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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This section of the Handbook consists of four chapters that focus on the different ways in which twentieth-century philosophers engaged with psychoanalysis. The first chapter examines Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s existential-phenomenological reformulation of the psychoanalytic unconscious, with emphasis on his argument that the unconscious is an all-pervasive invisible ‘atmosphere’ (atmosphère) inexorably surrounding the lived-body and shaping all our emotional experience. The second chapter considers Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophical critique of psychoanalysis and how he drew on Sigmund Freud’s writings to test his new linguistic methods in philosophy. The third chapter describes how the Frankfurt School used Freudian psychoanalysis to bolster its Marxist critique of modern society, citing as an example Theodor W. Adorno, who offered an explanation of how fascist mass movements occurred by drawing on Freud’s theory of narcissism. The last chapter discusses the key hermeneutic themes found in Paul Ricoeur’s engagement with Freud in his book Freud and Philosophy.

Keywords: psychoanalysis, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, unconscious, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sigmund Freud, philosophy, Frankfurt School, Theodor W. Adorno, narcissism, Paul Ricoeur

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