On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored: Psychoanalytic Essays on the Unexamined Life

On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored: Psychoanalytic Essays on the Unexamined Life

by Adam Phillips


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In a style that is writerly and audacious, Adam Phillips takes up a variety of seemingly ordinary subjects underinvestigated by psychoanalysis—kissing, worrying, risk, solitude, composure, even farting as it relates to worrying.

He argues that psychoanalysis began as a virtuoso improvisation within the science of medicine, but that virtuosity has given way to the dream of science that only the examined life is worth living. Phillips goes on to show how the drive to omniscience has been unfortunate both for psychoanalysis and for life. He reveals how much one's psychic health depends on establishing a realm of life that successfully resists examination.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674634633
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 07/15/1998
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 1,221,444
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Adam Phillips is Principal Child Psychotherapist in the Wolverton Gardens Child and Family Consultation Centre, London.

Table of Contents


1. On Tickling

2. First Hates: Phobias in Theory

3. On Risk and Solitude

4. On Composure

5. Worrying and Its Discontents

6. Returning the Dream: In Memoriam Masud Khan

7. On Being Bored

8. Looking at Obstacles

9. Plotting for Kisses

10. Playing Mothers: Between Pedagogy and Transference

11. Psychoanalysis and Idolatry




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On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored: Psychoanalytic Essays on the Unexamined Life 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
MiserableLibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The subtitle is ¿Psychoanalytic essays on the unexamined life.¿ In this collection of eleven essays, Phillips discusses such topics as tickling, risk, solitude, composure, obstacles, and psychoanalysis and idolatry. About half of this went over my head, but there were still some interesting thoughts and ruminations here, even for a reader illiterate in Freud, Klein, and Winnicott. The author has a remarkable ability to ask what seem to be entirely unexpected questions, and to question just about everything, including the whole business of psychoanalysis.