Summary: This paper aims to discuss substance use and abuse as falling beyond the pleasure principal and the deficiencies of CBT in the treatment of substance use disorders. As we continue to ponder the beginning and ending of a pandemic, lurking close behind, is the epidemic of overdoses and substance abuse. This epidemic occurred prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only to be exacerbated by it. Rather than viewing substance use as mere mechanical activity of our bodies in functions, what we can aim to understand better is how our repetitions and behavior express some sort of desire, wish, or fantasy. In the movie Another Round (2020), it is presented that according to Norwegian psychiatrist, Finn Skårderud, human beings are born with a blood alcohol content that is 0.05% too low. This concept would add further nuance to the terms ‘substance use,’ ‘misuse,’ and ‘abuse.’ In the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant explains the thought experiment of the Gallows Man (1998, 5:30), to convey his understanding of people’s prioritization of life over lust. He also explains that a cost-benefit analysis is not enough to prioritize life. Yet, other therapeutic modalities for substance treatment encourage the use of decisional balance worksheets and cost/benefit analyses. A psychoanalytic understanding of substance use and abuse would help unveil the desire and meaning of this activity. It is not just about controlling our brain’s biochemistry or ‘self-medicating,’ but rather, an exploration of what the substance and its use really provides for the individual. In other words, substance use, misuse, or abuse, and the language used to describe the patterns and rituals of the individual are not simply cognitive and behavioral, but more so, fantastical, emotional, and dream-like.
Abstract: This year marks one century from the first publication of Mass Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego by Sigmund Freud. What has been the importance of this text for social and political inquiry diachronically? What is its relevance today? It is to these two questions that this text is devoted. Attention is first given to the broader choreography between psychoanalysis and socio-political inquiry. Focus is then directed to the way populism research in particular has benefited from the ensuing re-orientation. Debates around ‘post-truth’ are also discussed within this context.
Summary: This paper investigates the significance of filmic analysis in the contemporary theoretical paradigm inspired by Slavoj Žižek, which we term ‘Transcendental Materialism’. After characterising its distinct peculiarities within the history of psychoanalysis and film theory, we demonstrate the limitations of previous (possible) answers, arguing they are partly formulated in response to confrontations with other paradigms. Our own approach is then informed by a study of another popular object of analysis in Transcendental Materialism – the joke. We show how Freud’s understanding of the joke was adapted by the paradigm and supported further by certain philosophical insights by (among others) G.W.F. Hegel. Finally, we demonstrate how parallels can be drawn between this adaptation and the significance of the filmic form within Transcendental Materialism, inspired in part by Alain Badiou’s reading of Hegel.
In this paper the author discusses Lacan’s changing theory of the subject in the early texts of the Écrits and relates it to the notion of “the lie” in psychoanalysis. As Lacan’s view of the subject shifts form the Imaginary to the Symbolic, the source of man’s primordial discord and alienation shifts from being located in the relationship to the image to finding its source in the relationship to the signifier. We could qualify the shift from an imaginary to a symbolic subject theory as a shift from one kind of not wanting to know to another, as a shift from one kind of lie to another. We discuss this as a shift from méconnaissance in the Imaginary to mensonge in the Symbolic. We conclude with a few remarks on the notion of truth in psychoanalysis, the consequences for clinical practice and the role of the psychoanalyst, who is now redefined as a practitioner of the symbolic function.
In this contribution we take a psychoanalytic look at the novel The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. We follow the clinical adventures of Don Quixote and the diagnostic interpretations he comes across on his journey. We discuss a number of psychoanalytic case formulations that situate the knight in the realm of psychosis and that endeavour to construct the clinical logic of his adventures. Via a discussion of Lacan’s remarks on bovarysm and a consideration of the relationship between literature and psychoanalysis, we come to a second section, where we find our knight again, now no longer as a model of madness, but as a paragon of normalcy. Here Don Quixote has become a paradigmatic example of the way human identity and subjectivity are rooted in narrative and fantasy. Here each one of us becomes a Don Quixote, wandering through the world, guided by delusions and misapprehensions. We conclude with an examination of the way in which the fiction of psychoanalysis relates to the fiction of the subject. Here we encounter the psychoanalyst as a Don Quixote.