Psychoanalysis of nature: the mutual transference between the body and the world

Drapac, Stefan Bogdan (2019) Psychoanalysis of nature: the mutual transference between the body and the world. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The purpose of this thesis is to pursue the posthumous conversation started by Jacques Lacan and Maurice Merleau-Ponty during the last century. We are entitled to think that the friendly and critical exchange between psychoanalysis and phenomenology has not reached a climax point in which it can be asserted that there is no place for further research in this field. The legitimacy of our project is proven by the common preoccupation of Lacan and Merleau-Ponty, namely, the human enigma and the relation with the other. The investigation of the human leads Lacan to elaborate a topology that will help us to grasp the spatial structure of being, and which Merleau-Ponty will investigate, at the end of his work, as the ontology of the flesh. Conversely, thanks to Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology, Lacan’s psychoanalysis sees itself stripped of mathematic dogmatism. For Merleau-Ponty, renewal of philosophy cannot be achieved without the contribution of psychoanalysis. The new approach will lead to a new elucidation of the notion of being in nature. Returning to the things themselves, Merleau-Ponty shows that Nature is not an object of knowledge or a positive science, but an original dimension of Being from where we emerged. In his last work, Merleau-Ponty is inspired by Freud’s psychoanalysis; he is immediately interested in the chiasm that exists between spirit and body, flesh and language and human and nature. The concept of chiasm and the related concept of flesh, allow Merleau-Ponty to think the openness of being as a movement of the seeing-seen. Flesh is another notion for the unconscious. The unconscious will change the conception of the human being. Freud argues that there is an unconscious determinism that organises our life. This determinism is revealed, later, by Lacan, as the function of language. The apparent obvious function of language is, for Lacan and Merleau-Ponty, the notion that describes the way in which we house the world, namely, chiasmatically, through transferral. I will show that the psychoanalysis of nature denotes the ‘tangled’ connection between human and nature, spirit and body, a connection that is intrinsically supported by language.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13642
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 115-118).
Keywords: Merleau-Ponty, Lacan, psychoanalysis of nature, transference, chiasm, flesh, body
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: May 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Phenomenological psychology; Transference (Psychology); Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 1908-1961; Lacan, Jacques, 1901-1981

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