Wittgenstein on Freud and Frazer

New York: Cambridge University Press (1998)
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What is it that troubles and preoccupies us about the anxieties and anguishes of social and private life? Have advances in the disciplines of psychoanalysis, psychology or the social sciences in general ministered to our needs in these areas? In this forcefully argued collection of essays, Frank Cioffi examines Wittgenstein's reflections on the comparative claims of clarification and empirical enquiry. Though writing out of admiration and indebtedness, he expresses reservations as to the limits Wittgenstein places on the relevance and desirability of empirical knowledge. His discusssions extend from Wittgenstein's reflections on human sacrifice and other ritual practices dealt with by Frazer to Freud's account of the sources of anxiety, depression, dreams and laughter. He asks both whether it is empirical investigation or more lucid reflection that these phenomena demand, and what kind of question this itself is.



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