This paper presents the text of the public defence of a Doctorate that explores and evaluates the possibilities for quantification of the hysterical and obsessional dimension in neurotic psychopathology. It concludes that these psychoanalytic constructs are quantifiable to a certain extent, but that the validity of these measurements, being comparable to those of psychological constructs in general, is consequently too limited to support the testing of these theoretical statements using a positivistic approach.
On the objectification of the psyche as a living structure: An epistemological study of Freud’s public and private writings 1890-1900
In this doctoral defence on the objectification of the psyche as a living structure the author writes a transcendental history of psychoanalysis, i.e., a history which implies that an epistemological questioning of the psyche must be situated on a libidinal level.
The author asserts that psychoanalysis can serve as both a meta-psychology and as psychotherapy for people who have sustained brain-injury. Changes of personality after traumatic brain-injury are well documented but a strictly neurological explanation is unsatisfactory (Damasio, 2003). We argue that psychoanalytic meta-psychology can explain how brain-damage translates itself into a changed personality and psychodynamics. The author starts with Freud’s “Project”, where he describes the essential function of the I as the inhibition of thoughts (images) that lead to pain, resulting in the so-called “thinking-defence” (Freud, 1992: 68). According to the author, this protecting influence of the I often fails in the case of patients with prefrontal lobe-damage. This will be illustrated comprehensively by a case-study.
In this case study, the author illustrates important elements of the treatment of actual neurosis: 1. (Re-) Installation of the primary relation between the subject and the Other; 2. Symbolisation of the manifestations of the real of the drive; 3. Secondary elaboration and signification; and 4. Subject amplification.
What is there to say when there is no story, how to speak about the experience of reading, of reading Beckett. Not speaking about, but within a text, to continue the text, not deprived of hysteria, to start saying something else with the same words, always a new beginning. To experience as such psychical notions that do not exclude each other but rather produce a tension: reading/writing, to disappear/to appear, pleasure/jouïssance. To name this field of tension the drive, in this case, the case of reading Beckett, in particular the drive of the voice that comes to the surface whilst reading.