Towards the Limits of Freudian Thinking: Critical Edition and Readings of Beyond the Pleasure Principle

Editor : Herman Westerink, Editor : Jenny Willner, Editor : Philippe Van Haute

Towards the Limits of Freudian Thinking: Critical Edition and Readings of Beyond the Pleasure Principle

Book Details

  • Publisher : Leuven University Press
  • Published : August 2024
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 320
  • Category :
  • Category 2 :
  • Catalogue No : 97754
  • ISBN 13 : 9789462704091
  • ISBN 10 : 9462704090
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Sigmund Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle stands as a foundational text in psychoanalysis, delving into profound questions about life, death, pleasure and pain. Through a combination of contextualising and philosophical contributions, this critical edition and commentary sheds new light on Freud’s text. In a series of contributions spanning approaches from historical exegesis to philosophical reflections on key concepts and ideas presented in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, the evolution and inconsistencies found in the various versions of the text are highlighted. Particular emphasis is placed on the conceptualisation of the death and life drives. These commentaries also provide context for the work, examining its position within the Freudian corpus, its role in the collaborative project with Sándor Ferenczi in speculative bioanalysis, and its clinical insights into war neuroses, trauma, bonding and aggression in post-World War I society.

By critically examining diverse interpretations of Freud’s work, Towards the Limits of Freudian Thinking re-actualises this classic text in contemporary philosophy and psychoanalysis, rendering it accessible to both specialised and broader audiences.

Reviews and Endorsements

This book is a major intellectual event. It sheds new light on the genesis and the interpretation of one of the most difficult and most studied—but least well understood—cornerstones of psychoanalytic theory, Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle. The archival research is meticulous and impressive, and the scholarship is first-rate. The specific focus on the role played by theories of biology makes this book especially timely as it raises provocative questions about the very definition of life and death and resonates with current discussions about biology and psychic life. This important book will undoubtedly spark many important debates. It should be essential reading for anyone interested in psychoanalysis, science studies, and philosophy.
Elissa Marder, Emory University

This volume opens the way not only to re-read Freud´s famous writing Beyond the Pleasure Principle anew. It also changes our understanding of the development of Freud´s concept of drives after WWI. It shows the contradictions and difficulties of such a theory in a framework that could be called a bio-philosophy.
Wolfgang Müller-Funk, Universität Wien

About the Editor(s)

Herman Westerink is Associate Professor for Philosophy of Religion and Intercultural Philosophy at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Extraordinary Professor at the KU Leuven, Belgium. He has published many books and articles on Freudian psychoanalysis, sexuality and religion.

More titles by Herman Westerink

Jenny Willner is assistant professor at the department for comparative literature, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

Philippe Van Haute is Professor for Philosophical Anthropology at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Extraordinary Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He has published extensively on the relation between psychoanalysis and philosophy.

More titles by Philippe Van Haute

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