File nietzsche/nietzsche.0603, message 18

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Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 13:08:10 -0500
Subject: [Nietzsche] Who Created the Symbolic Order?

 Richard Koenigsberg's Presentation at the Upcoming Conference at Rutgers
University: "Who Created the Symbolic Order?"


Dear Colleagues, 


Richard Koenigsberg is presenting an invited lecture at the upcoming
conference at Rutgers University on April 8-9. His paper Who Created the
Symbolic Order (an abstract appears below) will set a new path for social
and cultural theory by posing the question: Why? Why do particular
ideologies and discourses become dominant?


We invite you to hear Richard's lecture (to be presented at 4 PM on
Saturday, April 8) and to attend this exciting conference on Psychoanalysis
and the Strategies of Resistance.

For information on the conference program, location and accommodations,
please click here:

PLEASE NOTE: The conference organizers have established a very special
DISCOUNT RATE OF $10.00 IN ORDER TO ALLOW STUDENTS (both undergraduate and
graduate) to attend. However, you MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE. 


 <> To learn more or to register,
please CLICK HERE.


Seating at this exciting event is limited. We look forward to seeing you
there. Please register now to hold your place.


With best regards,


Orion Anderson


P.S. FACULTY MEMBERS: Please tell your students about this important
conference and how they can attend at the special, discount rate.


P.P.S. For further information please contact Orion Anderson at (718)
393-1104 or send an email to



Richard Koenigsberg


In recent theory, mind and self are understood in terms of their location
within language and discourse. However, how may we explain discourse itself?
Why do particular discourses become powerful within societies? Why are some
representations embraced and perpetuated while others are dismissed? How
does a particular discourse-out of the infinite possibilities-achieve


Reality is socially constructed, but constructed based upon what? We may
view ideologies as the articulation of fantasies shared by members of a
society. Ideologies represent societally defined cognitive structures that
allow people to project their desires and fantasies into reality. Like
manifest content of dreams, ideologies conceal and reveal a latent meaning.

Linguists George Lakoff and Mark Johnson have developed a theory of embodied
cognition, which may be summarized as follows: "Structure of our bodily
experience work their way up into abstract meanings and structures of
thought." According to this perspective, mental representations cannot be
detached from the organism that produces them. Metaphorical language reveals
the bodily source of cognition.


Unconscious fantasies revolving around bodies, mothers and fathers give rise
to political metaphors such as the body politic, motherland and fatherland.
It is not simply that we use these words to convey that out relationship to
our nation is like a relationship with a body, mother or father. Rather,
according to the theory of embodied cognition, relationships with seemingly
external objects such as nations cannot be separated from our mental
representations of these objects. Discourse cannot be detached from our
experiences of and fantasies about our own bodies and the bodies of others.


The nature and structure of the symbolic order needs to be explained rather
than assumed. What do specific ideologies do for the people who embrace
them? What psychological work does an ideology perform? We may understand
ideologies as cognitive structures functioning to allow unconscious
fantasies to make their way into the outer world.

The project of psychoanalyzing culture requires abandoning the belief that
human beings are simply subjects of discourse. Unless we believe that the
symbolic order was sent to us by God, we are obliged to pose the question:
Why have we brought into being such a world? What are the psychic sources of
the societies that human beings have constructed?


To learn more or to register,  <>
please CLICK HERE.


For information on the conference program, location and accommodations,
please click here:


For further information please contact Orion Anderson at (718) 393-1104 or
send an email to



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