In this paper I sketch a reconstruction of the basic psychoanalytic conception of the mind in terms of two historical resources: the conception of the subject developed in post-Kantian idealism, and Spinoza's laws of the affects in Part Three of the Ethics. The former, I suggest, supplies the conceptual basis for the psychoanalytic notion of the unconscious, while the latter defines the type of psychological causality of psychoanalytic explanations. The imperfect fit between these two elements, I claim, (...) is reflected in familiar conceptual difficulties surrounding psychoanalytictheory and explanation. (shrink)
The immensely influential work of Jacques Lacan challenges readers both for the difficulty of its style and for the wide range of intellectual references that frame its innovations. Lacan’s work is challenging too, for the way it recentres psychoanalysis on one of the most controversial points of Freud’s theory – the concept of a self-destructive drive or ‘death instinct’. Originally published in 1991, _Death and Desire_ presents in Lacanian terms a new integration of psychoanalytictheory in which (...) the battery of key Freudian concepts – from the dynamics of the Oedipus complex to the topography of ego, id, and superego – are seen to intersect in Freud’s most far-reaching and speculative formulation of a drive toward death. Boothby argues that Lacan repositioned the theme of death in psychoanalysis in relation to Freud’s main concern – the nature and fate of desire. In doing so, Lacan rediscovered Freud’s essential insights in a manner so nuanced and penetrating that prevailing assessments of the death instinct may well have to be re-examined. Although the death instinct is usually regarded as the most obscure concept in Freud’s metapsychology, and Lacan to be the most perplexing psychoanalytic theorist, Richard Boothby’s straightforward style makes both accessible. He illustrates the coherence of Lacanian thought and shows how Lacan’s work comprises a ‘return to Freud’ along new and different angles of approach. Written with an eye to the conceptual structure of psychoanalytictheory, _Death and Desire_ will appeal to psychoanalysts and philosophers alike. (shrink)
This article seeks to clarify the potential that Herbert Marcuse's and Theodor W. Adorno's psychoanalytic accounts may have with respect to the philosophy of education today. Marcuse and Adorno both share the view that psychoanalytictheory enables a deeper understanding of the social and biological dynamics of consciousness. For both thinkers, psychoanalytictheory provides conceptual tools for thinking through contradictions between the needs of an individual and those of the governing entity. In fleshing this out, (...) I first explore Marcuse's radical account of sublimation which seeks to demonstrate how the revision of instinctual energy makes it possible to establish a subjectivity which utilises the human potentiality to its fullest. I then turn to Adorno who emphasises the importance of understanding that exterior conditions transform our instinctual energies. After recapitulating Adorno's conception of natural, instinctual impulses and his use of psychoanalytictheory, I will explore the possibility of a critical rationality through a critique of rationality's current mode. From the perspective of Adorno's and Marcuse's theories, both rationality and sensuous desire play their respective roles in enabling critical rationality. In conclusion, the article reflects the different advantage points of Marcuse's and Adorno's accounts from the perspective of philosophy of education. Thus, education should provide individuals with the ability to recognise the subtle and invisible ways through which the calculating mode of rationality operates in late-capitalist society. Regarding education, Adorno's conception of non-identity could be developed in the direction of promoting ways of experiencing non-conformity within such a society. (shrink)
What is the place of PsychoanalyticTheory on our map of knowledge and belief? Various alternatives are considered. Is it a scientific theory? — a myth? — or like a prescientific example of natural philosophy? — a branch of medical knowledge? — a premature empirical synthesis that is an approximation to the truth? Each of these answers runs into objections and difficulties, some of which are examined or noted. On the assumption that it is a provisional story (...) which approximates to the truth, the question is then raised: what can we do to find out how much of an approximation to the truth the theory really is? The relevance and value of psychological studies are discussed; and the suggestion is made that the status of PsychoanalyticTheory will remain an ambiguous one for some time to come. (shrink)
PsychoanalyticTheory, Research and Clinical Practice: Reading Joseph D. Lichtenberg explores both Lichtenberg’s psychoanalytic theoretical contributions and innovations in clinical technique, and how these have influenced the work of other psychoanalysts and researchers. Lichtenberg’s approach integrates a developmental perspective on the life cycle, self-psychology, attachment theory, and his theory of motivational systems. The commentaries in this volume are divided into several sections. Section One is devoted to informal interviews with Lichtenberg that portray an account of (...) the evolution of psychoanalysis through Lichtenberg’s eyes interwoven with the development of his own psychoanalytic identity. Section Two celebrates the role of friendship within his psychoanalytic circle, and Section Three highlights his leadership role in the development of creative structures: the journal _Psychoanalytic Inquiry; _The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and its training programs; and the ongoing Creativity Seminar. Additional sections provide commentary by psychoanalysts and researchers which demonstrate Lichtenberg’s theoretical and clinical impact on his colleagues. PsychoanalyticTheory, Research and Clinical Practice provides an in-depth encounter with a major contributor to the psychoanalytic field. Engagement with the openness, flexibility, and inquiring spirit of Joseph D. Lichtenberg offers respect for and hope in the psychoanalytic process. This book is essential reading for psychoanalysts, mental health professionals, and graduate students interested in how theory, research and technique are creatively integrated by a renowned psychoanalytic clinician and teacher. (shrink)
Freezing is a common sign of panic, a response to accidents or events that overflow our capacity to react. Just as all civil airspace was cleared after the 9/11 attacks, the US-Canada border was also frozen, causing economic slowdowns. Border policies are caught between these two panics: security failures and economic crisis. To escape this paradox, American and Canadian authorities have implemented a series of security measures to make the border ‘smarter’, notably the implementation of biometric identity documents and surveillance (...) by UAV Predator drones. Psychoanalytictheory can help us explain why the Canadian and American governments have invested so much money for so little evident or measurable increase in either security or economic flows. The article uses the notion of phantastic objects to explain these reactions to risk management at the US-Canada border. (shrink)
In this provocative contribution to both psychoanalytictheory and the philosophy of science, Louis Berger grapples with the nature of "consequential" theorizing, i.e., theorizing that is relevant to what transpires in clinical practice. By examining analysis as a genre of "state process formalism" - the standard format of scientific theories - Berger demonstrates why contemporary theorizing inevitably fails to explain crucial aspects of practice. His critique, in this respect, pertains both to the formal structure of psychoanalytic explanation (...) and the technical language through which this structure gains expression. The pragmatic recommendations that issue from this critique are illustrated with respect to a number of perennial problem areas besetting analysis and cognate disciplines. In a discussion that encompases theories of affect, issues in family therapy, the nature of first-language acquisition, and the philisophical topics of free will and determinism, Berger shows that certain systems of representation _can_ describe the psychological realm adequately, and that such systems necessarily follow modern physics in rejecting naive assumptions about the separability of theory and practice. His proposals culminate in a "nonhierarchical" conception of psychoanalytictheory that assigns a separate status to the clinically pragmatic level of theorizing. In both his critique of contemporary analysis and his reconstructive proposals, Berger fuses into a highly readable argument a fascinating range of insights culled from epistemology, linguistics, physics, logic, computer science, history, and aesthetics. More impressively still, he demonstrates how an investigation of psychoanalytictheory can serve as a vehicle for examining pervasive epistemological issues in both philosophy and the social sciences. (shrink)
This study examines the history of the psychoanalytictheory of mysticism, starting with the seminal correspondence between Freud and Romain Rolland concerning the concept of "oceanic feeling." Providing a corrective to current views which frame psychoanalysis as pathologizing mysticism, Parsons reveals the existence of three models entertained by Freud and Rolland: the classical reductive, ego-adaptive, and transformational (which allows for a transcendent dimension to mysticism). Then, reconstructing Rolland's personal mysticism (the "oceanic feeling") through texts and letters unavailable to (...) Freud, Parsons argues that Freud misinterpreted the oceanic feeling. In offering a fresh interpretation of Rolland's mysticism, Parsons constructs a new dialogical approach for psychoanalytictheory of mysticism which integrates culture studies, developmental perspectives, and the deep epistemological and transcendent claims of the mystics. (shrink)
The theory of repression is the cornerstone of the freudian edifice. hence this paper scrutinizes its foundations by examining freud's clinical arguments for the repression-aetiology of the psychoneuroses, and for the major causal role of repressed ideation in commiting "freudian slips", and in dreaming. the upshot of this scrutiny is that the fundamental reasoning by which freud sought to justify his theory was grievously flawed.
Routledge is now re-issuing this prestigious series of 204 volumes originally published between 1910 and 1965. The titles include works by key figures such asC.G. Jung, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Otto Rank, James Hillman, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney and Susan Isaacs. Each volume is available on its own, as part of a themed mini-set, or as part of a specially-priced 204-volume set. A brochure listing each title in the "International Library of Psychology" series is available upon request.
Psychoanalysis often claims that an appraisal of its constituent hypotheses necessitates a personal analysis on the part of the critic with respect to the latter's ability to render a worthwhile and insightful evaluation of psychoanalytictheory. The objection to this position, namely one of ?privileged access?, has been voiced in numerous contexts, but a philosophical defense of the position has rarely been offered. In this paper such a defense is put forth, and it is argued that psychoanalysis is, (...) in certain crucial respects, analogous to physics in its scientific or structural respects, and insofar as this analogy holds, certain claims about one's familiarity with the latter also hold with respect to the former. Thus, a knowledge of physics entails an understanding of the laboratory procedures whereby physicists carry on their investigations. In the case of psychoanalysis certain ?laboratory operations? and ?instruments? are identifiable also. Where in the physics laboratory the physicist deals with cyclotrons, thermometers and the like, the psychoanalyst deals with the character traits of himself and the analysand. The character trait is the instrument whereby the analyst understands the analysand in a specifically psychoanalytic manner. Since the philosopher must know how the physicist works in the physics laboratory in order to understand physics, one must also understand the laboratory methodology of the analyst. Without the experience of psychoanalysis, however, such an understanding is truncated at best and nonexistent at worst. (shrink)