Contributors (Number 29)

Sergio Benvenuto is a researcher in psychology and philosophy at the National Research Council (CNR) in Rome, Italy, and a psychoanalyst, president of ISAP (Institute for Advanced Studies in Psychoanalysis). He is a contributor to cultural journals such as Telos, Lettre Internationale (French, Spanish, Hungarian, Rumanian and Italian editions), Texte, RISS, Journal for Lacanian Studies,…

Sublimation and “Schweinerei” Theoretical Place and Cultural-Critical Function of a Psychoanalytic Concept

The concept of sublimation in its Freudian framing is problematic since it introduces assumptions that are foreign to Freud's own theory of sexuality: there is, strictly speaking, no such thing as an a-sexual aim of a sexual drive. Freud's view of the drive-conflict, on the contrary, describes various sexual drives encountering resistance from others ('organic repression') and these others receiving their support from culture. Sublimation has its theoretical place precisely in this image of the conflict. It comes to the aid of the initial, nascent drives jointly outlawed by nature and culture, and assists them in achieving a new, culture-conditioned, exceptional and triumphal appreciation. Sublimation demands what individuals would deny themselves, thus helping them to overcome their organic/cultural inhibitions. Seen thus, sublimation does not change the drive itself but rather its cultural estimation. It is work on culture. Yet the products (and the means of production) of this work are trophies from societal battle. Accordingly, they are very unequally distributed in different societies.

Robert Pfaller
Sublimation and Compassion

Summary: The concept of sublimation in Freud is examined here as a corollary of the metaphysics underlying the bulk of his works: the human being as moved by Lust. The author focuses on artistic and literary sublimation seen – in contrast with the original theory – not only as a psychic process in the creator, but also as an experience by the spectator or reader. Tracing the paradoxica…

Sergio Benvenuto
C. G. Jung: Forerunner of a Philosophy for the Soul

Summary: The ambivalence of the word and concept of Philosophy in C. G. Jung’s works is the main theme of the first part of this essay. On the one hand Jung distances his work from all kind of philosophy, asserting his aims and methods are only scientific and clinical ones; on the other hand in many works he uses the word “philosophy” in the sense of the ancient philosophers, like a sy…

Romano Màdera
Vulnerability of the Subject, Opacity of Desire: Judith Butler Dislocating Psychoanalysis

Summary: Subject of Desire (1987) is Butler’s PhD dissertation, dedicated to the reception of Hegel in the Twentieth-Century French philosophy. The author shows how crucial this book is for a proper understanding of the development of Butler’s thought and how her argumentative method – indebted both to Michel Foucault’s genealogy and Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalysis – is grounded on a th…

Lorenzo Bernini
In the End Is Love: A Comment on Psychoanalytic Epistemology

Summary: Reflections on the epistemological status of psychoanalysis in the context of contemporary sciences are expressed in this article. The peculiar psychoanalytic focus on singularity is considered as having the same function as the symptom in science. In this context, the notions of love and forgiveness are elaborated in terms of their being both the end and the aim of the psycho…

Vasileios Termos
The Meaning and the Mirror of Sense: Notes for an Archaeology of Neurosciences

Summary: Mirror-neurons allow us to understand the other’s action or intention. This is one of the most relevant discoveries of contemporary neurosciences. But how is this “mirroring” phenomenon to be understood? Is there a “content” being mirrored? If we “share” something with the other, as one of the leading researchers in this field puts it, is this shared content “in” one’s mind or…

Federico Leoni
Psychoanalysis in Time – Time in Psychoanalysis

Summary: Let’s watch the initial scene of the well-known film Wild Strawberries, where it is possible to notice the absence of time in the unconscious system, unlike consciousness. The purpose of this paper is to look into some aspects of heterochrony, as a typically Freudian concept, paying particular attention to early Freudian thought. The underlying fil rouge is the relation betwee…

Franco Scalzone & Gemma Zontini
European Journal of Psychoanalysis