Download e-book for kindle: Freud's Mass Psychology. Questions of Scale by Céline Surprenant

By Céline Surprenant

Freud's Mass Psychology examines one of many key ideas within the concept of the psyche. Surprenant treats it as an epistemological factor instead of solely as a socio-political factor. targeting this overlooked inspiration permits the writer to elevate anew the query of the "application" of psychoanalysis, past a mechanistic knowing of this time period and of Freud's writings. This research brings jointly very important subject matters linked to psychoanalysis, fresh French philosophy, and political thought.

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Hence, if the circulation, the preservation and the transmission of psychical contents and structure prompt an ‘inexhaustible inventiveness and dream like renewal of mechanical models’ (p. 229) as far as the individual psyche is concerned, should the inventiveness be no less striking when it is a question of conceiving of the same phenomena ‘beyond the psychoanalysis of the individual’? Let us suspend provisionally these questions and consider the arguments of the essay. With respect to the existing wealth of commentaries, we will be going back over familiar grounds.

In Derrida’s terms, one has to account for the way in which memory points simultaneously to ‘the permanence of the trace’ and to ‘the virginity of the receiving substance’ (‘Freud’, p. 200). The problem is circumvented by the hypothesis of the ‘contactbarriers’ [Kontaktschranken] and of ‘facilitation’ [Bahnung] as a principle of resistance. Turning to Freud will help us to explain briefly what is at issue under these headings. ‘The Project’ establishes that ‘neuronal excitation [can be described] as quantity [Qn] in a state of flow’ (p.

41 Are the latter surrounded by quotation marks, following the ‘reticence to utilize Freudian concepts otherwise than in quotation marks’ expressed in the introductory remarks of the essay? Are the Freudian metaphors of ‘path, trace, breach’ (p. 42 Derrida, on the one hand, pushes aside ‘the Freudian concept of the hereditary mnemic trace’ when introducing the aims of the essay: ‘it is a question neither of following Jung, nor of following the Freudian concept of the hereditary mnemic trace’ (p.

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