EducationFascism: Old and NewLiberal Democracy in QuestionThe Psyche

The Mass Psychology of Trumpism

Old and New Myths

Having spent quite some time studying the philosophy of political myth and, in particular, of fascist narratives, I could not but perceive something troubling in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again!” Every word is important. Let us explore each one by one. …

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EducationEssaysFeatureScienceThe Psyche

Remembering Jerome Bruner

Jerome Bruner, the George Herbert Meade Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research from 1981 until 1991, died June 5th at the age of 100. Jerry spent his century engaged in life fully. Not only was he one of the most influential figures in psychology, he was a sailor, a raconteur, and an intellectual, who easily traversed the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences without taking a breath. His passion for the sea was well known. When moving to England, he did not take the conventional route and fly or even sail on the QE II. Rather he sailed his own boat across the Atlantic. And, in his mid-80’s, when asked about whether he still sailed, he frowned, said “Alas, no,” but then smiled: “I have taken up kayaking.”

Besides the New School, Jerry spent his academic life at Harvard, Oxford, and, after his retirement, NYU Law School. Chiefly a developmental psychologist,  …

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EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionThe PsycheThe Radical Imagination

Psychoanalysis, Democracy, Desire

Anyone passingly familiar with the history of psychoanalysis knows that the field has occupied an embattled, marginalized, often indeterminate identity, and that its survival has often seemed precarious. Yet it is from this perch on the margins of culture and community that psychoanalysis speaks. By channeling a vortex of unconscious and conscious energies, it gives voice to raw, novel, free associations. In fact, because it speaks, and because it hails listening and speaking as the medium for therapeutic action (as “the talking cure”) psychoanalysis is powerfully relevant, even essential, to our personal and collective development. It sets in motion (as Lacan, by means of Bruce Finkwould frame it)[i] “‘a dialectic of desire,’…[desire] set free of the fixation inherent in demand.” 

Psychoanalysis achieves its results through a remarkably human, non-technological practice of talking freely, of free association.  …

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CapitalismEssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionO.O.P.S.Sex & GenderThe PsycheThe Radical Imagination

Pornography in the Political Domain: A Citizen is Being Beaten

It is election time. I am almost done with the course “Gender and Domination.” However, the echoes of conversations started in that class are proving to be difficult to silence. Among the questions that this seminar has left lingering, the one that has stayed with me the most has to do with the little use that historically psychoanalytic theory seems to have had for political philosophy. Maybe the problem is that I do not know enough about the topic, but it is my impression that the existing collaborations between the two disciplines are scarce at best. Yet I do not think it has to be this way. Thus, in what follows, I present my attempt to engage psychoanalysis with certain political attitudes that I consider problematic. The starting point of my reflection is an article that Drucilla Cornell wrote back in the 1990s as a response to the debate on pornography initiated by Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin.  …

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