Civilization in Psychoanalysis?

By Iacovos Cléopas

The author proposes a discussion regarding the relationship between psychoanalysis and civilization. We could distinguish two principal types of approaches, according to which: the psychoanalysis interprets the mode of constitution of a civilization, and, civilization is examined like an interpretation of psyche. That is, as a constituting factor of the psychic functioning, and even of psychoanalysis, considered as resulting from the cultural evolution. We can discern an analogical approach between the intra-subjective and the collective culture (what occurs at one, it is also, by analogy, at the other). The consideration of psychoanalysis, of its method or its object, and of the civilization, from an analogical point of view, is neither obvious nor relevant, if we do not know, what makes it possibly effective. Does psychoanalysis, a clinical relationship and a clinical praxis, constitute a source of civilization? In the same way, civilization, a source of faintness according to Freud, and especially our contemporary civilization, could be the source or a place of development of the psychoanalytical thought? In psychoanalysis, maybe above all the processes she comprise, it is the transference relationship that is a source of civilization. Further, it would be the creation of a transitional field, in the space between the psyche and the civilization, which could allow the emergence of new modes of organization and the evolution of a civilization.

  • psychoanalysis
  • cultural processes
  • transference
  • civilization
  • transitional field
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