On Freud's ''The Future of an Illusion''

On Freud's ''The Future of an Illusion''

by Mary Kay O'Neil, Salman Akhtar
     
 

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"The question whether God is a subject for psychoanalysis is something that must be tackled at the very outset of our enterprise. However as we pay attention to it, the question reveals itself to be the product of a tension that exists between those who believe in the existence of God and those who do not. Sigmund Freud, by the very act of making God a subject of

Overview

"The question whether God is a subject for psychoanalysis is something that must be tackled at the very outset of our enterprise. However as we pay attention to it, the question reveals itself to be the product of a tension that exists between those who believe in the existence of God and those who do not. Sigmund Freud, by the very act of making God a subject of metapsychological deconstruction, took ... a resolutely atheistic position...the Illusion monograph is a literary battlefield where “Freud, the Atheist” is involved in a bloody combat with “Freud, the Believer”! His pupils and followers adhered “religiously” to the arguments and declarations he made in The Future of Illusion.

The contributors to this book are robust atheists as well as firm believers. There are also those who seem decidedly uncommitted. They come from different regions of the world, represent different ethno-religious backgrounds, and speak in different psychoanalytic tongues. The questions they raise largely pertain to what literal and metaphorical, conscious and unconscious, adaptive and maladaptive, self-soothing and masochistic, and generous and sadistic uses belief in God can be, has been, and is still being put to. Clearly, Freud’s intrapsychic “debate” on whether God exists or not has mushroomed into concerns of much larger scope. Knowing his unflappable willingness to learn, grow, and change his opinions, it is safe to assume that this smorgasbord of conceptual diversity would have been welcomed by Freud, even if he chose to use it for arguing even more forcefully for his position!" -- Taken from the Introduction by Salman Akhtar

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781855756274
Publisher:
Karnac Books
Publication date:
01/28/2009
Series:
IPA Series
Pages:
318
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

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Meet the Author

Mary Kay O'Neil is a Supervising and Training Analyst of the Canadian Institute of Psychoanalysis and is in private practice in Montreal, Quebec. She completed her PhD at the University of Toronto, where she was on the staff at the University of Toronto Psychiatric Service and Assistant Professor inthe Department of Psychiatry. She is currently Associate Director of the Canadian Institute of Psychoanalysis and is on the North American Editorial Board of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. She is author of The Unsung Psychoanalyst: The Quiet Influence of Ruth Easser and co-editor of Confidentiality: Ethical Perspectives and Clinical Dilemmas.

Salman Akhtar was born in India and completed his medical and psychiatric education there. Upon arriving in the USA in 1973, he repeated his psychiatric training at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and then obtained psychoanalytic training from the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. Currently, he is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He has authored, edited or co-edited more than 300 publications including books on psychiatry and psychoanalysis and several collections of poetry. He is also a Scholar-in-Residence at the InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia. Salman Akhtar received the Sigourney Award in 2012.

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