9676 - Four Categories of the Freudian Critique - What makes psychoanalysis so controversial? What is it about psychoanalysis that has made so many twentieth-century thinkers feel obliged to come to terms with it? What gives psychoanalysis its seeming potency? How is it that Freud's work has summoned up such a variety of contradictory responses among clinicians and non-clinicians? These are the kinds of overarching questions that we will keep in mind as we explore some of Freud's basic studies and the most interesting examples of work that criticizes and/or reformulates his ideas. This course will proceed in four stages.
- In the first part, we will examine in detail the following, early studies by Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams, Three Essays on Sexuality, and Delusions and Dreams in Jensen's Gradiva.
- We will then look at Michel Foucault's ambivalent response to Freud and, among other things, Foucault's claim that psychoanalysis is "too attached to semantic functions of language." And still within a perspective inspired by Foucault, we will review the writings of Jean Allouch, an important, contemporary French psychoanalyst whose objective has been to work out a synthesis of the ideas of Freud, Foucault and Lacan ("Psychoanalysis will be Foucaldian or it will not be," he writes).
- Our next focus will be the work of Jacques Lacan and his reasons for claiming the necessity of "a return to Freud." Specifically, Books X (the recently published seminar on Anxiety) and XI (The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis) of Lacan's Seminars will be examined.
- Bruce Fink's work (A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis, The Lacanian Subject, Lacan to the Letter) is an example of yet another category of the Freudian critique. Fink, an American psychoanalyst, will provide us with a contrast to the French responses to Freud and Lacan.
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