drive and desire, and can thereby get on a level with the unconscious or unacknowledged, impulsive nature of death-bearing subjectivity in enlightened modernity. A central conception in Kristeva’s development of Freudian psychoanalysis, the idea of transference love, delivers such a theory and thereby develops the concept of sublimation in the way that is needed at the intersection of psychoanalysis and critical theory
|Keywords||Adorno Freud Kristevan Sublimation|
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References found in this work BETA
Sara Beardsworth (2004). Julia Kristeva: Psychoanalysis and Modernity. State University of New York Press.
G. W. F. Hegel (1979). Phenomenology of Spirit. OUP Oxford.
Max Horkheimer (2002). Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. Stanford University Press.
Immanuel Kant (2007/1991). Critique of Pure Reason. In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell Pub. Ltd.. 449-451.
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