This paper considers clinical psychoanalysis together with developmental psychology (particularly attachment theory), evolution, and neuroscience in the context a Bayesian account of confirmation and disconfrimation. -/- In it I argue that these converging sources of support indicate that the combination of relatively low predictive power and broad explanatory scope that characterise the theories of both Freud and Darwin suggest that Freud's theory, like Darwin's, may strike deeply into natural phenomena. -/- The same argument, however, suggests that conclusive confirmation for (...) Freudian hypotheses, as in the case of Darwin's, will come from outside the original domain of explanation sketched out by Freud. As in Darwin's case conclusive confirmation came from understanding the physical mechanisms or reproduction, in Freud's case it will come from understanding the neural mechanisms that realise the phenomena described in psychoanalysis. (shrink)
This study is a philosophical critique of the foundations of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis. As such, it also takes cognizance of his claim that psychoanalysis has the credentials of a natural science. It shows that the reasoning on which Freud rested the major hypotheses of his edifice was fundamentally flawed, even if the probity of the clinical observations he adduced were not in question. Moreover, far from deserving to be taken at face value, clinical data from the psychoanalytic treatment (...) setting are themselves epistemically quite suspect. (shrink)
What is behind the upsurge of virulent nationalism and intransigent politics across the globe today? In Fear of Breakdown, Noëlle McAfee contends that politics needs something that only psychoanalysis has been able to offer: an understanding of how to work through anxieties, ambiguity, fragility, and loss.
In a letter written in 1927, the French writer Romain Rolland asked Sigmund Freud to analyse the “oceanic feeling,” a religious feeling of oneness with the entire universe. I will argue that Rolland’s intentions in introducing the oceanic feeling to Freud were much more complex, multifaceted, and critical than most scholars have acknowledged. To this end, I will examine Rolland’s views on mysticism and psychoanalysis in his book-length biographies of the Indian saints Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, which he (...) wrote just after he mentioned the oceanic feeling to Freud in 1927. I will argue that Rolland’s primary intentions in appealing to the oceanic feeling in his 1927 letter to Freud—intentions less evident in his letters to Freud than in his biographies of Sri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda—were to challenge the fundamental assumptions of psychoanalysis from a mystical perspective and to confront Freud with a mystical “science of the mind” that he felt was more rigorous and comprehensive than Freud’s psychoanalytic science. (shrink)
This collection presents a broad and compelling overview of the most recent work by a world-renowned figure in contemporary thought. The book is in four parts: Koinonia, Polis, Psyche, Logos. The opening section begins with a general introduction to the author's views on being, time, creation, and the imaginary institution of society and continues with reflections on the role of the individual psyche in racist thinking and acting. The second part is a critique of those who now belittle and distort (...) the meaning of May 1968 and other movements of the sixties as well as the French Revolution. In part three, Castoriadis shows how psychoanalysis, like politics, can contribute to the project of individual and collective autonomy and challenges Lacan, Foucault, and Derrida, and others in his report on 'The State and Subject Today'. Finally he examines how Aristotle's original aporetic discovery and cover-up of the imagination were repeated by Kant, Freud, Heidegger, and even Merleau-Ponty. (shrink)
Social constructivist approaches to science have often been dismissed as inaccurate accounts of scientific knowledge. In this article, we take the claims of robust social constructivism (SC) seriously and attempt to find a theory which does instantiate the epistemic predicament as described by SC. We argue that Freudian psychoanalysis, in virtue of some of its well-known epistemic complications and conceptual confusions, provides a perfect illustration of what SC claims is actually going on in science. In other words, the features (...) SC mistakenly ascribes to science in general correctly characterize the epistemic status of Freudian psychoanalysis. This sheds some light on the internal disputes in the field of psychoanalysis, on the sociology of psychoanalytic movement, and on the “war” that has been waged over Freud's legacy with his critics. In addition, our analysis offers an indirect and independent argument against SC as an account of bona fide science, by illustrating what science would look like if it were to function as SC claims it does. (shrink)
In his account of critical theory as diagnosing social pathologies of reason, Axel Honneth has rehabilitated the analogy between critical theory and psychoanalysis – according to which the critical theorist stands in relation to the pathological social order as the analyst stands in relation to the analysand, and the aim of critical theory is to effect the diagnosis and, ultimately, the cure of social disorders or pathologies. In this article, I show that Honneth, like Habermas before him, has an (...) overly rationalistic understanding of how psychoanalysis works and crucially downplays the role of affect in the therapeutic process of working through. Looking to Freud’s papers on analytic technique, I show that psychoanalysis works first and foremost not through rational insight, but rather through the dynamic reworking of affect. I then discuss some of the implications of this for Habermas and Honneth’s conceptualization of critical theory. (shrink)
Shadow of the Other is a discussion of how the individual has two sorts of relationships with an "other"--other individuals. The first regards the other as a s work apart is her brilliant utilization of a systematic dialectical approach to her subject, always maintaining the delicate balance between opposing tensions: masculinity and femininity, subjectivity and objectivity, passivity and activity, love and aggression, fantasy and reality, modernism and postmodernism, the intrapsychic and the intersubjective. Benjamin s work apart is her brilliant utilization (...) of a systematic dialectical approach to her subject, always maintaining the delicate balance between opposing other as a mental repository fo unwanted characteristics cast from the self. Jessica benjamin shows the implications of this dual relationship for male/female hierarchy and offers a possibility for balancing the two. This book continues the author's well-known explorations of the themes of intersubjectivity and gender, taking up issues at the forefront of contemporary debates in feminist theory and psychoanalysis. (shrink)
This paper argues that psychoanalysis enables us to see mental disorder as rooted in emotional conflicts, particularly concerning aggression, to which our species has a natural liability. These can be traced in development, and seem rooted in both parent-offspring conflict and in-group cooperation for out-group conflict. In light of this we may hope that work in psychoanalysis and neuroscience will converge in indicating the most likely paths to a better neurobiological understanding of mental disorder.
This paper attempts in the first instance to clarify the application of the personal/sub-personal distinction to psychoanalysis and to indicate how this issue is related to that of psychoanalysis" epistemology. It is argued that psychoanalysis may be regarded either as a form of personal psychology, or as a form of jointly personal and sub-personal psychology, but not as a form of sub-personal psychology. It is further argued that psychoanalysis indicates a problem with the personal/sub-personal distinction itself (...) as understood by Dennett A revised view of the distinction, which is argued to reflect its true metaphysical significance, is proposed. (shrink)
This book critically examines Freud's own detailed arguments for his major explanatory and therapeutic principles, the current neorevisionist versions of psychoanalysis, and the hermeneuticists' reconstruction of Freud's theory and therapy as an alternative to what they claim was a “scientistic” misconstrual of the psychoanalytic enterprise. The clinical case for Freud's cornerstone theory of repression – the claim that psychic conflict plays a causal role in producing neuroses, dreams, and bungled actions – turns out to be ill-founded for two main (...) reasons: Even if clinical data were valid, the method of free association has failed to support the psychoanalytic theory of unconscious motivation; Clinical data tend in any case to be artifacts of the analyst's self-fulfilling expectations, thus losing much of their evidential value. The hypothesis that psychoanalytic treatment is in reality a placebo poses a serious challenge to the assumption that insight is a key causal factor when therapy is successful. This challenge has yet to be met by psychoanalysts. Similar conclusions undermine the neorevisionist versions of psychoanalysis. The most influential hermeneuticists, on the other hand, are shown to have imposed an alien philosophy on psychoanalysis, partly through their reliance on gross misconceptions of the natural sciences. Karl Popper's criticism of the Freudian corpus as empirically untestable has misjudged its evidential weaknesses, which are more subtle. If there exists empirical evidence for the principal psychoanalytic doctrines, it cannot be obtained without well-designed extraclinical studies of a kind that have for the most part yet to be attempted. (shrink)
The Freud Wars offers a comprehensive introduction to the crucial question of the justification of psychoanalysis. Part I examines three powerful critiques of psychoanalysis in the context of a recent controversy about its nature and legitimacy: is it a bankrupt science, an innovative science, or not a science at all but a system of interpretation? The discussion makes sense of the entrenched disagreement about the validity of psychoanalysis, and demonstrates how the disagreement is rooted in the theoretical (...) ambiguity of the central concept of psychoanalysis, the unconscious. This ambiguity is then presented as the pathway to a new way of understanding psychoanalysis, based on a mode of thinking that precedes division into mental and physical. The reader is drawn into a lively and thought-provoking analysis of the central issues: · What would it mean for psychoanalysis to count as a science? · Is psychoanalysis a form of hermeneutics? · How can mental and physical explanations coincide? Part II contains the source material for Part I: the influential critiques of psychoanalysis by Adolf Grünbaum, Thomas Nagel and Jürgen Habermas. No specialised knowledge is assumed, and the book is clear and accessible while still conveying the complexity and richness of the subject. It provides a fascinating introduction to philosophical thinking on psychoanalysis for students and practitioners of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and philosophy. (shrink)
Freud and the Politics of Psychoanalysis is a sympathetic critique of Freud's work, tracing its political content and context from his early writings on hysteria to his late essays on civilization and religion. Brunner's central claim is that politics is a pervasive and essential component of all of Freud's discourse, since Freud viewed both the psyche and society primarily as constellations of power and domination. Brunner shows that when read politically, Freud's discourse can be seen to unite mechanics and (...) meaning into a plausible, fruitful and internally consistent theory of the mind, therapy, family and society. Part one deals with the medical and political background of Freud's work. It explains how Freud postulated mental principles that were the same for all races and nations. The second part is concerned with the logic and language of Freud's theory of the mind. Brunner also details how Freud introduced dynamics of dominance and subjugation into the very core of the psyche. Part three addresses dynamics of power in the clinical setting, which Freud forged out of a curious blend of authoritarian and liberal elements. Brunner focuses on how this setting creates an arena for verbal politics. He also examines various social factors that influenced the therapeutic practice of psychoanalysis, such as class, gender and education. Part four explores Freud's analysis of the family and large-scale social institutions. Though Brunner is critical of the authoritarian bias in Freud's social theory, he suggests that it provides a useful vocabulary to unmask hidden psychological aspects of domination and subjection. (shrink)
The "ruin" of the transcendental tradition -- Freud and the transcendental relation -- Derrida: Differance and the "plural logic of the aporia" -- The im-possibility of the psyche -- The death drive and the im-possibility of psychoanalysis -- Institutional psychoanalysis and the paradoxes of archivization -- The Lacanian real -- Sexual difference -- Feminine sexuality -- The transcendental relation in Lancanian psychoanalysis -- The death drive and ethical action -- The "talking cure": language and psychoanalysis.
The influence of culture and sociohistorical change on all aspects of the psyche and on psychoanalytic theory is the missing dimension in psychoanalysis. This dimension is especially relevant to clinicians in the mental health field--whether psychoanalyst, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or marriage counselor--to enable them to understand what is at stake in working with those from various Asian cultures in North America and European societies. It is even more relevant than most clinicians realize to working with those from one's (...) own culture. Cultural Pluralism and Psychoanalysis explores the creative dialogue that the major psychoanalysts since Freud have had with the modern Northern European/North American culture of individualism; and tries to resolve major problems that occur when psychoanalysis, with its cultural legacy of individualism, is applied to those from various Asian cultures. Alan Roland first examines the theoretical issues involved in developing a multicultural psychoanalysis. He then looks at the interface between Asian-Americans and other Americans, discussing the frequent dissonances, miscommunications, and misunderstandings that result from each coming from vastly different cultural and psychological realms. Finally, Roland examines the various ways in which culture enters the space of psychoanalytic work with Asians in America, illustrating his clinical theory with case vignettes of immigrants and second and third generation patients in the United States. (shrink)
Marcia Cavell draws on philosophy, psychoanalysis, and the sciences of the mind in a fascinating and original investigation of human subjectivity. A "subject" is a creature, we may say, who recognizes herself as an "I," taking in the world from a subjective perspective; an agent, doing things for reasons, sometimes self-reflective, and able to assume responsibility for herself and some of her actions. If this is an ideal, how does a person become a subject, and what might stand in (...) the way? One of Marcia Cavell's guiding premises is that philosophical investigation into the specifically human way of being in the world cannot separate itself from investigations of a more empirical sort. Cavell brings together for the first time reflections in philosophy, findings in neuroscience, studies in infant development, psychoanalytic theory, and clinical vignettes from her own psychoanalytic practice. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to examine Merleau-Ponty’s idea of a “psychoanalysis of Nature”. My thesis is that in order to understand the creation of a Merleau-Pontean psychoanalysis, we need to ultimately understand the place of Schelling in Merleau-Ponty’s late thought. Through his dialogue with Schelling, Merleau-Ponty will be able to formulate not only a psychoanalysis of Nature, but also fulfil the ultimate task of phenomenology itself; namely, of identifying “what resists phenomenology—natural being, the ‘barbarous’ source (...) Schelling spoke of” and situating it precisely at the heart of phenomenology. The plan for studying this natural psychoanalysis is threefold. First, I provide an overview of the role psychoanalysis plays in the 1951 lecture, “Man and Adversity,” focusing especially on this lecture as a turning point in his thinking. Second, I chart how Merleau-Ponty’s psychoanalysis is informed by the various ways in which the unconscious is formulated in his thought, leading eventually to a dialogue with Schelling. Accordingly, in the final part of the paper, I trace the role of Schelling’s thought in the creation of a Merleau-Pontean psychoanalysis. As I argue, what distinguishes this psychoanalysis is the centrality of Schelling’s idea of the “barbaric principle,” which manifests itself as the notion of an unconscious indexing an “excess of Being” resistant to classical phenomenology. (shrink)
In Philosophy, psychoanalysis and the a-rational mind, Brakel focuses her discussion on the nature of primary process, and its relation to a range of philosophical views. While the discussion, and Brakel’s project, is both original and much-needed in the philosophy of psychoanalysis, in the end, I found the book disappointing. The arguments and connections are repeatedly indicative rather than deeply and cogently unified into a coherent whole.
The primary aim of this article is to point up an essential attitude, an anxiety even, that has inflected – and perhaps inhibited - our engagement with film. Film theory has been marked by a ‘refusal to see, a looking away’ (Mulvey & Wollen 1976, 36), and my suggestion is that this has achieved its fullest expression in those strands of film theory heavily influenced by psychoanalysis. These, in turn, have remained within a gendered conceptual framework whereby the discursive (...) or the narrative is associated with the masculine, and the image or spectacle is aligned with the feminine. This is not to reject these applications out of hand but rather to revisit this area with its blind spots in mind and to consider aspects that are perhaps at once obvious but often overlooked. (shrink)
_Disputed Subjects_ analyzes some of the assumptions behind the contemporary attraction to rationalistic notions of justice and knowledge and discusses why modernity cannot be emancipatory. The effects of gender relations in constituting modern political ideas and theories of knowledge are explored, while at the same time the author identifies problematic aspects of discourses such as psychoanalysis, postmodernism and feminist theorizing. Flax pays special attention to recurrent difficulties concerning maternity, sexuality and race within feminist theorizing, and she addresses the inadequacies (...) of postmodernist accounts of subjectivity and gender. She analyzes psychoanalysis as a discursive formation to identify its particular organization of knowledge and power. (shrink)
Psychological attitudes towards service and personal robots are selectively examined from the vantage point of psychoanalysis. Significant case studies include the uncanny valley effect, brain-actuated robots evoking magic mental powers, parental attitudes towards robotic children, idealizations of robotic soldiers, persecutory fantasies involving robotic components and systems. Freudian theories of narcissism, animism, infantile complexes, ego ideal, and ideal ego are brought to bear on the interpretation of these various items. The horizons of Human-robot Interaction are found to afford new and (...) fertile grounds for psychoanalytic theorizing beyond strictly therapeutic contexts. (shrink)
This paper investigates the historiographical utility of psychoanalysis, focussing in particular on retrospective explanations of demonic possession and exorcism. It is argued that while 'full-blown' psychoanalytic explanations-those that impose Oedipus complexes, anal eroticism or other sophisticated theoretical structures on the historical actors-may be vulnerable to the charge of anachronism, a weaker form of retrospective psychoanalysis can be defended as a legitimate historical lens. The paper concludes, however, by urging historians to look at psychoanalysis as well as trying (...) to look through it. Full-blown psychoanalysis is a bad historical lens but it may, in some cases, be an excellent explanatory template: a thorough understanding of how psychoanalytic therapy functions in the modern world is, for example, a good theoretical preparation for historians seeking to understand the sixteenth-century's demonological universe. (shrink)
Over the last century, psychoanalysis has transformed the ways in which we think about our relationships with others. Psychoanalytic concepts and methods, such as the unconscious and dream analysis, have greatly impacted on social, cultural and political theory. Reinterpreting the ways in which geography has explored people's mental maps and their deepest feelings about places, The Body and the City outlines a new cartography of the subject. Mapping key coordinates of meaning, identity and power across the sites of body (...) and city, author Steve Pile explores a wide range of critical thinking, particularly the work of Lefebvre, Freud and Lacan to present a pathbreaking psychoanalysis of space. (shrink)
Genealogies -- Psychoanalysis and archaeology -- Freud in the sacred grove -- Colonial rescriptings -- War, decolonization, psychoanalysis -- Colonial melancholy -- Haunting and the future -- The ethical ambiguities of transnational feminism -- Hamlet in the colonial archive.
This essay explores Derrida's work on repetition in psychoanalysis and what Freud, in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, called the ‘compulsion to repeat’. Revising the model of the psyche that had to that point dominated his theory, Freud began in 1920 to ascribe greater significance to experiences of trauma and unpleasure, and to their recurrence in the analytic treatment. This type of repeated repetition ultimately suggested to Freud the existence of a ‘death drive’ antithetical to life. I examine here how (...) Derrida re-reads Beyond in The Post Card, analysing the way uncontrollable effects of repetition repeatedly undo Freud's efforts to make any progress on what lies beyond the pleasure principle. Another ‘logic’ of repetition, other than the one Freud invokes, inhabits Freud's text, threatening the fundamental opposition between the life drives and the death drive. But in reading Freud in this way, Derrida himself cannot quite ‘do justice to’ Freud, to the ambivalence at work in Freud's text. At certain key moments in his reading of Beyond the Pleasure Principle, I show, Derrida seems to restrict an ambiguity in Freud's thinking around the relation between life and death. What Derrida's reading makes legible in part, then, is Derrida's resistance to psychoanalysis, the tension inhabiting Derrida's dealings with Freud in The Post Card and beyond. (shrink)
This essay examines how psychoanalytic conceptions of the subject and the object in the works of Freud and Lacan may contribute to a re-examination of the vexed issue of the subject–object relationship in science, philosophy and epistemology. For Freud, the ego is the essential subject, yet he regarded it as an always already objectified subject, which is objectively thinkable yet never subjectively knowable qua subject. Lacan conceptualised this Freudian principle of subjectivity with his notion of the divided (barred) subject, which (...) he initially designated as an effect of the symbolic order of language. As to the object, both Freud and Lacan emphasized its constitutive partiality, which explains why no object is ever fully capable of providing full satisfaction and why each and every object is flawed and cracked, thus triggering desire. Extending Freud’s idea of the ‘shadow of the object,’ Lacan captured the fundamental inadequacy of the object with his concept of the object a. As such, for Freud and Lacan, the subject–object relationship is problematic, because it concerns a relationship between a divided subject and a non-object (object a). In this relationship, the subject is not purely object and the object is not merely subject (in the Kantian sense), nor is the Hegelian subject–object identity more than an idealist aspiration. For psychoanalysis, the subject is always traversed by the object, yet the object can never be fully integrated into a subjectified structure of knowledge. The only way to conceive of an adequate subject–object relationship is at the level of fantasy. (shrink)
To precisely define wisdom has been an ongoing task of philosophers for millennia. Investigations into the psychological dimensions of wisdom have revealed several features that make exemplary persons "wise." Contemporary bioethicists took up this concept as they retrieved and adapted Aristotle's intellectual virtue of phronesis for applications in medical contexts. In this article, we build on scholarship in both psychology and medical ethics by providing an account of clinical wisdom qua phronesis in the context of the practice of psychoanalysis (...) and psychodynamic psychotherapy. With the support of qualitative data, we argue that the concept of clinical wisdom in mental healthcare shares several of the key ethical dimensions offered by standard models of phronesis in medical ethics and serves as a useful, albeit overlooked, reference point for a broader development of virtue-based medical ethics. We propose that the features of clinical wisdom are pragmatic skills that include, but are not limited to, an awareness of balance, the acceptance of paradox, and a particular clinical manner that maintains a deep regard for the other. We offer several suggestions for refining training programs and redoubling efforts to provide long-term mentorship opportunities for trainees in clinical mental healthcare in order to cultivate clinical wisdom. (shrink)
Subjectivity, for Descartes, emerged when he doubted the veracity of his knowledge. Instead of truth, he counted this knowledge to be inherited myth. Cartesian subjectivity has been helpful for forming a critical education predicated on doubting ideology and hegemony. But Marx indicates a very different kind of knowledge in his analysis of capitalism. This knowledge cannot be doubted because we do not acknowledge it in the first place. For a Marxian critical education a different ground must be found for subjectivity. (...)Psychoanalysis provides the theoretical resources for this subjectivity. Instead of negating the Cartesian project, psychoanalysis represents its advance. (shrink)
Is it ever permissible to publish a patient’s confidences without permission? I investigate this question for the field of psychoanalysis. Whereas most medical fields adopted a 1995 recommendation for consent requirements, psychoanalysis continues to defend the traditional practice of nonconsensual publication. Both the hermeneutic and the scientific branches of the field justify the practice, arguing that it provides data needed to help future patients, and both branches advance generalizations and causal claims. However the hermeneutic branch embraces methods tending (...) to undermine the reliability of such claims, while the scientific branch aims to improve the field’s empirical base – in their words, to advance psychoanalysis as a science. The scientific branch therefore has the stronger claim to the traditional practice, and it their claim that I consider. An immediate concern arises. We seem unable to answer the applied ethical question without first determining which ethical theory is correct; for defenders of the practice appeal variously to therapeutic privilege, principlism, and utilitarianism, while opponents wage autonomy-based arguments. The concern turns out to be unfounded, however, because all of these ethical approaches fail to justify the traditional practice. The more promising defenses fail partly because even the scientific branch of the field lacks empirically sound methods for establishing its causal claims and generalizations, often appealing to authority instead. I conclude that it is currently unethical for analysts to continue publishing their patients’ confidences without permission, and I suggest that the field help future patients by attending to its methodological problems. (shrink)
Peter Homans offers a new understanding of the origins of psychoanalysis and relates the psychoanalytic project as a whole to the sweep of Western culture, past and present. He argues that Freud's fundamental goal was the interpretation of culture and that, therefore, psychoanalysis is fundamentally a humanistic social science. To establish this claim, Homans looks back at Freud's self-analysis in light of the crucial years from 1906 to 1914 when the psychoanalytic movement was formed and shows how these (...) experiences culminated in Freud's cultural texts. By exploring the "culture of psychoanalysis," Homans seeks a better understanding of what a "psychoanalysis of culture" might be. Psychoanalysis, Homans shows, originated as a creative response to the withering away of traditional communities and their symbols in the aftermath of the industrial revolution. The loss of these attachments played a crucial role in the lives of the founders of psychoanalysis, especially Sigmund Freud but also Karl Abraham, Carl Jung, Otto Rank, and Ernest Jones. The personal, political, and religious losses that these figures experienced, the introspection that followed, and the psychological discovery that resulted are what Homans calls "the ability to mourn." Homans expands this historical analysis to construct a general model of psychological discovery: the loss of shared ideals and symbols can produce a deeper sense of self (psychological structure-building, or individuation) and can then lead to the creation of new forms of meaning and self-understanding. He shows how Freud, Jung, and other psychoanalysts began to extend their introspection outward, reinterpreting the meanings of Western art, history, and religion. In conclusion, Homans evaluates Freud's theory of culture and discusses the role that psychoanalysis might play in social and cultural criticism. Throughout the book, Homans makes use of the many histories, biographies, and psychobiographies that have been written about the origins of psychoanalysis, drawing them into a comprehensive sociocultural model. Rich in insights and highly original in approach, this work will interest psychoanalysts and students of Freud, sociologists concerned with modernity and psychoanalysis, and cultural critics in the fields of religion, anthropology, political science, and social history. (shrink)
Paulo Freire's major work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, owes adebt to psychoanalysis. In particular, as this paper argues,Freire's account of teacher authority needs to be understoodthrough psychoanalytic sensibilities. Paulo Freire maintains thatteacher authority can be ``on the side of freedom.'' This is ahighly charged claim given that liberalist traditions generallycast authority as the enemy of freedom. Breaking with liberalunderstandings of authority, Freire's ``authority on the sideof freedom'' is a matter of maintaining the delicate psychicbalance that leads neither to domination (...) nor to submission.This paper investigates how such an authoritative balance functions. (shrink)
Slavoj Žižek and Julia Kristeva have followed strikingly similar paths in their intellectual and political development, moving from Marxism through psychoanalysis to Christianity. This article traces the way they have distanced themselves from Marxism and taken up psychoanalysis, of either the Freudian or Lacanian variety. For Kristeva, psychoanalysis provides the therapeutic solution to individual and at times social problems, whereas for Žižek it is the best description of those problems without necessarily providing answers. However, through psychoanalysis, (...) they have gone a step further and become enamoured with Christianity, especially Paul’s letters in the New Testament and the doctrine of love. Paul provides for Kristeva another and earlier version of psychoanalytic solutions, but he enables Žižek to find the social and political answers for which he seeks. By connecting these intellectual moves with their own departures from Eastern Europe, one from Yugoslavia and the other from Bulgaria, I argue that their search for redemption, of both personal and social forms, betrays a residual socialism. In fact, their moves into psychoanalysis and Christianity may be read as compensations for a lost socialism, so much so that Žižek at least makes a belated recovery of Marx through Christianity and Kristeva can never quite excise Marx from her thought. (shrink)
Ever since Freud, psychoanalysts have explored the connections between psychoanalysis and literature and psychoanalysis and philosophy, while literary criticism, social science and philosophy have all reflected on and made use of ideas from psychoanalytic theory. The Academic Face of Psychoanalysis presents contributions from these fields and gives the reader an insight into different understandings and applications of psychoanalytic theory. This book comprises twelve contributions from experts in their fields covering philosophy, psychoanalysis, sociology and literary theory. The (...) chapters are divided into three distinct sections: Psychoanalysis Philosophy Social science and literary theory Louise Braddock and Michael Lacewing successfully bring these contributions together with an in-depth introduction that allows the reader to explore the connections between the different disciplines. The multi-disciplinary approach to this book is rare; it will appeal to academics and students, from the subject areas of psychoanalysis, humanities and social science. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis article argues that, although psychoanalysis and history have different conceptions of time and causality, there can be a productive relationship between them. Psychoanalysis can force historians to question their certainty about facts, narrative, and cause; it introduces disturbing notions about unconscious motivation and the effects of fantasy on the making of history. This was not the case with the movement for psychohistory that began in the 1970s. Then the influence of American ego‐psychology on history‐writing promoted the idea (...) of compatibility between the two disciplines in ways that undercut the critical possibilities of their interaction. The work of the French historian Michel de Certeau provides theoretical insight into the uses of incommensurability, while that of Lyndal Roper demonstrates both its limits and its value for enriching historical understanding. (shrink)
Paul Ricœur’s hermeneutic approach to psychoanalysis stresses the interpretation of meanings revealed via the narratives woven through the discursive exchanges between analyst and analysand. Despite the tremendous influence Ricœur’s interpretation enjoyed both in philosophy and in psychoanalysis, his approach has been subject to severe criticism by Adolf Grünbaum who argues that Freud modeled psychoanalysis on the natural sciences, and therefore it should be judged according to natural scientific standards. I argue that Grünbaum incorrectly downplays the importance of (...) speech and language in psychoanalytic theory and practice, and moreover, that Ricœur’s approach offers important insights that deserve to be redeployed today. (shrink)
_The paper reviews some ways that the social and psychic have been understood in psychoanalysis and argues that a model for understanding the relation between the psychic and the social must account both for the ways that we internalize oppressive norms as well as the ways we resist them. The author proposes that we build our identities in relation to other identities circulating in our culture and that cultural hierarchies of sexism, racism, classism push us to split off part (...) of what it means to be human, thereby creating painful individual and relational repetition compulsions. These "normative unconscious processes" replicate the unjust social norms that cause psychic pain in the first place. The paper concludes with thoughts about contemporary US culture, in which the government has abdicated responsibility toward its most vulnerable citizens and has thus rendered vulnerability and dependence shameful states._. (shrink)
This article argues that Stanley Cavell's notion of moral perfectionism must be understood, within the American cultural context, as deeply intertwined with myths of heroic American masculinity. It traces connections between Cavell's descriptions of moral perfectionism, the transcendentalist authors on whom he relies, and writings about the myth of the American frontier hero. When understood as a tradition of masculinity, it becomes possible to trace moral perfectionism across much wider areas of American cinematic culture than Cavell's reading suggests; Good Will (...) Hunting is used as an example which further illuminates the relationship between moral perfectionism and American masculinities. Psychoanalysis, a major feature of Good Will Hunting as well as an important aspect of Cavellian moral perfectionism, must also be revisited in terms of the differences in its popular mythologisation for men versus for women. (shrink)
Farhad Dalal argues that people differentiate between races in order to make a distinction between the "haves" and "must-not-haves", and that this process is cognitive, emotional and political rather than biological. Examining the subject over the past thousand years, Race, Colour and the Process of Racialisation covers theories of racism and a general theory of difference based on the works of Fanon, Elias, Matte-Blanco and Foulkes, as well as application of this theory to race and racism. Farhad Dalal concludes that (...) the structures of society are reflected in the structures of the psyche, and both of these are colour coded. This book will be invaluable to students, academics and practitioners in the areas of psychoanalysis, group analysis, psychotherapy and counseling. (shrink)
This is a timely and stimulating collection of essays on the importance of Freudian thought for analytic philosophy, investigating its impact on mind, ethics, sexuality, religion and epistemology. Marking a clear departure from the long-standing debate over whether Freudian thought is scientific or not, _The Analytic Freud_ expands the framework of philosophical inquiry, demonstrating how fertile and mutually enriching the relationship between philosophy and psychoanalysis can be. The essays are divided into four clear sections, addressing the implications of Freud (...) for philosophy of mind, ethics, sexuality and civilisation. The authors discuss the problems psychoanalysis poses for contemporary philosophy as well as what philosophy can learn from Freud's legacy and undeniable influence. For instance, _The Analytic Freud_ discusses the problems presented by pyschoanalytic theories of the mind for the philosophy of language; the issues which current theories of mind and meaning raise for psychoanalytic accounts of emotion, metaphor, the will and self-deception; the question whether psychoanalytic theory is essential in understanding sexuality, love, humour and the tensions which arise out of personal relationships. _The Analytic Freud_ is a critical and thorough examination of Freudian and post-Freudian theory, adding a welcome and significant dimension to the debate between psychoanalysis and contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
Neither the lived body, taken up by Merleau-Ponty after Husserl, nor the libidinal body theorised by psychanalysts after Freud, can be reduced to the counted, measured, physical body, apprehended only from outside. Both phenomenology and psychoanalysis set forth the priority of a global subjective lived body, approached "from within". However, their perspectives seem to differ when it comes to the conception of the interiority of this lived body, which psychoanalysis deems as imaginary. This paper examines the similarities and (...) discrepancies between the Merleau-Pontyan phenomenological body and the Freudian erogenous body. It attempts to show how the very categories of perception and imagination are reversed when moving from one discipline to the other. It concludes by proposing some lines along which the comparison could be prolonged. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
The relationship existing between science and psychoanalysis has long been tense, critical, even hostile. Andre Haynal addresses this relationship by examining three questions: how is psychoanalytic "knowledge" established? what methodology and epistemology underlie psychoanalytic theory? and what are the historical circumstances that have shaped psychoanalysis? Haynal is familiar with the full spectrum of analytic thought and begins with a systematic discussion of analytic theory. The second part of the book covers a series of historical topics and includes discussions (...) of Freud and his relations with his followers. A chapter on Freud and his "favorite disciple," Sandor Ferenczi, is an engrossing account of the complex intellectual and personal connection the two men shared. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s analogy between psychoanalysis and his later philosophical methods is explored and developed. Historical evidence supports the claim that Wittgenstein characterized an early version of his general remarks on philosophy (§§89-133 in the Philosophical Investigations) as a sustained comparison with psychoanalysis. A non-adversarial, therapeutic interpretation is adopted towards Wittgenstein which emphasizes his focus on dissolving the metaphysical puzzlement of particular troubled individuals. A “picture” of Freudian psychoanalysis is sketched which highlights several features of Freud’s therapeutic techniques and (...) his conception of a neurosis. This portrait of Freud’s methods is used as an “object of comparison” for drawing attention to important aspects of Wittgenstein’s later practice of philosophy. Wittgenstein’s therapeutic conception of philosophy, though concerned with ordinary linguistic practices, is held to focus primarily on rooting out the prejudices and dogmas which lie at the heart of the puzzled philosopher’s inclinations to make metaphysical assertions. (shrink)
The essay explores the concept of interpretation in Freudian psychoanalysis as an act of reading. Freud understands the appearance of dreams and unconscious phantasies in analogy to the structure of perceptual images. On the one hand, he conceives of the patients’ verbal accounts of those images as a specific kind of ekphrasis. On the other hand, the images themselves are regarded as distorted versions of an underlying »dream text« rendering the fundamental desire that the images express and conceal at (...) the same time. The essay shows that the complex system of translations between different layers of text and image in Freud is based on the assumption that the dream images themselves can be analyzed as texts only mimicking the »natural« appearance of perceptions. Freud’s notion of the »rebus« is central to this discussion. The final part examines Freud’s reading of Michelangelo’s Moses statue in the church San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome. It demonstrates how the Freudian method of interpretation itself reduces the sculpture to a set of signs, making it perform a mimicry of textual systems. (shrink)
Before embarking upon the project of reformulating psychoanalysis in the 'scientific' terminology of cognitive science, we should first clearly define what psychoanalysis is about and what it is not about. Cognitive science is based upon a functionalistic philosophy of the mind. As a consequence such a project would require a functionalistic core theory of psychoanalysis. But Freud's claim of the therapeutic effect of psychoanalysis, attained through the rendering conscious of what is unconscious or the making personal (...) of what is experienced by the neurotic patient as impersonal, cannot be explained by a functionalistic theory of the mind We examine Freud's claim and conclude that there ought to be a philosophy of qualia at the core of psychoanalysis. (shrink)
In this paper, I compare three different views of the relation between subjectivity and modernity: one proposed by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, a second by theorists of institutionalised individualisation, and a third by writers in the Foucaultian tradition of studies of the history of governmentalities. The theorists were chosen because they represent very different understandings of the relation between contemporary history and subjectivity. My purpose is to ground psychoanalytic theory about what humans need in history and so to question what it means (...) to talk ahistorically about what humans need in order to thrive psychologically. Only in so doing can one assess the relation between psychoanalysis and progressive politics. I conclude that while psychoanalysis is a discourse of its time, it can also function as a counter-discourse and can help us understand the effects on subjectivity of a more than thirty year history in the West of repudiating dependency needs and denying interdependence. (shrink)
Freud described religion as the universal obsessional neurosis, and uncompromisingly rejected it in favor of "science". Ever since, there has been the assumption that psychoanalysts are hostile to religion. Yet, from the beginning, individual analysts have questioned Freud's blanket rejection of religion. In this book, David Black brings together contributors from a wide range of schools and movements to discuss the issues. They bring a fresh perspective to the subject of religion and psychoanalysis, answering vital questions such as: · (...) How do religious stories carry (or distort) psychological truth? · How do religions 'work', psychologically? · What is the nature of religious experience? · Are there parallels between psychoanalysis and particular religious traditions? Psychoanalysis and Religion in the 21st Century will be of great interest to psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic therapists, psychodynamic counselors, and anyone interested in the issues surrounding psychoanalysis, religion, theology and spirituality. (shrink)
This powerful study is based on the premise that literary theory is important because literature is important. Bugliani explores the intersection of tragedy with philosophy and psychoanalysis. A threefold purpose is evident: to examine the tension between philosophy and literature, to discuss the teaching of tragedy and finally to discuss that teaching in the works of Lacan, Marcel and, above all, Paul Claudel.