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Open Minded: Working Out the Logic of the Soul

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Freud is discredited, so we don't have to think about the darker strains of unconscious motivation anymore. We know what moves our political leaders, so we don't have to look too closely at their thinking either. In fact, everywhere we look in contemporary culture, knowingness has taken the place of thought. This book is a spirited assault on that deadening trend, especially as it affects our deepest attempts to understand the human psyche--in philosophy and psychoanalysis. It explodes the widespread notion that we already know the problems and proper methods in these fields and so no longer need to ask crucial questions about the structure of human subjectivity. "What is psychology?" Open Minded is not so much an answer to this question as an attempt to understand what is being asked. The inquiry leads Jonathan Lear, a philosopher and psychoanalyst, back to Plato and Aristotle, to Freud and psychoanalysis, and to Wittgenstein. Lear argues that Freud and, more generally, psychoanalysis are the worthy inheritors of the Greek attempt to put our mindedness on display. There are also, he contends, deep affinities running through the works of Freud and Wittgenstein, despite their obvious differences. Both are concerned with how fantasy shapes our self-understanding; both reveal how life's activities show more than we are able to say. The philosophical tradition has portrayed the mind as more rational than it is, even when trying to account for irrationality. Psychoanalysis shows us the mind as inherently restless, tending to disrupt its own functioning. And empirical psychology, for its part, ignores those aspects of human subjectivity that elude objective description. By triangulating between the Greeks, Freud, and Wittgenstein, Lear helps us recover a sense of what it is to be open-minded in our inquiries into the human soul.

Synopsis:

Freud is discredited, so we don't have to think about the darker strains of unconscious motivation anymore. We know what moves our political leaders, so we don't have to look too closely at their thinking either. In fact, everywhere we look in contemporary culture, knowingness has taken the place of thought. This book is a spirited assault on that deadening trend, especially as it affects our deepest attempts to understand the human psyche--in philosophy and psychoanalysis. It explodes the widespread notion that we already know the problems and proper methods in these fields and so no longer need to ask crucial questions about the structure of human subjectivity.

About the Author

Jonathan Lear is John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago.

University of Chicago

Table of Contents

  • Preface: The King and I
  • On Killing Freud (Again)
  • Knowingness and Abandonment: An Oedipus for Our Time
  • An Interpretation of Transference
  • Restlessness, Phantasy, and the Concept of Mind
  • The Introduction of Eros: Reflections on the Work of Hans Loewald
  • Eros and Unknowing: The Psychoanalytic Significance of Plato’s Symposium
  • Testing the Limits: The Place of Tragedy in Aristotle’s Ethics
  • Catharsis
  • Inside and Outside the Republic
  • Transcendental Anthropology
  • The Disappearing We
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674455344
Author:
Lear, Jonathan
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Author:
Lear, Jonathan
Location:
Cambridge, Mass.
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Mind & Body
Subject:
Soul
Subject:
Psychoanalysis
Subject:
Philosophy of mind
Subject:
Psychoanalysis and philosophy
Subject:
Movements - Psychoanalysis
Subject:
General Philosophy
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Subject:
Psychology-Movements - Psychoanalysis
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1st Harvard University Press pbk. ed.
Series Volume:
1999-13
Publication Date:
September 1999
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
None
Pages:
356
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 17 oz

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » History
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Logic
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Logic and Philosophy
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

Open Minded: Working Out the Logic of the Soul New Trade Paper
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Product details 356 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674455344 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Freud is discredited, so we don't have to think about the darker strains of unconscious motivation anymore. We know what moves our political leaders, so we don't have to look too closely at their thinking either. In fact, everywhere we look in contemporary culture, knowingness has taken the place of thought. This book is a spirited assault on that deadening trend, especially as it affects our deepest attempts to understand the human psyche--in philosophy and psychoanalysis. It explodes the widespread notion that we already know the problems and proper methods in these fields and so no longer need to ask crucial questions about the structure of human subjectivity.
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