Resistance in Freud and Foucault

Theoretical Considerations
By Fernanda Canavêz, Heraldo Miranda

This paper discusses the theme of resistance in the writings of Freud and Foucault. Anticipating that their mutual differences will prove fruitful, we would like to analyze a concept that escapes the imperatives of overhasty conciliation, as well as those of unproductive differences. We suggest that the relation between these two authors cannot be described as either a non-conciliatory approximation - for despite common elements we cannot presume absolute conciliation - or a radical separation. As to their common points, these are mainly the plural aspect of resistance and its continuous, unceasing character. In Freud, we can see a dimension of resistance that goes beyond the notion of an element that stands in conflict with analytic treatment – especially after the introduction of the second topology. In the framework of analytical experience, resistance therefore escapes all attempts at its submission. On the other hand, considering the differences between Freud and Foucault’s thinking, the discussion of power is crucial to Foucauldian thought, while Freud does not attend to it as an explicit topic of study.

  • resistance
  • power
  • psychoanalysis
  • philosophy
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