By Jane Flax

Considering Fragments offers an excellent critique of psychoanalytic, feminist, and postmodern concept. studying the writings of Freud, Winnicott, Lacan, Chodorow, Irigaray, Derrida, Rorty, and Foucault, between others, Flax conducts a "conversation" between psychoanalysts, feminist thinkers, and postmodern theorists, comparing the ways that each one staff of thinkers succeeds in coming to phrases with crises in modern Western tradition. As she analyzes every one idea in flip, the others are used to spot and interrogate its gaps and omissions. the result's a postmodern textual content of intertwined rules, without transparent beginnings, endings, conclusions. Flax addresses the query, "how is it attainable to theorize within the modern West?" With the death of aim notions of fact, wisdom, self and tool, intellectuals have devised those new modes of pondering which either replicate and give a contribution to the uncertainties of the modern West. every one additionally addresses at least one element of what has turn into so much complex to fashionable contributors: How to return to phrases with self, gender, wisdom and tool with no resorting to ideas that rigidity objectivity, common wisdom, and a unitary self. Flax reveals that neither psychoanalysis, nor feminism, nor postmodernism is enough to the duty for which it was once conceived. each one can remove darkness from convinced features of difficulties of self, gender, wisdom, and tool, yet none is enough by itself. in reality, each one contains attribute blindnesses rooted partly within the very problems it addresses. regardless of their mess ups, Flax concludes that those modes of theorizing are our greatest instruments so far, compelling us to exploit them even whereas we grapple with the issues they bring up. considering Fragments is a wide-ranging learn that may elicit a lot dialogue and debate. it's a vital textual content for social scientists and humanists alike, as good as a person else who thinks approximately tips on how to "do" idea within the modern West.

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Extra info for Thinking Fragments: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Postmodernism in the Contemporary West

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38] The analyst infers or interpolates processes that are unknowable in themselves but are assumed really to exist to account for the phenomena directly observed. For example, if a patient makes a slip of the tongue (substitutes an inappropriate word for the correct one), the analyst infers that an unconscious process is occurring that can account for both the making of the slip and its particular content. The patient's agreement with the analyst's interpretation and her or his ability to use it by producing further associations are taken as evidence for the correctness of the analyst's understanding of both the patient and the unconscious processes themselves.

Freud even reverses the actual power relation between the mother and small child. Conceptualizing the woman/mother as "castrated" ― 80 ― and in need of a son in order to acquire the longed-for penis renders the mother dependent on her son for psychological fulfillment. Such a fantasy reveals a rather high level of grandiosity about the son's significance to his mother, serving, at least in part, as a defense against acknowledging both his powerlessness vis-à-vis the mother and his fear of abandonment or injury by her.

The "highest" and "lowest" aspects of humanity are closely, sometimes inextricably, connected. , thought not affected by bodily experience, libidinal wishes, authority relations, or cultural conventions). Because even parts of the ego may be dynamically repressed, privileged, much less relatively complete, insight into the mind's operation is unattainable. Bias cannot be "controlled for" if its source is the dynamically unconscious repressed material that is in principle inaccessible to the conscious mind.

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