Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Money Wisdom #285

" Despite the importance of Freud's linking evolutionary thought to psychoanalytical theory, the Lamarckian speculations, namely, the reconstruction of family conflict and its reenactment, have been generally condemned 'never to pass from the realm of the fantastic to the realm of the real' (Parisi 1989, 487). Nevertheless, a psychology lodged in the instinctual domain is hardly radical, and today as testified by the vast literature in sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, efforts to trace communal behavior and moral agency to earlier primate behavior is hardly innovative (e.g., Sober and Wilson 1998, Joyce 2007), albeit contested (e.g. Buller 2006). However, describing the biology of complex behaviors is not our subject, for we are concerned with how Freud's commitment to placing the psyche in its archaic biological substrata becomes transformed by a ruling reason. To do so, we contrast Nietzsche's construction that minimizes the role of rationality in understanding agency (rational 'higher' faculties are subordinated to the demands of the 'lower' instincts), which in turn reflects a deep skepticism of reason, and Kantian reason in particular. Indeed these views irreparably separate him from Freud. Below [in Chapter Five - Kant, Nietzsche and Freud] their complex intellectual relationship is summarized around two related issues: on the one hand, Freud afforded an autonomy that Nietzsche denied, and on the other hand, Freud formulated the psyche much as Nietzsche did by adopting an organic perspective and thereby committed himself to a Darwinian biology - a biological science of understanding. In short, whereas Nietzsche celebrate the Will, Freud would endeavor to control it.

Albert Tauber Freud - The Reluctant Philosopher (2010) p.164

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