Thesis ID: CBB001561330

The Neighborhood and Its Discontents: Freud's Critique of Ethics (2007)

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Wegley, Andrew C. (Author)


University of California, Santa Cruz
Lease, Gary


Publication Date: 2007
Edition Details: Advisor: Lease, Gary
Physical Details: 301 pp.
Language: English

This dissertation is a close examination of Sigmund Freud's interpretation of the biblical ethic of "Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself' with an eye toward contemporary theory and ethics. While contemporary thought embraces the other and sees the other as the telos of all ethics, Freud has an opposite view. He sees ethics as the bane of individual and collective existence. We are left with contradictory views regarding ethics and our attitude toward the neighbor in particular. In order to offer a solution to contemporary ethics, my close reading of Freud will show how his theory--if not his words--remain faithful to a neighborly ethics. However, this interpretation warrants a methodology, which pays attention to his treatment of religion, ethics, and individuation throughout his oeuvre. That is, although Freud, on a manifest level, displays hostility toward ethics and its repression of libidinal impulses, I argue that, on a latent level, Freud's theory points us in a direction where ethics is essential to the expression of these impulses. Furthermore, I will show how Freudian practice allows for a neighbor, albeit one defined on a register different than traditional or religious definitions of the neighbor. This methodological approach to the problem of the neighbor will yield an ethics in line both with Freud's idea of subjectivity as well as with the concept of ethics. My dissertation will end by showing how this re-envisioned ethic offers mediation between the extremes of contemporary ethics' appraisal of the neighbor and Freud's dismissal. And in this way, my dissertation offers a secular basis for a neighborly ethic.

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Description Cited in Diss. Abstr. Int. A 68/11 (2008). Pub. no. AAT 3288382.


Citation URI
https://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB001561330/

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Authors & Contributors
Collier, Richard L.
Assoun, Paul-Laurent
Gedo, John E.
Leader, Darian
Winter, Sarah
Armstrong, Richard H.
Journals
Psychoanalysis and History
History of the Human Sciences
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
History of Psychology
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Publishers
Athlone Press
Faber & Faber
Stanford University Press
Cornell University Press
Bloomsbury
Cambridge University Press
Concepts
Psychoanalysis
Psychology
Philosophy
Psychiatry
Mythology
Sexuality
People
Freud, Sigmund
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm
Fechner, Gustav Theodor
Carus, Carl Gustav
Hartmann, Eduard von
Krafft-Ebing, Richard von
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
Places
Vienna (Austria)
Germany
United States
Weimar Republic (1919-1933)
Poland
France
Institutions
University of Chicago
Clark University
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