Philosophy and Psychoanalysis. Negativity: On Language, Desire, and Death

Amanda Holmes
Art Sciences and Art Education, Philosophy
2021W, scientific seminar (SEW), 4.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S03912

Description

            Since Freud’s discovery of the un-conscious, psychoanalysis has established itself, both in its theory and its praxis, as a discourse that privileges negativity. The primacy of negativity is evinced in the central notion of psychoanalysis: the “un-conscious.” The unconscious in Freudian theory does not simply refer to the opposite of what is conscious, rather it names a particular set of negative operations, it names the mechanisms of negativity in the human psyche that abide by the law of the primary process (condensation and displacement). As such, the project of psychoanalysis might be generalized as the disclosure of negativity, or as Andre Green puts it in The Work of the Negative, “psychoanalysis has the particularity of being the kind of work which makes the negative visible.”

 

This course will elaborate the “3 V’s” of negativity within Freudian theory: Verneinung (Negation), Verleugnung (Denial), and Verwerfung (Foreclosure). These three V’s make up the core elements of the psychoanalytic emphasis on negativity; they are three distinct operations that all participate in the negative. By analytically comparing and contrasting these three concepts, we will be able to develop a more robust understanding of the psychoanalytic formulation of negativity.

 

Our semester is divided into three main parts. We will begin with a close reading of Freud’s foundational essays on negativity, focusing on texts that deal with the linguistic function of opposites and the metapsychological papers on the structure of the unconscious. We will then turn to Jacques Lacan’s development of Freudian negativity in the early years of his seminar and will discuss the key distinctions between Verneinung (Negation) and Verwerfung (foreclosure) in Lacan’s thought . Finally, we will turn to Julia Kristeva and Franz Fanon, ending the semester by beginning to develop the political implications of the psychoanalytic emphasis of the negative.

 

Reading List:

 

Sigmund Freud, “The Unconscious”

-------------------- “Repression”

-------------------- “The Uncanny”

-------------------- “The Antithetical Meaning of Primal Words”

-------------------- “Negation”

Jean Hyppolite, “Commentary on Freud’s Negation” in Écrits

Jacques Lacan, “Introduction and Response to Hyppolite’s commentary on Negation” in Écrits

------------------ The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book III: The Psychosis

Julia Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language

Franz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

 

Additional Recommended Readings available in BASE folder.

Examination Modalities

Each student will be expected to deliver one 10 minute presentation throughout the course of the semester. 

 

The final exam will consist of an 8-10 page paper (double spaced).

 

Further instruction regarding these two assignments will be given in the first meeting of our class.

Comments

***This course is run in conjunction with Dr. Antonia Birnbaum’s course “Philosophie im Spiegel der Geschichte. Negativität bei Hegel..” These two seminars can be taken independently, but they are conceived together and students are invited and encouraged to take both of them in conjunction with one another.

Key Words

Psychoanalysis, Desire, Negativity

Dates

20 October 2021, 18:00–20:00 Seminar Room 22
27 October 2021, 18:00–20:00 Seminar Room 22
03 November 2021, 18:00–20:00 Seminar Room 22
10 November 2021, 18:00–20:00 Seminar Room 22
17 November 2021, 18:00–20:00 Seminar Room 22
24 November 2021, 18:00–20:00 Seminar Room 22
01 December 2021, 18:00–20:00 Seminar Room 22
15 December 2021, 18:00–20:00 Seminar Room 22
12 January 2022, 18:00–20:00 Seminar Room 22
19 January 2022, 18:00–20:00 Seminar Room 22
26 January 2022, 18:00–20:00 Seminar Room 22

Course Enrolment

From 01 August 2021, 00:00 to 30 November 2021, 23:59
Via online registration

co-registration: possible

Art Education: subject kkp (Bachelor): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

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Art Education: subject kkp (additional subject): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject tex (Bachelor): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject tex (Bachelor): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: IT: Bachelorseminar Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject tex (Master): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: Lehrveranstaltung nach Wahl aus wissenschaftlicher Praxis, SE

Art Education: subject tex (additional subject): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Seminar aus dem Bereich Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften

Art Education: subject tex (additional subject): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject dae (Bachelor): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject dae (Bachelor): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: IT: Bachelorseminar Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject dae (Master): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: Lehrveranstaltung nach Wahl aus wissenschaftlicher Praxis, SE

Art Education: subject dae (additional subject): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Seminar aus dem Bereich Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften

Art Education: subject dae (additional subject): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject dex (Bachelor): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject dex (Bachelor): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: IT: Bachelorseminar Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject dex (Master): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: Lehrveranstaltung nach Wahl aus wissenschaftlicher Praxis, SE

Art Education: subject dex (additional subject): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Seminar aus dem Bereich Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften

Art Education: subject dex (additional subject): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

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