The Self-Overcoming Subject: Freud's Challenge to the Cartesian Ontology

Two strands of enlightenment rationality—the mechanistic/deterministic and the self-overcoming—are distinguished, and the presence of the later in the work of Sigmund Freud is delineated. Beginning with Freud's investigations of hysteria, Freud's view of the person as a self-overcoming entity is spelled out in his theory of the unconscious and his theory of sexuality. It is argued that Freud provides, in the realm of empirical science, evidence that converges with the ontological conception of the person as a "being-in-the-world" developed by Heidegger in the philosophical classic, Being and Time
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