Why Psychoanalysis? (European Perspectives: A Series in by Elisabeth Roudinesco

By Elisabeth Roudinesco

Why perform a little humans nonetheless pick out psychoanalysis-Freud's so-called conversing cure-when a variety of medicines can be found that deal with the indications of psychic misery a lot swifter? Elisabeth Roudinesco tackles this hard query, exploring what she sees as a "depressive society": an outbreak of misery addressed in basic terms by means of an expanding reliance on prescribed drugs. faraway from contesting the efficacy of recent medicines like Prozac, Zoloft, and Viagra in assuaging the indications of any variety of psychological or anxious stipulations, Roudinesco argues that using such medicines fails to resolve sufferers' genuine difficulties. within the guy who takes Viagra with out ever brooding about why he's being affected by impotence and the lady who's given antidepressants to house the lack of a family member, Roudinesco sees a society keen about potency and determined for the short fix.She argues that "the conversing healing" and pharmacology characterize not only diverse ways to psychiatry, yet varied worldviews. the frenzy to regard indicators is itself symptomatic of an antiseptic and depressive tradition during which idea is lowered to the firing of neurons and hope is simply a chemical secretion. against this, psychoanalysis testifies to human freedom and the facility of language.

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Why Psychoanalysis? (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism)

Why perform a little humans nonetheless decide upon psychoanalysis-Freud's so-called conversing cure-when a variety of drugs can be found that deal with the indicators of psychic misery lots speedier? Elisabeth Roudinesco tackles this hard query, exploring what she sees as a "depressive society": a deadly disease of misery addressed simply through an expanding reliance on pharmaceuticals.

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At the center of this dispute, the Freudian unconscious becomes the object of a particular controversy to the extent that its definition escapes the categories belonging to either domain. Not only is this unconscious not assimilable to a neural system, but it cannot be integrated with a cognitive or experimental conception of psychology. And yet it doesn’t belong to the domain of the occult or the irrational. In other words, in relation to other definitions of the unconscious, the Freudian unconscious initially emerges negatively: it is neither hereditary, nor cerebral, nor automatic, nor neural, nor cognitive, nor metaphysical, nor metapsychical, nor symbolic, and so on.

Under the Terror, shortly after being appointed to Bicêtre hospital (September 11, 1793), Pinel received a visit from Couthon, a member of the committee for public safety, who was looking for suspects among the insane. They all trembled before this loyal servant of Robespierre, who had left his paralytic’s chair to have himself carried along supported by men’s arms. Pinel led him in front of the cells where the sight of the agitated men caused him intense fear. ” The doctor replied that mad people were all the less capable of being treated because they were deprived of air and freedom.

4 The surveys have to be criticized for the way they were conducted. While many of them were conducted seriously, especially in the United States, they also gave rise to numerous controversies. Others look frankly ridiculous today. One can see that very often the questions asked determine the replies, as is shown by so-called experimental protocols that consist, for instance, in asking children aged from three to nine whether, yes or no, they are hostile to the parent of the opposite sex. ”5 Psychoanalysis seems to be even more subject to attack today, when it has conquered the world through the singu- the soul is not a thing 23 larity of a subjective experience that puts the unconscious, death, and sexuality at the heart of the human soul.

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