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What kind of a science is psychoanalysis? What constitutes its domain? What truth claims does it maintain? In this unique and scholarly work concerning the nature of psychoanalysis, Gunnar Karlsson guides his arguments through phenomenological thinking which, he claims, can be seen as an alternative to the recent attempts to cite neuropsychoanalysis as the answer to the crisis of psychoanalysis. Karlsson criticizes this effort to ground psychoanalysis in biology and neurology and emphasizes instead the importance of defining the psychoanalytic domain from the vantage point of the character of consciousness. His understanding of the unconscious, the libido and the death drive offer new insights into the nature of psychoanalysis, and he also illuminates and develops neglected dimensions such as consciousness and self-consciousness. Karlsson's approach to psychoanalysis is rigorous yet original, and this book fills an intellectual gap with implications for both the theoretical understanding and clinical issues of psychoanalysis.Read more
- Makes the connection between psychoanalysis and philosophical reasoning understandable
- Features an award-winning chapter on the concept of truth in psychoanalysis where an original and persuasive thesis is presented and discussed
- Will be of interest to practising psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists, and academics interested in psychoanalysis within psychology, philosophy, cultural studies and literature
Reviews & endorsements
"An invaluable study of Husserl's phenomenology and Freud's psychoanalysis in relation to modern neuroscience. Karlsson's engaging writing and crystal-clear style make this an extremely worthwhile book."
--Juliet Flower MacCannell, University of California, Irvine
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"I do not know of any other books that approach the problem of the unconscious from a phenomenological epistemological perspective. This book fills an intellectual gap, is highly original and very persuasive."
--Jo Nash, University of Sheffield
"Psychoanalysis in a New Light, by Gunnar Karllson, lives up to its title and portrays psychoanalysis differently than any analytic work.... The book is a real gift to psychoanalysis, which has been accused of being stopped in its tracks.... Dr. Karllson's book shows us that psychoanalysis is like a many faceted diamond, which has been examined from a stationary position and merely needs to be turned to the light to bring up another vision.... an original, fascinating comparison of the findings of phenomenology and psychoanalysis. For older psychoanalysts who desire to reach beyond the teachings of Freud, the book is a novel and delightful expansion of our knowledge...."
--Alma H. Bond, Ph.D., The Midwest Book Review
"....Two difficult questions for psychologists, we believe, underlie American psychology’s neglect of philosophy: What is science for psychologists, and what is its object of study for psychologists? Those two questions, in many ways, drive the argument in Karlsson’s Psychoanalysis in a New Light. The actual argument is a kind of explication and recovery of psychoanalysis, via phenomenological philosophy à la Edmund Husserl...."
--Gabriel Rupp and David Weed, PsycCRITIQUES
"....a fortunate public statement for the ones who do recognize the need to address psychoanalysis in a new light taking Husserl's phenomenology."
--Diana Soeiro, New University of Lisbon, Metapsychology Online Reviews
"Karlsson's book redefines the significance and purpose of psychoanalysis from a phenomenological perspective that conceives of psychoanalysis as a science (searching for truth) and "not merely as a method of treatment." [....] This project is clearly executed with helpful chapter summaries along the way. Overall, it casts a powerful phenomenological searchlight upon the couch, levering the intelligibility of psychoanalytic theory off from dependence on its own empirical moment...."
--Sara Beardsworth, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
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- Date Published: July 2010
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521198059
- length: 232 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 158 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.5kg
- contains: 3 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Phenomenology and psychoanalysis
2. The life-world as the ground for sciences
3. A critical examination of neuropsychoanalysis
4. The conceptualization of the psychical in psychoanalysis
5. The libido as the core of the unconscious
6. The grounding of libido in the life-world experience
7. Beyond the pleasure principle: the affirmation of existence
8. The question of truth claims in psychoanalysis
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