Questioning and the materiality of crisis: Freud and Heidegger

Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (2):251-269 (2007)
The theme of the possibility or impossibility of the compatibility between Heideggerian philosophy and Freudian metapsychology has been taken up in various ways. Without going into the details of this body of commentary, it is argued that there is a clear difference between the ways in which Heidegger and Freud think cultural crisis. By examining texts of both thinkers from the early 1930s, it is shown that whereas Freud conceives of the possibility of amelioration of crisis in terms of a grappling with material necessity, Heidegger's philosophical conception of crisis seeks to bring about freedom's performative coincidence with ontological necessity. Heidegger's approach, it is claimed, is blind to the confrontation with material necessity that is its own condition of possibility. This blindness is evident in his ontological understanding of suffering. Key Words: crisis • critique • Sigmund Freud • Martin Heidegger • materiality • necessity • questioning.
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DOI 10.1177/0191453707074147
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