This essay compares Sartre's existential psychoanalysis with Freud's psychoanalysis and Binswanger's Daseinsanalysis. On the one hand, Sartre's psychoanalysis, despite the pure phenomenological interpretation of the factical self (in the first part of Being and Nothingness), is ultimately metaphysically founded on the concept of 'human reality' (in the fourth part of the book), so that this psychoanalysis cannot be identified with the way of interpreting existence in the Daseinsanalyse. On the other hand, Sartre's phenomenological interpretation of the factical self implies that Freud's analysis of psychical phenomena is false, because the self 'is strictly to the degree that it signifies' (Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions) and is 'coextensive with consciousness' (Being and Nothingness).
Adeel Hamza and John Gannon
social category, though it has to be wondered if his ideas went far beyond his academic training. His insights into social phenomena were shaped not just by his comprehensive knowledge of sociology and anthropology and his proficiency in languages, but by
What, if not Durkheim’s ‘collective representations’ acquired during exalted states of effervescence, gives rise to society, culture and science? Marcel Mauss provides another answer by pointing to the different rhythms of social relationships and the human effort to synchronise them. The seasonal cycle of the Eskimo [Inuit], Mauss argues, is in accord with their game; hence people disperse in summer to pursue economic activities in small bands, while they congregate in dense house-complexes in winter and engage in ritual. It would appear that Mauss draws heavily on Boas’s contrast between the Kwakiutl winter celebrations and their ‘uninitiated’ livelihood in summer. These insights have traction for medical anthropologists who are interested in finding an anthropological explanation for the efficaciousness of ‘traditional’ medicines or ‘indigenous’ healing techniques.
Durkheim and Mauss's Intervention into the History of Philosophy
Erhard Schüttpelz and Martin Zillinger
Between 1900 and 1912, Durkheim, Mauss and other contributors of the L’Année Sociologique developed the most ambitious philosophical project of modern anthropology: a comparative and worldwide social history of philosophical categories. This article briefly summarises three phases of the ‘Category Project’ and gives a preliminary characterisation of its Hegelian ambitions. Further, it points out the common denominator in the diverse success stories of the Category Project, namely the reference to the human body as the site of collective consciousness. In a second step, the article traces the intricate genesis and after-life of the most important category of bodily efficacy and epistemological insight provided by Durkheim and Mauss: the elaboration of ‘effervescence’ and its manifestation of ‘totality’.
Julie Van der Wielen
Sartre's analysis of intersubjective relations through his concept of the look seems unable to give an account of intersubjectivity. By distinguishing the look as an ontological conflict from our relation with others in experience, we will see that actually intersubjectivity is not incompatible with this theory. Furthermore, we will see that the ontological conflict with the Other always erupts in experience in the form of an emotion, and thus always involves magic, and we will look into what the presence of the Other adds to such emotion. Emotions I have in front of the Other are directed toward my being-for-others, which escapes me by definition. This has a peculiar consequence when the imaginary is involved, which could help explain complexes such as narcissism and paranoia.
Rodney Needham (1923–2006)
W. S. F. Pickering
Rodney Needham died on 3 December, 2006, at the age of 83 after a longish illness. Influenced by Evans-Pritchard, he has been called the foremost British anthropologist of his day. He was Professor of Social Anthropology in Oxford from 1976 to 1990. Although far from being enamoured with the work of Durkheim, he showed a strong sympathy for the work of some of his disciples and was instrumental in bringing their work to the notice of English-speaking scholars. Amongst his great output of books and articles – about four hundred – there appeared in 1960 a translation of two essays by Robert Hertz with the title, Death and the Right Hand.
In my book, Sartre’s Anthropology as a Hermeneutics of Praxis (1998), I characterise the standpoint of the later Sartre – initially developed in Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960, hereafter CDR) – as a ‘hermeneutics of praxis’. The primary aim is reconstructive: by means of generalising Sartre’s conception in a certain direction I hope to be able, so to speak, ‘to go beyond Sartre by means of Sartre’. This implies both emphasising the strengths and distinguishing the shortcomings of Sartre’s standpoint, but also a serious attempt to develop it. One of my aims here is to work out the options that are opened up by such a generalisation.
Ruy Llera Blanes
In this article I explore the contemporary relevance of Émile Durkheim’s classic theory of anomie with respect to both the discipline of social anthropology and the study of politics in Africa. I take as a case study present-day, post-war Angola, where an activist mobilisation (the Revolutionary Movement) has engaged in what I call ‘anomic diagnostics’ in opposing the country’s current regime. Through a political reading of Durkheim’s theory, I suggest that, while the French author situates anomie and suicide as cause and consequence respectively within a conservative view of society, Angolan activists instead see anomie as the starting point for a progressive political proposition productive of rupture.
Claudette Kennedy, W. S. F. Pickering, and Nick Allen
The late Mrs Claudette Kennedy was a niece of Mauss and a great niece of Durkheim. On 1 September 1992, Bill Pickering (WP) and Nick Allen (NA) – of the then recently formed British Centre for Durkheimian Studies at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University – met Claudette Kennedy (CK) in her house in Oxford and recorded a conversation with her. She had certain firm memories of Emile Durkheim, her great uncle, but more of Marcel Mauss. In all probability, she was the only person then alive with such memories, especially those of Durkheim. Pierre Mauss might have had recollections of Marcel Mauss but his memory was said to be failing.
Durkheim on Solidarity and Social Morphology
Durkheim never repudiated or even revised the theory formulated in the Division, which was in its third edition by the time of the publication of his last major work. He did, however, admit privately to Mauss to having 'many hesitations' about bringing out a second edition, although he gave no indication of the nature of these reservations (1998a:277, 283). Furthermore his anthropological knowledge became more extensive after the publication of the Division, which is rather short on properly ethnographic materials (Lukes 1975:159; Allen 1995:49). It is not surprising, therefore, that his ideas concerning the social organisation of hunter-gatherer societies were modified.