Psychoanalysis and Modernity

This article gives a rough sketch of psychoanalysis as part of modern culture (modernity) and as participating in the problematic of modern culture (modernity). It starts from the present day lack of interest in psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is minimally defined by its concern for human experience, dividedness and conflict and for the maintenance of a lack. Present day culture can be described by a prevalence of instrumentalism, narcissism and the practice of a culture of immediacy. It can be interpreted in a one-sided way as an actualisation of modernity. Modernity is not characterized by instrumentality alone but also by the importance of the dimension of subjectivity (experience, conflict and lack). The actual relevance of psychoanalysis might be found in the way psychoanalysis reminds present day culture of its own one-sidedness in relation to modernity.

Download full text