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Freud between Two Philosophies, or Psychoanalytical Transdisciplinarity



This article evaluates the concept of transdisciplinarity that prevails in certain sections of the theoretical humanities, with a focus on the way in which it extends the long-running antagonism between science and the humanities, and "Continental" (theoretical) philosophy and its analytic counterpart. Examining a theoretical transdisciplinary valorization of the Freudian concept of the dream and juxtaposing it with an analytic disciplinary defense of dream interpretation as a method with scientific merit, I elucidate contrasting philosophical approaches to (trans)disciplinarity and correspondingly divergent perspectives on psychoanalysis. I conclude that the theoretical discourse on transdisciplinarity (inclusive of its application to psychoanalysis) obfuscates science as its generative Other, failing to go beyond, even while criticizing, analytic philosophy's appeal to science as a positive measure of validity. Alternatively, both forms of philosophical thinking fail to account for the ex-timate status of science for philosophy as well as psychoanalysis. This failure ultimately makes it difficult to arrive at a genuinely productive transdisciplinarity which, as Freud's disciplinary practice demonstrated, would take precisely extimacy as its motor and praxis.

Parallel abstracts



Baraitser, Lisa. “Temporal Drag: Transdisciplinarity and the ‘Case’ of Psychosocial Studies.” Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 32, nos. 5-6, 2015, pp. 207-231.
Birnbaum, Antonia. “The Obscure Object of Transdisciplinarity: Adorno on the Essay Form.” Radical Philosophy, no. 198, 2016, pp. 15-24.
Caygill, Howard. “Bildung and Strategy: The Fate of the ‘Beautiful Sciences.’” Radical Philosophy, no. 196, 2016, pp. 9-13.
Copjec, Joan. Imagine There’s No Woman: Ethics and Sublimation. MIT Press, 2002.
Derrida, Jacques. Of Grammatology. Translated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Johns Hopkins UP, 1997.