Freud embarked on his exploration of an unconscious domain hand in hand with his clinical practice. He was thus forced to think deeply about the relationship between doctor and patient. He could not afford—quite literally—to do otherwise. In the postscript to ‘Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria’ (1905), he pondered Dora’s abrupt decision to end treatment and spelled out what he had failed to appreciate in good time: transferences. Subsequent generations of psychoanalysts, particularly Melanie Klein, Bion, and Betty Joseph, pressed on along two separate—but certainly not parallel—tracks: first, stretching the concept of transference; second, introducing the concept of projective identification and rethinking countertransference. The first took off from the expansion of psychoanalytic practice to include children; the second from its expansion to include the seriously disturbed. Taken together these advances, in theory and in practice, led to reconceptualizing the analytic relationship.
Alfred R. Mele
What are actions? And how are actions to be explained? These two central questions of the philosophy of action call, respectively, for a theory of the nature of action and a theory of the explanation of actions. Many ordinary explanations of actions are offered in terms of such mental states as beliefs, desires, and intentions, and some also appeal to traits of character and emotions. Traditionally, philosophers have used and refined this vocabulary in producing theories of the explanation of intentional actions. An underlying presupposition is that common-sense explanations expressed in these terms have proved very useful. People understand their own and others' actions well enough to coordinate and sustain complicated, cooperative activities integral to normal human life, and that understanding is expressed largely in a common-sense psychological vocabulary. This article focuses on these issues.
This chapter enters into a debate with the analytic theory of action, especially the version developed by Donald Davidson, who makes it clear that the upsurge of a desire to perform a specific action is a natural event that is causally responsible for the action in question. The narrative interpretation of selfhood was initiated by Hannah Arendt. Selfhood is certainly assured on a passive and affective plane. Edmund Husserl maintains that in the passive sphere, a self is constituted preceding active reflection. As Paul Ricœur clearly determines, the complicity with reality entails a ‘decentred self’ that is strictly opposed to the self-centred, self-controlled, and self-assured ego of modern philosophy. Emmanuel Levinas never accepted Wittgenstein's constraint on philosophy to remain silent with regard to the ‘unsayable’.
There are two main motivations for action-based approaches to perception: the parsimonious assumption that action and perception belong to a single overlapping functional system and the tendency to minimize the load of internal processing in perception. For example, according to the ecological paradigm, visual perception consists in detecting affordances for action. Many advocates of action-based accounts of perception reject the computational/representational approach and embrace instead an embodied approach to perception and an empiricist view of the contents of concepts. For example, enactivists argue for constitutive links between an agent’s bodily movements and the content of her perceptual experiences. While, enactivism is not easy to reconcile with evidence for the two-visual systems model of human vision, further support for action-based accounts of social perception has been derived from the discovery of mirror neurons and mirroring processes.
Michael Lacewing and Richard G.T. Gipps
This introduction provides an overview of the chapters in this section, which explores the role of psychoanalysis in aesthetics. More specifically, the chapters examine some psychoanalytic concepts with which to think more deeply about human creativity and aesthetic sensibility, such as wish and wish fulfilment, the depressive position, projection, containment, and mentalization. The focus is on what Sigmund Freud thinks about art, how we should understand it (the question of criticism), what makes an experience distinctively aesthetic, and how we should understand artistic creativity. One of the chapters deals with film theory, arguing against the cognitive turn in favour of the view that ‘the creation and experience of film is driven by desire and wish fulfilment and functions so as to satisfy certain psychological, protective, expressive needs of both artists and audiences’. Another chapter considers the developmental, transformative nature of art, and the particular importance of its form in this respect.
Andrea Raballo and Lorenzo Pelizza
This chapter discusses the phenomenology of affective temperaments as well as their subjective nuances and potential pathogenetic trajectories. It first considers the notion that different kinds of temperament are constitutionally based affective-behavioral dispositions, tracing it back to Hippocratic medicine with the theory of the four humors. It then explains how the modern concept of affective temperaments has been operationalized in a clinical descriptive framework. In particular, it explores the works of Emil Kraepelin, Ernst Kretschmer, and Hubertus Tellenbach on affective psychoses, human emotions, and Typus Melancholicus (TM), respectively. The chapter also examines the pathogenic role of TM as a specific personality structure, how despair intervenes in the transition from the pre-melancholic to the melancholic phase, and the status of temperaments within the context of affective phenomenology.
Affectivity and Its Disorders draws on Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology of moods and his conception of Befindlichkeit in an effort to critique traditional psychological and behaviorist views of affectivity. On Heidegger’s account, moods are not fleeting or contingent aspects of experience but rather constitutive of what it means ‘to be’ human insofar as they serve as the mediating horizon or atmosphere that makes it possible for things to affectively matter to us. The primary aim of this chapter is to explore the ways in which psychopathologic experience disrupts and modifies the structure of Befindlichkeit and the mediating capacity of moods. This structural disruption is examined from the perspectives of embodiment, being-with-others, and temporality.
Susan L. Feagin
This article explains the complexity argument as offered by Peter Kivy in relation to absolute music. The next section looks at a particular criticism of the complexity argument: that feelings often alert us to what is important in one's current environment (for these purposes, what is important in the work one is reading) in a way that cannot be accomplished by reason or cognition, ‘intellectual’ activity, or even by affectless perception. Such a view of feelings in general currently enjoys substantial popularity among a variety of psychologists and philosophers. The next section presents one intellectualist model for appreciation, courtesy of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five: the Tralfamadorean view, which connects the absence of time from the reading process, and from the process of living one's life, with the absence of feelings that reflect the human capacity for agency.
The distinction between agent-relative and agent-neutral reasons, at least in its explicit form, is a fairly recent contribution to normative ethics. That the distinction is both well-defined and significant is often taken for granted in contemporary normative ethics. For example, it is supposed to help us characterize many aspects of common-sense morality, such as personal duties, and deontological restrictions or constraints. The main question of this chapter is whether there is a well-defined distinction between agent-relative and agent-neutral reasons that has this high level of significance. Is the distinction really “an extremely important one,” as Nagel said, or perhaps even one of “the greatest contributions of recent ethics,” as Tom Hurka suggests? A variety of accounts of this distinction is discussed and it is argued that none live up to this hype, at least if the distinction is supposed not to beg other important questions in normative ethics.
Søren Overgaard and Mads Gram Henriksen
Alterity examines a key notion in phenomenology, viz. that of otherness or alterity, and distinguishes between a broad and a narrow definition of alterity. Broadly understood, “alterity” refers to anything that eludes or transcends a subject’s grasp. Narrowly understood, it refers exclusively to another agent, subjectivity or mind, or what is experienced as such. The chapter outlines classical and contemporary phenomenological analyses of experiences of alterity in the narrow sense of the term. It considers analyses of normal experiences of alterity found in the philosophical literature—focusing in particular on Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and Levinas—as well as analyses of pathological experiences of alterity described in phenomenological psychopathology, such as auditory verbal hallucinations. Finally, it suggests that “radical alterity” is a central feature of the phenomenology of schizophrenia.