What is infinite responsibility? And can we live with it?
What causes feelings of alienation? How do we resolve them? Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century discussions of alienation focused on society’s role in alienating the individual. The story goes: Your society delineates the routes of your world; its possibilities and lifestyles. The routes aren’t well-worn paths made from natural behavior, but instead, drawn lines, burdening and concealing the person’s true self. The psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan understands the root of alienation differently. He finds it in normal psychological development.
Continuing on Fromm’s The Art of Loving (1956). We talk about love as requiring knowledge: as “knowing the secret” of humanity or at least being interested. This is related to sadism. Is there a difference between motherly and fatherly love? Fromm thinks so. He also talks about different degrees of maturity in one’s belief in God, the best being God as equivalent to the world and love of God as love of humanity, i.e., orientation toward the good. Finally, we get Fromm on society: How could we reform norms so that love can be the norm?
On Fromm’s The Art of Loving (1956). What is love, really? This psychoanalyst of the Frankfurt school thinks that real love is not something one “falls” into, but is an art, an activity, and doing it well requires a disciplined openness and psychological health.
V-Day Special! On Fromm’s The Art of Loving (1956). What is love, really? This psychoanalyst of the Frankfurt school thinks that real love is not something one “falls” into, but is an art, an activity, and doing it well requires a disciplined openness and psychological health. Love is the answer to the deep human need to rid ourself of isolation, but a mere sexual union won’t provide real intimacy. To connect the center of your being with the center of another’s being, you need to really know yourself and know the other, and this knowing requires an overall openness that amounts to a love of humanity, a feeling of oneness with nature, and an overall orientation toward the good, which is what he considers a mature take on “love of God.”
End songs: “Kimmy” (1995) and “Kimmy 2002” by Mark Lint.
“We are all exceptional cases. We all want to appeal against something! Each of us insists on being innocent at all cost, even if he has to accuse the whole human race and heaven itself.”― Albert Camus, The Fall What accounts for Heidegger’s fall from grace into Nazism? This topic is touched on in the Continue Reading …
Let’s pause for a moment to do proper homage to the remarkable fact that during the 1980s, there was a blockbuster family film in which large parts of the plot revolved around the subject of incest. That film was Back to the Future, which I recently discussed with Dan Calvisi and William Robert Rich on Continue Reading …
On Bruce Fink’s The Lacanian Subject (1996) and Lacan’s “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience” (1949).
On Bruce Fink’s The Lacanian Subject (1996) and Lacan’s “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience” (1949). What is the self? Is that the same as the experiencing subject? Lacan says no: while the self (the ego) is an imaginative creation, cemented by language, the subject is something else, something split (at least initially) between consciousness and the unconscious. Lacan mixes this Freudian picture with semiotics–an emphasis on systems of linguistic symbols–using this to both create his picture of the psyche and explain how psychological disorders arise. Learn more.
End song: “Something Else” by Madison Lint.
Psychoanalysts have a name for this sort of thing: it’s called the “manic defense.” This isn’t the full-blown manic depression (now “bipolar disorder”) of DSMV fame. Rather’s its an avoidance of the inevitable mourning (and associated guilt) involved in a realization that we can’t have it all.
Sitting on the stage, laughing, applauding a philosopher-psychoanalyst’s optimism concerning the human condition: only in the 70s.