Structures of Subjectivity: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Phenomenology and Contextualism, is a revised and expanded second edition of a work first published in 1984, which was the first systematic presentation of the intersubjective viewpoint – what GeorgeAtwood and Robert Stolorow called psychoanalytic phenomenology – in psychoanalysis. This edition contains new chapters tracing the further development of their thinking over the ensuing decades and explores the personal origins of their most essential ideas. In this new edition, Atwood and (...) Stolorow cover the philosophical and theoretical assumptions of psychoanalysis and present a broad approach that they have designated phenomenological contextualism. This approach addresses personal subjective worlds in all their richness and idiosyncrasy and focuses on their relational contexts of origin and therapeutic transformation. Structures of Subjectivity covers the principles guiding the practice of psychoanalytic therapy from the authors' viewpoints and includes numerous detailed clinical case studies. The book will be essential reading for psychoanalysts, practitioners of psychotherapy, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers. It will also be of interest to scholars and students with an interest in psychoanalytic theory and practice, and its philosophical premises. (shrink)
Despite the many ways in which the so-called psychoses can become manifest, they are ultimately human events arising out of human contexts. As such, they can be understood in an intersubjective manner, removing the stigmatizing boundary between madness and sanity. Utilizing the post-Cartesian psychoanalytic approach of phenomenological contextualism, as well as almost 50 years of clinical experience, GeorgeAtwood presents detailed case studies depicting individuals in crisis and the successes and failures that occurred in their treatment. Topics range (...) from depression to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder to dreams, dissociative states to suicidality. Throughout is an emphasis on the underlying essence of humanity demonstrated in even the most extreme cases of psychological and emotional disturbance, and both the surprising highs and tragic lows of the search for the inner truth of a life – that of the analyst as well as the patient. (shrink)
If the task of a post-Cartesian psychoanalysis is understood as one of exploring the patterns of emotional experience that organize subjective life, one can recognize that this task is pursued within a framework of delimiting assumptions concerning the ontology of the person. In this paper, we discuss these assumptions as they have emerged in the thinking of four major philosophers on whom we have drawn: Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Martin Heidegger. Our purpose in what follows is to (...) describe essential ideas of these various thinkers and to identify the formative personal contexts within which their key insights into human life took form. By psychologically contextualizing philosophical assumptions, we hope to make progress toward discerning the particularization of scope that may be associated with these assumptions, and hence to begin a further opening up of the horizons of understanding that inevitably encircle psychoanalytic inquiry. (shrink)
Structures of Subjectivity: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Phenomenology and Contextualism, is a revised and expanded second edition of a work first published in 1984, which was the first systematic presentation of the intersubjective viewpoint – what GeorgeAtwood and Robert Stolorow called psychoanalytic phenomenology – in psychoanalysis. This edition contains new chapters tracing the further development of their thinking over the ensuing decades and explores the personal origins of their most essential ideas. In this new edition, Atwood and (...) Stolorow cover the philosophical and theoretical assumptions of psychoanalysis and present a broad approach that they have designated phenomenological contextualism. This approach addresses personal subjective worlds in all their richness and idiosyncrasy and focuses on their relational contexts of origin and therapeutic transformation. (shrink)
This essay joins Wilhelm Dilthey’s conception of the metaphysical impulse as a flight from the tragedy of human finitude with Ludwig Wittgenstein’s understanding of how language bewitches intelligence. We contend that there are features of the phenomenology of language that play a constitutive and pervasive role in the formation of metaphysical illusion.
This paper describes the important role of our deep immersions in philosophy in the development of our phenomenological-contextualist approach to psychoanalysis. Influenced most particularly by the phenomenological movement, our collaborative dialogue over more than four decades has led us to a shared commitment to reflection upon the philosophical underpinnings and constitutive contexts of origin of all our theoretical ideas. The growth of our thinking follows an endlessly recurring phenomenological circle joining theoretical perspectives with the inquirers from whose emotional worlds they (...) arise. (shrink)
This article elaborates a claim, first introduced by Wilhelm Dilthey, that metaphysics represents an illusory flight from the tragedy of human finitude. Metaphysics, of which psychoanalytic metapsychologies are a form, transforms the unbearable fragility and transience of all things human into an enduring, permanent, changeless reality, an illusory world of eternal truths. Three “clinical cases” illustrate this thesis in the work and lives of a philosopher and two psychoanalytic theorists: Friedrich Nietzsche and his metaphysical doctrine of the eternal return of (...) the same, Sigmund Freud and his dual instinct theory, and Heinz Kohut and his theoretical language of the self. It is contended that the best safeguard against the pitfalls of metaphysical illusion lies in a shared commitment to reflection on the constitutive contexts of all our theoretical ideas. (shrink)
The as-structure provided by language, even in the sciences, is always constitutive of experience and never merely designative. “From Saying…it comes to pass that the World is made to appear” (Heidegger 1971 : 101).
This book demonstrates how the authors have experienced the power of phenomenology in their therapeutic work with patients, especially those struggling with horrific trauma; in their encounters with psychological and philosophical theories; and in their efforts to comprehend destructive ideologies and the collective traumas that give rise to them. The Power of Phenomenology presents the trajectory of this work. Each chapter begins with a contribution written by one or both authors, extending the power of phenomenological inquiry to one or more (...) of these diverse contexts. The contributions are followed, one or two at a time, by a dialogue between the authors, illustrating the dialectical process of their long collaboration. The unusual format seeks to bring the phenomenology of their collaborative efforts to life for the reader. (shrink)
Kohut’s lasting and most important contribution to psychoanalytic clinical theory was his recognition that the experiencing of selfhood is always constituted, both developmentally and in psychoanalytic treatment, in a context of emotional interrelatedness. The experiencing of selfhood, he realized, or of its collapse, is context-embedded through and through. The theoretical language of self psychology with its noun, “the self,” reifies the experiencing of selfhood and transforms it into a metaphysical entity with thing-like properties, in effect undoing Kohut’s hard-won clinical contextualizations. (...) The language of such decontextualizing objectifications bewitches intelligence in order to evade the tragic dimension of finite human existing. (shrink)
This paper considers the theoretical and methodological origins of Marx's beliefs and attitudes towards classical moral theories and then their implications for two basic questions: (1) In what way, if any, was Marx suspicious or dismissive of classical moral theories (e.g., utilitarianism or Kantianism?), and (2) what sort of moral theory can a proponent of Marx's moral views support? Here it is argued that there is a clear sense in which Marx would not have been automatically suspicious of moral ideas, (...) conceptions, discourse and the rest. But there is an equally clear sense in which he was. It is in the latter respect that Marx’s views must be explicated in terms of his theory of historical development, and it is only here that the full richness and impact of Marx’s views on moral philosophy can be understood and appreciated. (shrink)
The following abbreviations are used to reference Berkeley’s works: PC “Philosophical Commentaries‘ Works 1:9--104 NTV An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision Works 1:171--239 PHK Of the Principles of Human Knowledge: Part 1 Works 2:41--113 3D Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous Works 2:163--263 DM De Motu, or The Principle and Nature of Motion and the Cause of the Communication of Motions, trans. A.A. Luce Works 4:31--52.
For Marx, capitalism depends upon and perpetuates a system of relationships whereby members of one class of persons, capitalists, enjoys extensive and pervasive social and economic advantages over others. But on Marx’s analysis, this system of being-taken-advantage-of—this system of economic exploitation—is not to be understood by appeal to discrete incidents of fraud, bad deals, theft, or under-remuneration. Rather, the central contention of Marx’s analysis, the contention analyzed, developed, and evaluated here, is that economic exploitation is class exploitation, a phenomenon that (...) occurs only within and because of the complex system of capitalist production. And it is because this system presupposes a set of oppressive social and economic ownership relations that are not freely chosen and yet govern the terms of participation in the economy and polity that it can be appropriately described as wrong or unjust. (shrink)
Past research has identified a number of asymmetries based on moral judgments. Beliefs about what a person values, whether a person is happy, whether a person has shown weakness of will, and whether a person deserves praise or blame seem to depend critically on whether participants themselves find the agent's behavior to be morally good or bad. To date, however, the origins of these asymmetries remain unknown. The present studies examine whether beliefs about an agent's “true self” explain these observed (...) asymmetries based on moral judgment. Using the identical materials from previous studies in this area, a series of five experiments indicate that people show a general tendency to conclude that deep inside every individual there is a “true self” calling him or her to behave in ways that are morally virtuous. In turn, this belief causes people to hold different intuitions about what the agent values, whether the agent is happy, whether he or she has shown weakness of will, and whether he or she deserves praise or blame. These results not only help to answer important questions about how people attribute various mental states to others; they also contribute to important theoretical debates regarding how moral values may shape our beliefs about phenomena that, on the surface, appear to be decidedly non-moral in nature. (shrink)
Sex, Morality, and the Law combines legal and philosophical arguments to focus on six controversial topics; homosexual sex, prostitution, pornography, abortion, sexual harassment, and rape. Suitable for use in several disciplines at both undergraduate and graduate levels, this anthology includes critical court decisions and essays representing a diversity of conservative, liberal, and feminist positions.
George Karamanolis breaks new ground in the study of later ancient philosophy by examining the interplay of the two main schools of thought, Platonism and Aristotelianism, from the first century BC to the third century AD. Arguing against prevailing scholarly assumption, he argues that the Platonists turned to Aristotle only in order to elucidate Plato's doctrines and to reconstruct Plato's philosophy, and that they did not hesitate to criticize Aristotle when judging him to be at odds with Plato. Karamanolis (...) offers much food for thought to ancient philosophers and classicists. (shrink)
This paper examines people's reasoning about identity continuity and its relation to previous research on how people value one-of-a-kind artifacts, such as artwork. We propose that judgments about the continuity of artworks are related to judgments about the continuity of individual persons because art objects are seen as physical extensions of their creators. We report a reanalysis of previous data and the results of two new empirical studies that test this hypothesis. The first study demonstrates that the mere categorization of (...) an object as “art” versus “a tool” changes people's intuitions about the persistence of those objects over time. In a second study, we examine some conditions that may lead artworks to be thought of as different from other artifacts. These observations inform both current understanding of what makes some objects one-of-a-kind as well as broader questions regarding how people intuitively think about the persistence of human agents. (shrink)
The present studies investigated children’s and adults’ intuitive beliefs about the physical nature of essences. Adults and children (ranging in age from 6 to 10 years old) were asked to reason about two different ways of determining an unknown object’s category: taking a tiny internal sample from any part of the object (distributed view of essence), or taking a sample from one specific region (localized view of essence). Results from three studies indicated that adults strongly endorsed the distributed view, and (...) children showed a developmental shift from a localized to distributed view with increasing age. These results suggest that even children go beyond mere placeholder notions of essence, committing to conceptual frameworks of how essences might be physically instantiated. (shrink)
The concept of authenticity plays an important role in how people reason about objects, other people, and themselves. However, despite a great deal of academic interest in this concept, to date, the precise meaning of the term, authenticity, has remained somewhat elusive. This paper reviews the various definitions of authenticity that have been proposed in the literature and identifies areas of convergence. We then outline a novel framework that organizes the existing definitions of authenticity along two key dimensions: describing the (...) type of entity that is evaluated and describing the source of information that is consulted. We argue that this convergence across a number of papers, and more importantly, across a number of domains, reflects significant progress in articulating the meaning of authenticity. We conclude by suggesting new avenues for research in this area, with particular attention toward psychological process. (shrink)
This book challenges the conventional wisdom that improving democratic politics requires keeping emotion out of it. Marcus advances the provocative claim that the tradition in democratic theory of treating emotion and reason as hostile opposites is misguided and leads contemporary theorists to misdiagnose the current state of American democracy. Instead of viewing the presence of emotion in politics as a failure of rationality and therefore as a failure of citizenship, Marcus argues, democratic theorists need to understand that emotions are in (...) fact a prerequisite for the exercise of reason and thus essential for rational democratic deliberation and political judgment. Attempts to purge emotion from public life not only are destined to fail, but ultimately would rob democracies of a key source of revitalization and change. Drawing on recent research in neuroscience, Marcus shows how emotion functions generally and what role it plays in politics. In contrast to the traditional view of emotion as a form of agitation associated with belief, neuroscience reveals it to be generated by brain systems that operate largely outside of awareness. Two of these systems, "disposition" and "surveillance," are especially important in enabling emotions to produce habits, which often serve a positive function in democratic societies. But anxiety, also a preconscious emotion, is crucial to democratic politics as well because it can inhibit or disable habits and thus clear a space for the conscious use of reason and deliberation. If we acknowledge how emotion facilitates reason and is "cooperatively entangled" with it, Marcus concludes, then we should recognize sentimental citizens as the only citizens really capable of exercising political judgment and of putting their decisions into action. (shrink)
Remarkably accessible, Affective Intelligence and Political Judgment urges social scientists to move beyond the idealistic notion of the purely rational citizen to form a more complete, realistic model that includes the emotional side of ...
The Twin Earth thought experiment invites us to consider a liquid that has all of the superficial properties associated with water (clear, potable, etc.) but has entirely different deeper causal properties (composed of “XYZ” rather than of H2O). Although this thought experiment was originally introduced to illuminate questions in the theory of reference, it has also played a crucial role in empirically informed debates within the philosophy of psychology about people’s ordinary natural kind concepts. Those debates have sought to accommodate (...) an apparent fact about ordinary people’s judgments: Intuitively, the Twin Earth liquid is not water. We present results from four experiments showing that people do not, in fact, have this intuition. Instead, people tend to have the intuition that there is a sense in which the liquid is not water but also a sense in which it is water. We explore the implications of this finding for debates about theories of natural kind concepts, arguing that it supports views positing two distinct criteria for membership in natural kind categories – one based on deeper causal properties, the other based on superficial, observable properties. (shrink)
The concept of authenticity is central to how people value many different types of objects and yet there is considerable disagreement about how individuals evaluate authenticity or how the concept itself should be defined. This paper attempts to reconcile previous approaches by proposing a novel view of authenticity. Specifically, I draw upon past research on psychological essentialism and propose that when people evaluate the authenticity of objects, they do so by evaluating the extent to which the object embodies or reflects (...) a valued essence. I suggest that this explanation of authenticity provides an overarching framework that describes how people evaluate object authenticity across a variety of contexts and I report the results of three experiments that directly test the predictions made by this explanation. (shrink)
A new theory of vision -- A treatise concerning the principles of human knowledge (part i) -- Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous -- An essay on motion -- Alciphron, or, The minute philosopher (excerpts) -- Siris: a chain of philosophical reflexions and inquiries concerning the virtues of tar-water (excerpts).
This article shows how, in recent works of cultural analysis, the concept of ‘assemblage’ has been been derived from key sources of theory and put to work to provide a structure-like surrogate to express certain prominent values of a modernist sensibility in the discourse of description and analysis. Assemblage is a sort of anti-structural concept that permits the researcher to speak of emergence, heterogeneity, the decentred and the ephemeral in nonetheless ordered social life. There are other related concepts, like collage, (...) which have been used to give these values substance in research, but currently assemblage is enjoying a popularity perhaps because of the continuing fascination of the work of Deleuze and Guattari. (shrink)