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Thinking the Unconscious
Nineteenth-Century German Thought

$113.00 (C)

Angus Nicholls, Martin Liebscher, Paul Bishop, Andrew Bowie, Rüdiger Görner, Christopher Janaway, Matthew Bell, Sebastian Gardner, Michael Heidelberger, Günter Gödde, Sonu Shamdasani
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  • Date Published: August 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521897532

$ 113.00 (C)
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  • Since Freud’s earliest psychoanalytic theorization around the beginning of the twentieth century, the concept of the unconscious has exerted an enormous influence upon psychoanalysis and psychology, and literary, critical and social theory. Yet, prior to Freud, the concept of the unconscious already possessed a complex genealogy in nineteenth-century German philosophy and literature, beginning with the aftermath of Kant’s critical philosophy and the origins of German idealism, and extending into the discourses of romanticism and beyond. Despite the many key thinkers who contributed to the Germanic discourses on the unconscious, the English-speaking world remains comparatively unaware of this heritage and its influence upon the origins of psychoanalysis. Bringing together a collection of experts in the fields of German Studies, Continental Philosophy, the History and Philosophy of Science, and the History of Psychoanalysis, this volume examines the various theorizations, representations, and transformations undergone by the concept of the unconscious in nineteenth-century German thought.

    • The first English volume offering a detailed account of the development of the unconscious in nineteenth-century German thought, and how this influenced the origins of psychoanalysis
    • Discusses key thinkers such as Goethe, Schelling, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, as well as lesser-known philosophers
    • Brings together a prestigious group of scholars from the fields of German studies, literary studies, continental philosophy, the history and philosophy of science, the history of psychoanalysis, and psychoanalytic studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "From 'Discovering' to 'Thinking the Unconscious': this book offers an enlightening contribution to this still demanding and paradoxical task."
    --Professor Dr. Ludger Lütkehaus, University of Freiburg

    "While the conceit that Freud discovered – or invented – the unconscious, has long been dispatched, this collection explores in fascinating detail the tangled roots of the concept in the works of Leibniz and Kant and traces its surprising ramifications through the thought of the German Romantics and their successors. The authors reveal how the early constructions of the unconscious differ from that of Freud and brilliantly trouble complainant attitudes about figures (e.g., Goethe, Nietzsche) around whom the dust of opinion has long settled."
    --Robert J. Richards, Morris Fishbein Professor of the History of Science, the University of Chicago and author of The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe

    "Focusing on the crucible of German intellectual history in the long nineteenth century, this volume assembles expert accounts of how the concept, or complex, of the unconscious was thought and wrought before Freud. Significant new readings of canonical figures from Goethe to Nietzsche are complemented by judicious assessments of less familiar thinkers who helped shape this key term for modernity. Across the genealogical networks of philosophy, psychology, and literature, the vicissitudes of thinking the unconscious are explored with impressive erudition and an apt sense of the elusive and contested character of the subject."
    --Andrew Webber, Reader in Modern German and Comparative Culture, University of Cambridge

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521897532
    • length: 340 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: thinking the unconscious Angus Nicholls and Martin Liebscher
    1. The unconscious from the Storm and Stress to Weimar classicism: the dialectic of time and pleasure Paul Bishop
    2. The philosophical significance of Schelling's conception of the unconscious Andrew Bowie
    3. The scientific unconscious: Goethe's post-Kantian epistemology Angus Nicholls
    4. The hidden agent of the self: towards an aesthetic theory of the non-conscious in German romanticism Rüdiger Görner
    5. The real essence of human beings: Schopenhauer and the unconscious will Christopher Janaway
    6. Carl Gustav Carus and the science of the unconscious Matthew Bell
    7. Eduard von Hartmann's Philosophy of the Unconscious Sebastian Gardner
    8. Gustav Theodor Fechner and the unconscious Michael Heidelberger
    9. Friedrich Nietzsche's perspectives on the unconscious Martin Liebscher
    10. Freud and nineteenth-century philosophical sources on the unconscious Günter Gödde
    Epilogue: the 'optional' unconscious Sonu Shamdasani.

  • Editors

    Angus Nicholls, Queen Mary University of London

    Martin Liebscher, University of London

    Contributors

    Angus Nicholls, Martin Liebscher, Paul Bishop, Andrew Bowie, Rüdiger Görner, Christopher Janaway, Matthew Bell, Sebastian Gardner, Michael Heidelberger, Günter Gödde, Sonu Shamdasani

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