|94935 - Why Destruction? A Psychoanalytical Logic|
Why Destruction? A Psychoanalytic Logic
In Civilization and its Discontent Freud develops—in part openly, in part secretly—a peculiar, paradoxical and abyssal logic in order to formalize how culture (or civilization) is in a mortal battle with itself. Even more so, culture is this battle; and civilization is the result of a violence the sole aim and source of which is the destruction of civilization. The determining factors of this logic form the proper object of psychoanalysis which had developed out of clinical concerns; and what occurs here as “violence,” or “destruction,” as it does in several texts whose themes are cultural, historical, or sociological, is given multiple other names in all of Freud’s work or is linked to such names: the unconscious, the drive, libido, Eros, Thanatos, sexuality, narcissism, masochism, even hysteria, obsession and psychosis. All these terms mark instances of the same logic in which what we call the “sexual” and “language” are entangled with a “cruelty” that is neither the opposite of pleasure nor can be derived from any supposedly natural ground.
In this seminar, we will trace this logic as well as its material in its reiterations, displacements, and reinventions from Freud’s clinical writings, through his constructions and theories of the “psyche,” to his analyses and speculations in civilization and history. Freud’s text will be read closely, with the attention to details that he himself performed as a virtue and a method.
This method and the logic it allows to unearth and formalize will allow not only to address the exigencies that psychoanalysis itself faces today but also to think through current phenomena and tendencies of political and ecological (self-)destruction.
NB: The course will mostly conducted in English but students are invited to use Portuguese if they feel more comfortable with it.
First Meeting: The Global Aporia
- Civilization and its Discontent
- Why War?
Second Meeting: Sexual Logic / Deadly Logical
- Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality [Excerpts]
- Drives and their Vicissitudes
- Beyond the Pleasure Principle [Excerpts]
Third Meeting: Impossible Work
- Mourning and Melancholia
- Remembering, Repeating and Working-Through
- “A Child is Being Beaten”
Fourth Meeting: Political Inhibition, Sexual Symptoms, Ecological Anxieties
- Inhibition, Symptom, Fear
- Fragments of our current situation
NB: A digital “reader” will be provided “dropbox” beforehand. Students are invited to use Portuguese language editions, French translations or the German original as well.
Sigmund Freud, “Instincts and their Vicissitudes”. The Standard Edition, Volume XIV (1914-1916): On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works, pp. 109-140.
---, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume VII (1901-1905): A Case of Hysteria, Three Essays on Sexuality and Other Works, 123-246.
---, ‘A Child is Being Beaten’ A Contribution to the Study of the Origin of Sexual Perversions. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVII (1917-1919): An Infantile Neurosis and Other Works, 175-204
---, Beyond the Pleasure Principle. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVIII (1920-1922): Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Group Psychology and Other Works, 1-64
---, Mourning and Melancholia. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIV (1914-1916): On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works, 237-258
---, Remembering, Repeating and Working-Through (Further Recommendations on the Technique of Psycho-Analysis II). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XII (1911-1913): The Case of Schreber, Papers on Technique and Other Works, 145-156
---, Civilization and its Discontents. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XXI (1927-1931): The Future of an Illusion, Civilization and its Discontents, and Other Works, 57-146Freud, S. (1939).
© 1999 - 2020 - Superintendência de Tecnologia da Informação/USP