This paper examines some French feminist uses of Lacanian psychoanalysis. I focus on two Lacanian influenced accounts of psychological oppression, the first by Luce Irigaray and the second by Julia Kristeva, and I argue that these accounts fail to meet criteria for an adequate politicalpsychology.
During the 1970s and 1980s, political psychologists at the State University of New York at Stony Brook focused political scientists? attention on online processing. Borrowing from the new field of social cognition in psychology, they argued that voters? evaluations of candidates are the products of a summing up of reactions to happenings during a campaign. Voters might not remember the specific events later on, but their running tallies of reactions over the duration of the campaign would ensure (...) that they take the forgotten information into account when entering the voting booth. Later, these same scholars yet again borrowed from (a very changed) psychology, and argued that many people, especially the most politically sophisticated, try to confirm their current political evaluations?for example, by seeking out confirmatory evidence and dismissing evidence that challenges their attitudes. We ask whether online processing and motivated reasoning have the same or different implications for democratic governance, and whether the two empirical perspectives can be reconciled. (shrink)
This article explores the surprisingly important role played in Augustine's moral and political theory by the idea that pride, the great evil of Augustine's system, was capable of mimicking both the actions and the outward effects of the one good in his moral system, charity. This feature of Augustine's moral psychology, the article shows, underlay two of the most important aspects of Augustine's political theory. First, Augustine's understanding of the imitative relationship between pride and charity served as (...) the basis of his understanding of the mutually informing and sometimes even tenuously cooperative relationship between the otherwise seemingly antagonistic forces of the earthly and the heavenly city. Second, Augustine's conception of the radical moral opacity in human life lays the groundwork for some of Augustine's more troubling positions on questions of the nature of political theory and the moral requirements of political action. (shrink)
A radical and original study, The Political Psyche joins together depth psychology with politics in a way that fully reflects the discoveries made in analysis and therapy. In an attempt to show that an inner journey and a desire to fashion something practical out of passionate political convictions are linked projects, author Andrew Samuels brings an acute psychological perspective to political issues such as the distribution of wealth, the market economy, Third World development, environmentalism, and nationalism--expanding (...) and enhancing our conception of "the political". However, keeping true to his aim of creating a two-way dialogue between depth psychology and politics, Samuels also lays bare the hidden politics of the father, the male body, and men's issues in general. The Political Psyche does not collapse politics and psychology together, nor is Samuels unaware of the troubled relationship of depth psychology to the political events of the century. In the book he presents his acclaimed and cathartic work on Jung, anti-semitism and the Nazis to the wider public. The text employs a political analysis to shed a fascinating light on clinical work. Samuels conducted a large-scale international survey of analysts and psychotherapists concerning what they do when their patients/clients bring overtly political material into the clinical setting. The results, including what the respondents reveal about their own political attitudes, destabilize any preconceived notions about the political sensitivity of analysis and psychotherapy. (shrink)
The actual originality and radicalism of Canetti's mass psychology provides a comprehensive picture of humanity and society which could also accommodate a naturalized political domain. Proceeding according to a deliberate plan, Canetti discusses four ?purely? political complexes on the basis of his mass?psychological conception. These four complexes are completed, architecturally as it were, by the Schreber Case, the keystone, which legitimately unites and synthesizes the political and psychological domains in terms of power. His strategy does not (...) involve the projection of already available psychological explanatory patterns onto the political subject?matter. He chooses rather a political subject?matter in the analysis of which the already elaborated mass?psychological insights can resurface. The way leads, therefore, not from mass psychology to politics, but from politics to politics seen in a different way?via innovative mass?psychological insights. The four case?studies selected by Canetti display remarkable coherence in their conceptual structure. At the same time, they are also astonishingly diverse and variable. The Versaille Case describes a unique act involving the suppression of collective identity, while the Inflation Case captures the possibility of the shocking devaluation of individual and collective identity, a possibility which can in principle always become reality. The approach is yet again different in the Parliamentarianism Case: politics is shown to be wise enough to restrain political struggle by means of a taboo. Finally, for the case of socialism Canetti provides an original concretization and interpretation of a widely shared view, which is nevertheless seldom articulated with the required precision, namely that socialism and human nature run, at least latently, counter to one another, making their incompatibility predetermined. (shrink)
These six essays present an outsider's view of Western norms of progress, rationality, and maturity, and offer an alternate perspective on oppression in modern times. Well-known psychologist and social theorist Ashis Nandy stresses the importance of considering world views held by the "non-modern" cultures of the Third World in formulating a more humane and less technologically preoccupied vision of progress. Institutionalized oppression is seen as a process which co-opts the physical and psychological worlds of its victims and destroys the basis (...) of all dissenting visions of a just world. Concluding with an essay on Gandhi and his critical reaction to Western civilization, this book is an important contribution to political science, sociology, psychology, and South Asian studies. (shrink)
In this paper I explore the shared interest of John Dewey and Carl Jung in the developmental continuity between biological, psychological, and cultural phenomena. Like other first generation psychological theorists, Dewey and Jung thought that psychology could be used to deepen our understanding of this continuity and thus gain a degree of control over human development. While their pursuit of this goal received little institutional support, there is a growing body of theory and practice derived from the new field (...) of ‘affect science’ as well as clinical and political psychologies, and other recent research into the function of human emotions, that are bringing greater institutional weight to the interest in anticipating and activating our psychocultural development. The epistemological and theoretical work of these seminal thinkers provides the foundation for this new praxis leading to: 1) a theory of ‘political development’ based in transformations of the psychocultural function of ‘reasoning’, ‘sensory’, and ‘affect’ freedom, as sources of culturally valid knowledge, which connects our biological heritage with increasingly advanced forms of individual and organizational identities; and 2) a range of psycho-educational practices that activate the political development of individuals and organizations by transforming the prejudicial dimensions of their current political identities. (shrink)
The political unconscious -- Modernity's traumas -- Targeting the public sphere -- The repetition compulsion or the endless war on terror -- Recovering community -- Deliberative democracy -- Feminist theory, politics, and freedom -- Public knowledge -- Three models of democratic deliberation -- The limits of deliberation, democratic myths, new frontiers -- Media and the public sphere -- Epilogue.
The death of Frantz Fanon at the age of thirty-six robbed the African revolution of its leading intellectual and moral force. His death also cut short one of the most extraordinary intellectual careers in contemporary political thought. Fanon was a political psychologist whose approach to revolutionary theory was grounded in his psychiatric practice. During his years in Algeria he published clinical studies on the behaviour of violent patients, the role of culture in the development of illness and the (...) function of the psychiatric hospital as a social milieu. These papers illuminate Fanon's political theory, expose weaknesses in his concept of political consciousness and liberation, and contain a 'secret history' explaining the tide of revolutionary movements in the Third World. (shrink)
Introduction: Locating the Lacanian left -- Antinomies of creativity : Lacan and Castoriadis on social construction and the political -- Laclau with Lacan on jouissance : negotiating the affective limits of discourse -- Žižek's 'perversions' : the lure of Antigone and the fetishism of the act -- Excursus on Badiou -- What sticks? : from symbolic power to jouissance -- Enjoying the nation : a success story? -- Lack of passion : European identity revisited -- The consumerist 'politics of (...) jouissance' and the fantasy of advertising -- Democracy in post-democratic times. (shrink)
I present a theory of alienation that accounts for the cognitive processes involved with moral thinking and political behavior in modern societies. On my account, alienation can be understood as a particular kind of atrophy of moral concepts and moral thinking that affect the ways individuals cognize and legitimate the social world and their place within it. Central to my argument is the thesis that modern forms of social integration—shaped by highly institutionalized, rationalized and hierarchical forms of social life—serve (...) to constrain the moral- cognitive powers of subjects leading to a condition of alienation as moral atrophy. This state results from the withering of the subject's internal powers of moral reflection and an overriding predisposition to rely on external value schemas to make sense of moral and political problems. I then present an analysis of alienated moral consciousness and its implications for modern social theory. (shrink)
Krueger & Funder's (K&F's) diagnosis of social psychology's obsession with bias is correct and accords with similar observations by self-categorization theorists. However, the analysis of causes is incomplete and suggestions for cures are flawed. The primary problem is not imbalance, but a failure to acknowledge that social reality has different forms, depending on one's social and political vantage point in relation to a specific social context.
In Hegel on Political Identity, Lydia Moland provocatively draws on Hegel's political philosophy to engage sometimes contentious contemporary issues such as patriotism, national identity, and cosmopolitanism.
Fighting ability, although recognized as fundamental to intrasexual competition in many nonhuman species, has received little attention as an explanatory variable in the social sciences. Multiple lines of evidence from archaeology, criminology, anthropology, physiology, and psychology suggest that fighting ability was a crucial aspect of intrasexual competition for ancestral human males, and this has contributed to the evolution of numerous physical and psychological sex differences. Because fighting ability was relevant to many domains of interaction, male psychology should have (...) evolved such that a man’s attitudes and behavioral responses are calibrated according to his formidability. Data are reviewed showing that better fighters feel entitled to better outcomes, set lower thresholds for anger/aggression, have self-favoring political attitudes, and believe more in the utility of warfare. New data are presented showing that among Hollywood actors, those selected for their physical strength (i.e., action stars) are more likely to believe in the utility of warfare. (shrink)
This book explores the way in which the fear of enemies shapes political groups at their founding and helps to preserve them by consolidating them in times of crisis. It develops a theory of “negative association” that examines the dynamics captured by the maxim “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” and then traces its role in the history of political thought, demonstrating that the fear of external threats is an essential element of the formation and preservation (...) of political groups and that its absence renders political association unsustainable. (shrink)
Introduction -- Narratives and identity -- Homer, Virgil and identity -- Mozart and the enlightenment -- Germans and Greeks -- Beam me up, Lord -- Science fiction and immortality -- Identity reconsidered.
There are many interesting questions to ask about cosmopolitan arguments. Is it true that the sphere of moral concern is global? Which sets of actions would realize the outcomes of global justice that cosmopolitans seek? Are those sets of actions feasible, and when we compare them against each other, which is the most feasible? The question I want to focus on in this paper is a question of the latter kind, but I want to take a slightly unique approach to (...) it. I shall ask which of the two dominant arguments for duties to alleviate global poverty, supposing their premises were generally accepted, would be more likely to produce the desired outcome. I take Pogge's argument for obligations grounded in principles of justice, a "contribution" argument, and Campbell's argument for obligations grounded in principles of humanity, an "assistance" argument, to be prototypical. Were people to accept the premises of Campbell's argument, how likely would they be to support governmental reform in policies for international aid, or to make individual contributions to international aid organizations? And I ask the same question, mutatis mutandis, for Pogge's argument. (shrink)
What makes human beings intentional and thinking subjects? How does their intentionality and thought connect with their social nature and their communal experience? How do the answers to these questions shape the assumptions which it is legitimate to make in social explanation and political evaluation? These are the broad-ranging issues which Pettit addresses in this novel study. The Common Mind argues for an original way of marking off thinking subjects, in particular human beings, from other intentional systems, natural and (...) artificial. It holds by the holistic view that human thought requires communal resources while denying that this social connection compromises the autonomy of individuals. And, in developing the significance of this view of social subjects--this holistic individualism--it outlines a novel framework for social and political theory. Within this framework, social theory is allowed to follow any of a number of paths: space is found for intentional interpretation and decision-theoretic reconstruction, for structural explanation and rational choice derivation. But political theory is treated less ecumenically. The framework raises serious questions about contractarian and atomistic modes of thought and it points the way to a republican rethinking of liberal commitments. (shrink)