Rethinking Freud - Adam Phillips

July 27, 2014

Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips says we've gotten Freud all wrong.  He wasn't a scientist; he was a great writer and countercultural figure. And his insights still have the power to dazzle us.



I found Phillips' description of the premise of his own book "Missing Out" and his description of its links to Freudian thought captivating. I am eager to read it.

One here is struck by the profundity of Phillips and the shallowness of the interviewer, who has, like most people, never read any book of Freud's. Phillips here deals with why people do not read Freud, only about Freud.

where can I buy this book? I've searched all over the Internet and cannot find where to buy a copy of this book not the related book.

No thoughtful person in our society denies that we experience tension between the fact of the commercial world - in which we use the market to efficiently provide us with goods and services - on the one hand, and that we find ourselves irritated that the market cajoles us into consuming more than we need or even want, on the other hand.

But when Dr Phillips strays into political theory, any buoyancy he attempts to reclaim for Freudian analysis is once again immediately deflated. We can accept the notion that Sigmund Freud was a legitimate pioneer as a social critic of industrial revolution Western civilization and its relation to the self, without being foolish enough to swallow the claptrap of his "doctor" - patient phony-baloney therapeutic program, that remains a fraud. Similarly, we take the Nicomachean Ethics seriously - if not for granted - without bothering with attention to Aristotle's harebrained mechanics.

Else, it's impossible to distinguish the between the value Dr Phillips claims for Freudian analysis and that promised - no, actually delivered, every day by syndicated augurs - by astrology.

Else, all of the arguments Dr Phillips makes for the value of psychoanalysis may as well be convincingly made for that of astrological augury.