Review of Esther Rashkin, UNSPEAKABLE SECRETS AND THE PSYCHOANALYSIS OF CULTURE
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).
Thoughts on Sartre, Lacan, and Contemporary Psychoanalysis
This article is a reply to Blake Scott’s discussion of the Sartrean critique of Lacan that I present in three chapters of Sartre and Psychoanalysis. Here I revisit those chapters, written 25 years ago, with questions about how I might approach Lacan today. I also discuss how I might approach recent developments in psychoanalysis, some of which are influenced by both Lacan and postmodernism. While I still think Lacan does not give an adequate account of agency and responsibility, there are definitely parallels between Sartre and Lacan and even a significant, though ambiguous, debt that Lacan owes to Sartre, similar to the often-neglected influence of Sartre on postmodern philosophy. The rest of the article considers the influence of postmodernism and existential phenomenology on contemporary psychoanalysis. Despite certain theoretical difficulties, the relational and intersubjective emphasis in much of contemporary psychoanalysis, combined with a rejection of drive theory, is in some ways surprisingly compatible with Sartre’s requirements for an existential psychoanalysis.
The Epistemology of Ethnographic Field Research
In this article I sketch out some fundamental aspects of ethnographic practice and understanding within the framework of phenomenology and psychoanalysis. Their synthesis, created through continuous field research and self-transformative thinking, offers a deeper understanding of psyche, unconscious, and imagination as the generative matrix of human cultural life-worlds. Moreover, this view posits ethnographic experience and creation of critical gnosis as the primary condition for the restoration of anthropological self-understanding and the pursuit of truth-bound knowledge and action.
A Personal Journey
Starting with a reflection on the experience of his own analysis, conducted in German by a German analyst, the author explores the problems of psychoanalytic work carried out in a cross-cultural context. First, the Hindu world-view and its three major elements, moksha, dharma, and karma, are explained. The cultural belief in a person's inner limitations is contrasted with the Western mind-set of individual achievement. The high value that Hindu society places on connection as opposed to separation and how this affects notions of gender and the sense of one's body is discussed. The article then returns to the author's experiences in analysis and his conclusions about the nature of cultural transference and counter-transference and the optimal approach toward psychoanalysis with regard to differing cultural backgrounds.
The central thesis of this article is that psychoanalysis is an organic offshoot of that evolutionary process called religion. As such it has more in common with the world's religions than it would care to admit. Nor would the world's religions feel particularly excited about admitting psychoanalysis in their midst, for its inclusion forces a rethinking of their place in human development. Using Keats's "Ode to a Nightingale," the author looks at the pain of human existence and how it has resulted in the concepts of soul, God, and immortality. The nature of sentience—being aware of one's awareness—is examined. The article asserts that psychoanalysis is the process by which the soul examines itself, thought examines thinking, and life examines its meaning. The author describes religion, soul theory, and psychoanalysis as having evolved naturally and necessarily from human existence and experience, and views them as necessary dimensions of existence.
A Defense of Lacanian Responsibility
In this article, I reconsider the philosophical significance of Jacques Lacan’s reading of Freud in light of Jean-Paul Sartre’s early critique of Freudian psychoanalysis. Since direct comparisons between the work of Sartre and Lacan are sparse in the English literature, Betty Cannon’s comprehensive treatment proves to be an invaluable resource in opening up this line of inquiry. I claim that one reason for the limited attention given to comparisons of their work is the continued strength of the polemics between humanism and structuralism. Lacan’s structuralism is regularly indicted by humanists for failing to provide a conception of subjective responsibility in the way that Sartre’s humanism does. Taking Cannon’s critique of Lacanian psychoanalysis on this issue as a point of departure, I argue that a conception of subjective responsibility can be found throughout Lacan’s work, serving as a point of common ground upon which further inquiry—particularly of Sartre’s later work—might begin.
This chapter examines the ironic reversals found in many psychoan- alytic interpretations, looking especially at their construal of the rela- tionship between illness and agency. Freudian interpretations take two different forms, one associated with the current uses of illness, the other with its infantile origins. I argue that these two ways of reading illness draw their structures from the two most inﬂuential forms of irony in Western literature. Interpretations stressing the cur- rent uses of neurotic symptoms follow a pattern laid down by rhetor- ical irony, in which the ironist’s seeming innocence or incapacity conceals a strategic aim. Those tracing neurosis to its infantile origins follow the pattern of dramatic irony; here the concern is with hidden forces shaping a victim’s destiny.
Jacqueline Rose, The Question of Zion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005).
Mira Sucharov, The International Self: Psychoanalysis and the Search for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (Albany: SUNY Press, 2005).
Thomas R. Flynn
Despite Sartre's almost proverbial rejection of Freudian psychoanalysis, Jean-Pierre Boulé places the philosopher himself on the couch in a wonderfully detailed and suggestive work. He notes that the fruit of his study may well be "to help us gain a better understanding of Sartre as an embodied sexual being and possibly demonstrate a new way of connecting biography with oeuvre." After analyzing Boulé's argument and considering the psychoanalytic method itself, I address this last claim about relating Sartre's biography and oeuvre, especially in view of the integral role assigned biography in any existentialist theory of history.