Existential Psychoanalysis

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In Existential Psychoanalysis, Sartre criticizes modern psychology in general, and Freud's determinism in particular. His often brilliant analysis of these areas and his proposals for their correction indicate in what direction an existential psychoanalysis might be developed.

Sartre does all this on the basis of his existential understanding of man, and his unshakeable conviction that the human being simply cannot be understood at all if we see in him only what our study of ...

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Overview


In Existential Psychoanalysis, Sartre criticizes modern psychology in general, and Freud's determinism in particular. His often brilliant analysis of these areas and his proposals for their correction indicate in what direction an existential psychoanalysis might be developed.

Sartre does all this on the basis of his existential understanding of man, and his unshakeable conviction that the human being simply cannot be understood at all if we see in him only what our study of subhuman forms of life permits us to see, or if we reduce him to naturalistic or mechanical determinism, or in any other way take away from the man we try to study his ultimate freedom and individual responsibility.

An incisive introduction by noted existential psychologist Rollo May guides readers through these challenging yet enlightening passages.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780895267023
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.53 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2002

    Freedom from "Self-Objectification" Is Goal of Analysis

    Sartre criticizes Freudian psychoanalysis as a way of conveniently blaming on the "unconscious" those actions that we, as individual members of society, do not wish to take responsibility for. The "unconscious" is viewed by Sartre as a "convenient blank check," on which any causal explanation can be written or as a reservoir on which any deterministic theory can be drawn, in order to deny that we, as human beings, permit ourselves to be "objectified" by the economic institutions that control us. The human being is distinguished by the fact that he can lie to himself. And that lie is what Sartre calls "bad faith." The dilemma that individuals struggle with as a member of a society that demands conformity is twofold: One, because man is objectified as a member of an economic society he is not permitted to be himself, but must conform to a "false identity," which results in perpetual anxiety; and Two, there is also considerable anxiety, experienced in the form of being humiliated and rejected by making the decision to not conform and to try to be one's self. Sartre's idea of psychoanalysis would be to find some way of minimizing the anxiety associated with nonconformity in order to achieve true "self." Although he makes the proposal for a new form of psychonanalysis, he leaves the task of developing this form of psychoanalysis to those of us who have survived him. Psychological freedom is obtained when people can learn to not permit themselves to be "objectified" for economic purposes, if that is ever possible. It would seem that only by changing the infrastructure of society from one of economic exploitation of people to one of egalitarianism and true democracy can man ever truly free himself from the chains of "self objectification;" or by becoming a hermit and moving away from civilization into the woods, such as did Thoreau.

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