Psychoanalysis, Science and Masculinity

Author(s) : Karl Figlio

Psychoanalysis, Science and Masculinity

Book Details

  • Publisher : Whurr Publishers
  • Published : January 2001
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Category :
    Culture and Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 11647
  • ISBN 13 : 9781861562036
  • ISBN 10 : 1861562039
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This book is a psychoanalytic exploration of the need to know in Western culture. It argues that this need is expressed by the relentless drive of science to get to the source of all phenomena. But the profound reach into the interior of nature is accompanied by primitive unconscious phantasies of mastery, of knowing as making, of masculine intrusion into nature's creativity and of nature's retaliation and deterioration. Science becomes a tool of domination and a suspect magical enterprise. Benign nature becomes an ominous nature. As a result, the need to know becomes a moral quest, in which science unconsciously researches into the internal world of our intentions, externalised into the world of the phenomena that it investigates. The book also argues that the masculine domination of nature typically understood as phallic mastery has roots in a phantasy mediated by semen, in which the male identifies with and replicates the sources of life. These themes are addressed in a Kleinian psychoanalytic framework, using clinical, mythological, anthropological and historical material.

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A psychoanalytic exploration of the need to know in western culture. It argues that this need is expressed by the relentless drive of science to get to the source of all phenomena. But the profound reach into the interior of nature is accompanied by primitive unconscious fantasies of mastery, of knowing as making, of masculine intrusion into nature's creativity and of nature's retaliation and deterioration. Science becomes a tool of domination and a suspect magical enterprise. Benign nature becomes an ominous nature. As a result, the need to know becomes a moral quest, in which science unconsciously researches into the internal world of our intentions, externalized into the world of the phenomena that it investigates. The book also argues that the masculine domination of nature is typically understood as phallic mastery and has roots in a fantasy mediated by semen, in which the male identifies with and replicates the sources of life. These themes are addressed in a Kleinian psychoanalytic framework, using clinical, mythological, anthropological and historical material.

About the Author(s)

Karl Figlio is Professor Emeritus in the Department for Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, UK. He is a Senior Member of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of the British Psychoanalytic Council and an Associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society. He has published widely in the history of science, psychoanalysis and psychoanalysis and culture.

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