File spoon-archives/marxism-psych.archive/marxism-psych_1998/marxism-psych.9801, message 1

Date: Mon, 05 Jan 1998 19:56:46 +0100
Subject: Re: M-PSY: In death of Cornelius Castoriadis. Chiapas Massacre

At 22-42 29/12/97 +0000, you wrote:
>Could Calogero or someone write a sentence or two about the nature of the
>criticism by Castoriadis of Freud. I am keen we contain a range of views
>about the relevance of Freud on this list.
>Chris Burford

Maybe Robert Maxwell may write something more on Castoriadis, as the
"Centre for Psychotherapeutic Studies" had some relationships with this
scholar (some interviews, I think).

In my opinion, Castoriadis' criticism was focused more on psychoanalysis
after Freud than on Freud himself. He demonstrated the essential
contradiction of psychoanalysis on both a scientific and a philosophical
level. On a scientific level, psychoanalysis legitimately aims at
conceptualisation, but this attempt cannot be successful because no
proposed concept is univocal and effective. On a theoretical level, it has
to use philosophical categories as it has to be concerned with meaning and
with any condition determining it and as it has to see always the subject
as an object and the object as a subject; nevertheless, it may never be
philosophy, as its theoretical constructions may not go beyond the
practical and poietic activity giving rise to them.
So, Castoriadis purged psychoanalysis from any fake ideological and mystic
incrustation, and set it again in the right place as an instrument of
"élucidation aporétique et dialectique", and, thus, of change for individuals.
Last but not least, he described the limits of this instrument, as it
cannot show the possibilities of changing rooted into history and society.
As a matter of fact, reality to which one has to be driven to conform
oneself is a datum defined elsewhere, a datum which psychoanalysis as such
neither can nor must take into account. It is a complex relationship: in
fact, history and society presuppose the individual treated by
psychoanalysis, which in its turn presupposes history and society. 

Calogero Cannarozzo
psichiatra, Livorno.

"La fortuna e la natura... la non ti fa
mai un bene che all'incontro non
surga un male."
(Niccol=F2 Machiavelli)

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