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Why the Freudian legacy is worth fighting for

"Domination: Psychoanalytic Perspectives"

A series of open seminars

March 5, 2014, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Room Laframboise 123, Saint Paul University

Psychoanalysis no longer enjoys the reputation it once had: psychology has dropped psychoanalysis, Freud is supposed to be too sexually obsessed, and the Lacanians get lost in the surrealistic knots of their own theory. And yet today, many political and social theories still refer to Freudian thought as their most important inspiration and claim that, erroneously, we think we can to leave that theory behind. Critical theories such as those of Cornelius Castoriadis, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek – to name only three – owe a lot to Freudian thought, and, what is more, defend the Freudian legacy as an important element in any future critical theory, including any transformative reflection on conflict or public ethics in general.

The Research Centre in Public Ethics and Governance and the Conflict Research Center have joined together to organize a series of open seminars discussing the importance of maintaining the reference to Freudian thinking within the domains of human sciences, conflict theories, theories on public ethics, and critical thinking in general. Freudian and post-Freudian psychoanalytic theory establishes a discussion with the entire philosophical and scientific tradition. A genuine understanding of conflict, democracy, and transformative political action implies that this field, which explores a specific and unavoidable dimension of the human soul, must be taken into consideration. Exploring this perspective is the object of the seminar series discussing why the Freudian legacy is worth fighting for.

The series will start by introducing thematic discussions on some aspects of psychoanalytic theory relevant for conflict studies, moral dimensions of transformation, and critical thought. A lecture by Slavoj Žižek, whose work on critical social theory is organized around Freudian references, is planned for the end of the coming year.

The first open seminar will discuss the psychoanalytic perspective on domination, both in the field of the political and in the therapeutic situation.

Admission is free, but we would encourage you to register by emailing htessier@ustpaul.ca or mdekesel@ustpaul.ca.



Chair: Sophie Cloutier

4.00: Coffee/Welcome
4.10 - 4.55: Prof. dr. Hélène Tessier (USP, Conflict Studies), Seduction and domination: a psychoanalytic contribution to a rationalist understanding of conformism
4.55 - 5.40: Prof. dr. Marc De Kesel (USP, School of Public Ethics), Therapy as a gift: a Freudian perspective on the impossible task of the therapist
5.40 - 6.00:
Plenary Discussion

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