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Freud’s Scientific Revolution: A Reading of His Early Works

: Saul Haimovich

Originally published in Hebrew, the book presents the first thorough analysis of Freud’s Project for a Scientific Psychology for Neurologists while relating to all its strata (evolutionary, physiological, psychological and linguistic) and deciphering their complex internal integration.  Its conclusions challenge the accepted literature by presenting a re-evaluation of the text’s place in the Freudian revolution.   The author of this uncompromising book provides the reader with a richer and more intellectually stimulating framework than previously available for the study and interpretation of Freud’s work.  The importance of this book, the outcome of a meticulous reading of Freud’s early work, lies in the author’s description of Freud’s efforts to develop a new scientific paradigm, rooted in his understanding that the mind-body problem lacks content.   Intended for psychoanalysts, philosophers of science, literary critics, Freudians, anti-Freudians, as well as the interested lay-reader, this book provides a fascinating analysis of Freud’s early works. Read more…

A Priest’s Affair

: Symington, Neville

This is the story of a Roman Catholic priest in the grip of a new fanaticism – the bigotry that gripped many priests in the wake if the Second Vatican Council – and of his consequential sudden descent into madness. It is also an exploration of deeper existential questions concerning the nature of personal freedom and its dangers, the inherent frustration of profoundly different beliefs within a single creed, and the search for a personal sense of living and the way frustration of desire can lead to madness. The author, Neville Symington, describes processes which find parallels in many contemporary institutions. Read more…

On the Freud Watch: Public Memoirs

: Roazen, Paul

This is a collection of personal pieces. The Introduction deals with Paul Roazen’s experiences attending clinical case conferences at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in 1964-65, and what he learned about psychoanalytic psychology there. Chapter 1 makes a general statement about his outlook on why studying the past matters. Chapter 2 deals with a particular psychological explanation that his friend Charles Rycroft offered for why psychoanalysts are characteristically anti-historical. Chapter 3 discusses Roazen’s take on the problem of Freud’s analysis of his daughter Anna, a matter Roazen first brought to light in 1969. Chapter 4 deals with the rarely discussed question of training analyses. Chapter 5 contains Roazen’s efforts to deal with the way the founder of the Freud Archives, Kurt Eissler, launched attacks on his work. Chapter 6 tries to show how Roazen thinks Dickens’s “David Copperfield” can be an example of creative ablation in a great novelist’s life. Chapter 7 discusses O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey” from the contrasting viewpoints of Freud and Jung, both of whom can be said to have directly influenced O’Neill. Chapter 8 consists of some 26 letters to the editor that Roazen published, including the circumstances and objectives he had with each. Chapter 9 covers his take on the recently published Freud correspondences with both Ferenczi and Abraham. Chapter 10 is an over-view of Freud’s impact on political and social thought, embracing the traditions of socialism, conservatism, and liberalism. Chapter 11 includes Roazen’s use of psychological thinking in order to follow questions connection with Canadian political life as he experienced it. Chapter 13 deals with Roazen’s understanding of who has won and lost in the Freud Wars of this past century. And Chapter 14 concludes with a discussion of how he thinks Freud’s concept of neurosis was intended to convey his understanding of a specifically human privilege. The short epilogue closes with a personal account of the signifiance of a small beach in Roazen’s childhood. Paul Roazen, educated as a political theorist at Harvard, Chicago, and Oxford, has spent his career approaching psychoanalysis as an aspect of intellectual history. Issues of a moral and philosophic nature remain central to the tradition of thought that Freud initiated, and help account for the unfortunate sectarianism that has afflicted the field. Read more…

Unbounded Consciousness: Qualia, Mind and Self

: Singer, Ming

The enigma of consciousness fascinates psychologists, philosophers, neuroscientists and physicists. The author of this book, Ming Singer,  is interested in the qualitative aspects of consciousness, known by the philosophical term qualia. In this book she puts forward an original and integrative theory of consciousness that argues for the inseparability of qualitative and non-qualitative aspects and for the restoration of the concept of psyche. Read more…

Seven Deadly Sins

: Maguire, Anne

In this book Anne Maguire examines the psychoanalytic relevance of evil. Using case studies and examples she examines how sin may find calamitous expression, and the consequences which can flow from its covert pre-existence. Pride, anger, jealousy, sloth, lust, avarice and gluttony are as old as mankind itself. However in the sense in which they were originally understood, interest in the seven sins has withered with the elapse of time. Today, ideas about sin and evil as taught by the theologians of the early church seem dated and alien. However when thought of as psychic representations of the dark side of human nature, as C. G. Jung defined it, the Seven Deadly Sins acquire relevant new meaning. Read more…

Cultivating the Soul

: Zoja, Luigi

In Cultivating the Soul Luigi Zoja argues that the soul’s ‘cultivation’ underpins all cultural phenomena. The author examines the mythopoetic function in human beings by locating Psychoanalysis within the history of the Western world and firmly rooting it in the classical tradition. When for example, Zoja links psychoanalytic narration with the epic-tragic narration in Greek civilization, he is establishing a remarkable kind of continuity, one which transcends centuries of economic, political and social change to insist on the timeless human need to tell a life story with passion in order to make sense of it. Zoja’s masterful knowledge of the classical world is here used dialectically, to understand and explicate our modern-day predicaments. Whether employing classical notions, like hubris, (to analyse the modern phenomenon of arrogant acquisitiveness), or deploying a contemporary perspective on antiquity (to examine, for instance Homer’s own technique of “mass communication”), Zoja’s words fall like a sword cutting through to the core of what he sees as the inertia of much contemporary thinking. The author explores what he sees as the failure in the formation of a contemporary European identity. Lacking formative myths, with psyches mutilated by the failure of the mythopoetic function, today’s citizens are left with little other than an economic reality called “Europe” to orient them. It is in such a context that Zoja claims a crucial role for Psychoanalysis in elucidating cultural, social and political phenomena. In these eighteen essays, spanning ten years and grappling with thinkers from Plato to Hillman, Bloch to Ortega, Michelangelo to Rilke, and Nietzsche to Freud and Jung, Luigi Zoja consolidates his position as one of Europe’s most erudite, skillful, and genuinely helpful thinkers. Read more…

The Butterfly and the Serpent: Essays in Psychiatry, Race and Religion

: Littlewood, Roland

Presents a collection of papers by an author, Roland Littlewood, established as a contributor to the field of cultural psychiatry. Dealing with essential issues in the area, the papers range across culture, history, language, religion, and gender and present material from around the world. The text examines the realization that Anglo-Saxon approach to psychiatry doesn’t necessarily work when used with non-white groups. Read more…

Thresholds Between Philosophy and Psychoanalysis

: Cooper, Robin et al

The Philadelphia Association, the therapeutic organization founded by R. D. Laing, is unique in illuminating its psychoanalytic perspective by a philosophical critique of psychoanalytic concepts themselves. It promotes a way of living and relating which enables the therapist to be as much ‘witness’ to the struggles of others as analyst. Read more…

Ideas from France: Legacy of French Theory – Institute of Contemporary Arts Documents

: Appignanesi, Lisa.

This collection charts the rise of French ideas as they have influenced British culture. It offers a guide to the history of structuralist and post-structuralist concepts in philosophy, literature, Marxism  feminism, history and psychoanalysis. The book grew out of a discussion series and conference held at London’s ICA following the death of Michel Foucault. The contributors assess the current state of cultural theory in France and its influence in Britain. Edited by Lisa Appignanesi. Read more…

Sentience: Companion to Reason

: Singer, Ming

Ming Singer’s work is about bridging the current deeply-held divide between sentience and reason. It focuses on the pragmatic role of sentient experience and its unceasing and inseparable interplay with the exercise of reason. Part I of the book deals first with the need for synthesizing the hitherto separate “truth-finding” knowledge traditions: the third-personal scientific-technological, and the first-personal humanistic-wisdom tradition. A conceptual framework for a mind reality is then proposed. Drawing from the unifying natural laws in current physical and biological sciences, the mind reality is portrayed in terms of one interlocking open dynamic system with both a manifested and a covert aspect. In this entire system, each individual mind constantly “co-creates” and “co-evolves” with other collective or group minds at various levels. It is also presumed that the basic unit of interaction in the mind reality is thought or intent. Supporting evidence from psychology, parapsychology and the ancient perennial philosophies is presented. The second part of the book addresses the pragmatic consequences of the proposed mind reality. At the individual level, it is argued that sentient experience can serve the function of guiding, affirming and fostering an individual’s life’s work. A selection of existing first-personal accounts is presented to illustrate this point. At the collective level, the current dominant collective thought of “new capitalism” has the unfortunate consequences for humanity’s sense of freedom, education and morality. Such consequences pertain to the “exteriorization” and the “deconstruction” of the intrinsic self and intrinsic values. To avoid this to happen, a collective effort at changing consciousness becomes necessary: the core task lies with the closure of the reason and sentience divide. Read more…