12 Questions about Psychoanalysis
I – As a philosopher, what is it that interests you in psychoanalysis, and why?
II – What is the most significant contribution that philosophy has made to psychoanalysis, at least from your personal approach to psychoanalysis?
III – Apart from Freud, what other psychoanalyst, according to you, has contributed significantly to a philosophical reflection on psychoanalysis?
IV – If you have undertaken psychoanalytic training, or if you are a practicing psychoanalyst, might we ask how you view what transpires in a clinical analytic practice? In other words, what is it that really happens during a cure?
V – Nietzsche and Freud. Freud admitted having never really read Nietzsche, because he feared discovering that Nietzsche had already said everything essential that Freud himself thought he had said. How do you view the relation between Freud and Nietzsche?
VI – From its start, psychoanalysis—including Fenichel, Bernfeld, Reich, Fromm, and others—developed a Freudian-Marxist current among both analysts and philosophers, which still flourishes today. How should we view today the relation amongst Marx, Marxists, and psychoanalysis?
VII – Do you believe that psychoanalysis can be a useful tool for interpreting political and social phenomena and customs today? And especially for interpreting gender issues and sexual orientations debate? And if yes, in what way?
VIII – A part of philosophical phenomenology has dealt with psychoanalysis. Even those in Heidegger’s and hermeneutics’ wake have often theorized on psychoanalysis. How do you feel about this phenomenological “appropriation” of psychoanalysis?
IX – Starting with Popper, over the past decades a trend of radical criticism of psychoanalysis has developed that denies its scientific plausibility, comparing it to a mythology, and contesting any validity of the analytic practice. Where do you fit in this debate, if you do at all?
X – Do you find it important that psychoanalysis today confronts itself with biological knowledge (evolutionary sciences, neuroscience), and with science in general?
XI – Today, psychoanalysis compares itself with rival psychotherapies and theories—behavioral and/or cognitive psychotherapy, systemic-relational psychotherapy, and an assortment of other types of cures. Where do you situate psychoanalysis in all of this? And in particular, can we say that psychoanalysis is a psychotherapy, and if it is, in what sense?
XII – Many philosophers are particularly interested in the thought of Jacques Lacan. What value or meaning do you attribute to the Lacanian après-coup?