Taubes and Zizek

From Jacob Taubes, “Psychoanalysis and Philosophy,” in From Cult to Culture, pp. 323-24:

The analysis of man according to the guideline of history, carried out for example by Hegel and Marx, is replaced around the middle of the nineteenth century by an analysis of man according to the guidleline of psychology…. Freud is positioned within this turn, and his psychoanalysis gives it a particular acuity. And still, the problem of history poses itself anew in Freud…. Psychoanalysis differs from all other variations of psychology as the most radically historical. Its fundamental design is historical. It works with histories of illness and with the biography of the individual as a constitutive part of its therapy…. A reflection on the process of psychoanalytic theraby necessarily encounters the problem of the historical method in general and, as I claim, particularly the problems of the historical-dialectical method. It is the explicit thesis of these reflections that Freud’s psychological writings in general and his metapsychological writings in particular answer questions posed by Hegel’s dialectical method and philosophy of history. That is, sub specie Freud the fundamental problems of Hegel appear in a new light; sub specie Hegel, the fundamental problems of Freud appear in a new light.

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4 Responses to “Taubes and Zizek”

  1. Rex Styzens Says:

    Am I the only one who sees a close parallel between Nietzsche and Freud? When I read N’s “Geneaology of Morals,” I thought of F’s “Civilization and Its Discontents.” My non-academic personal theory is that Freud can be considered a religious denomination of N’s philosophy. And I do understand N as a reaction to Hegel, among others.

  2. Adam Kotsko Says:

    No, you are far from the only one to make that connection.

  3. danbarber Says:

    Rex, if i remember correctly, the essay by Taubes right before the one Adam’s quoting … i think it’s on psychoanalysis and religion, and there Taubes explicitly connects Freud’s project to Nietzsche’s, specifically saying that they commonly are anti-religious thinkers, they are both rivals of Paul, but in Paul’s register, and thus not a part of the more standard enlightenment project

  4. Jeremy Says:

    It is certainly true that psychoanalytic therapy takes history seriously. Unlike other therapies which tend to downplay or minimize the importance of the subject’s particular historical experience, psychoanalytic treatment realizes that history is truth which is why a thorough assessment of the symptom’s history and its location in the person’s life-world is absolutely essential.

    I forget in which paper Freud claims that he denied himself the pleasure of reading Nietzsche so he could discover the truth of NIetzsche’s philosophy empirically. Of course, Freud was lying because we know that he extensively read Nietzsche’s philosophy. Rex, if there is any philosopher with which Freud is often associated it has to be Nietzsche.


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