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Thinking the Unconscious


  • Page extent: 340 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.68 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 127.0943/09034
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: B2741 .T45 2010
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Philosophy, German--19th century

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521897532)

Thinking the Unconscious
Cambridge University Press
9780521897532 - Thinking the Unconscious - Nineteenth-Century German Thought - By Angus Nicholls and Martin Liebscher

Thinking the Unconscious

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.

Angus Nicholls is Claussen-Simon Foundation Research Lecturer in German and Comparative Literature in the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations at Queen Mary, University of London.

Martin Liebscher is Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London.

Thinking the Unconscious

Nineteenth-Century German Thought

Angus Nicholls and Martin Liebscher

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© Cambridge University Press 2010

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First published 2010
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A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication dataThinking the unconscious : nineteenth-century German thought / [edited by]Angus Nicholls, Martin Liebscher.p. cm.ISBN 978-0-521-89753-2 (Hardback)1. Philosophy, German–19th century. I. Nicholls, Angus (Angus James), 1972– II. Liebscher, Martin, 1972– III. Title.B2741.T45 2010127.0943′09034–dc222010000059

ISBN 978-0-521-89753-2 Hardback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


Notes on contributors
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
Works cited

Notes on contributors

Matthew Bell

is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at King’s College London. He is the author of Goethe’s Naturalistic Anthropology: Man and Other Plants (1994); and, most recently, The German Tradition of Psychology in Literature and Thought, 1700–1840 (2005).

Paul Bishop

is Professor of German at the University of Glasgow. His publications include The Dionysian Self: C. G. Jung’s Reception of Friedrich Nietzsche (1995); Nietzsche and Antiquity (edited, 2004); Friedrich Nietzsche and Weimar Classicism (with R. H. Stephenson, 2005); and the recent study Analytical Psychology and German Classical Aesthetics, in two volumes (2007–8).

Andrew Bowie

is Professor of Philosophy and German at Royal Holloway, University of London. His books include: Aesthetics and Subjectivity: From Kant to Nietzsche (1990; 2nd edition 2003); Schelling and Modern European Philosophy (1993); From Romanticism to Critical Theory: The Philosophy of German Literary Theory (1997); Introduction to German Philosophy from Kant to Habermas (2003); and Music, Philosophy, and Modernity (2007).

Sebastian Gardner

is Professor of Philosophy at University College London. His publications include: Irrationality and the Philosophy of Psychoanalysis (1993); and Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason (1998).

Günter Gödde

is a practising psychotherapist, a lecturer at the Berliner Akademie für Psychotherapie, and a scholar who works on the history and theory of psychoanalysis. He is the author of numerous publications on the history and theory of psychoanalysis, including Traditionslinien des Unbewussten: Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Freud (1999), and Mathilde Freud (2003). He is also (with Michael B. Buchholz) the editor of a three-volume history of the concept of the unconscious and related discourses, entitled Das Unbewusste (2005–6).

Rüdiger Görner

is Professor of German and Head of the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film at Queen Mary, University of London. Recent publications include: Rainer Maria Rilke: Im Herzwerk der Sprache (2004); Thomas Mann: Der Zauber des Letzten (2005); Heimat und Toleranz: Reden und Reflexionen (2006); Das Zeitalter des Fraktalen: Ein kulturkritischer Versuch (2007); and Wenn Götzen dämmern: Formen ästhetischen Denkens bei Nietzsche (2008).

Michael Heidelberger

is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He is the author of numerous publications on the history and philosophy of science, including an intellectual biography of Gustav Theodor Fechner, entitled Nature from Within: Gustav Theodor Fechner’s Psychophysical Worldview (2004).

Christopher Janaway

is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton. Among his many publications are included: Self and World in Schopenhauer’s Philosophy (1998); Willing and Nothingness: Schopenhauer as Nietzsche’s Educator (edited, 1998); The Cambridge Companion to Schopenhauer (edited, 1999); Schopenhauer: A Very Short Introduction (2002); and Beyond Selflessness: Reading Nietzsche’s Genealogy (2007).

Martin Liebscher

is Director of the Ingeborg Bachmann Centre for Austrian Literature and Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London. His publications include: Nietzsche-Studien: Gesamtregister, volumes I–XX, 1972–91 (2000); Kontinuitäten und Brüche: Österreichs literarischer Wiederaufbau seit 1945 (edited with H. Kunzelmann and T. Eicher, 2006); and Nationalism versus Cosmopolitanism in German Thought and Culture 1789–1914: Essays on the Emergence of Europe (edited with M. A. Perkins, 2006).

Angus Nicholls

is Claussen-Simon Foundation Research Lecturer in German and Comparative Literature and Acting Director of the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations at Queen Mary, University of London. His first monograph is Goethe’s Concept of the Daemonic: After the Ancients (2006). He is co-editor of ANGERMION: Yearbook for Anglo-German Literary Criticism, Intellectual History and Cultural Transfers (volume I, 2008), and guest editor of a special section on Goethe and Twentieth-Century Theory in The Goethe Yearbook, volume 16 (2009).

Sonu Shamdasani

is Reader in Jung History at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. His books include Cult Fictions: C. G. Jung and the Founding of Modern Analytical Psychology (1998); Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science (2003); Jung Stripped Bare by his Biographers, Even (2005); and Le dossier Freud: enquête sur l’histoire de la psychanalyse (with Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, 2006).

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