5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
The writing has been on the wall for Freud for some time now, with psychoanalysis now increasingly only being taken seriously in film theory circles (in its Lacanian guise). The astonishing thing is that people who have gone through film school are more steeped in psychoanalysis than doctors who have done psychiatry training. It is even looking as though the names Eugene Bleuler (who coined the term schizophrenia) and Jean-Martin Charcot (as in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder of hereditary sensorimotor neuropathy) will live on in medical circles long after Freud's memory has been buried. Likewise, phenomenological terminology from Karl Jaspers (see General Psychopathology) remains in widespread use in modern psychiatry (even though many psychiatrists are unaware of their origins), whereas Freudian terminology seems to have been systematically deleted from the modern terminological repertoire, or worse still merely banished to the realm of film theory. Likewise, psychology majors get almost no exposure to psychoanalysis, which is regarded as completely dated, especially since the evidence base favours cognitive behavioural therapies. Historians long ago discredited "psychohistory" based on psychoanalysis as being far too ridiculously speculative to the point that they now refuse to have anything to do with psychology. That means that those in film and literary criticism departments who continue to entertain psychoanalysis are increasingly looking like bizarre anachronisms, and the laughing stock of other faculties.
Nonetheless, this book remains absolutely essential reading to anyone with even the slightest of interests in the history and problems of methodology in psychology, psychiatry, and the social sciences in general. It also matters little whether you approach things from an analytical philosophy background (Popper, Cioffi, Wittgenstein), a sociology background (e.g. Foucault), a social anthropology background (e.g. Lévi-Strauss), a Continental philosophy background (phenomenology, existentialism, postmodernism), a feminist theory background, a film/literary criticism background, a medical psychiatry, general psychology background or any other psycho-social-theoretical background. This book is so incredibly well researched, and the spellbinding narrative of events by which Freud brutally conquered the medical and intellectual worlds so utterly gripping, that it cannot possibly be recommended highly enough. Truth is stranger than fiction for this makes for more engrossing reading than a thousand lesser novels. The whole post-mortem analysis of "what went so wrong?" is further examined in ways that cannot remain to be of immense interest to anyone with even a remote interest in the social sciences, whether professional or layperson. Everyone has something important to take away from this book, as Borch-Jacobsen uncovers the breathtaking story of how Freud's cynical methodology became the basis of a once vast intellectual empire that had conquered the world of international mainstream medicine, and made an enormous impact on the social sciences. Since then, there has been an equally spectacular fall from grace (see also psychiatrist Joel Paris' book The Fall of An Icon: Psychoanalysis and Academic Psychiatry), where Freud has been unceremoniously dumped from his self-appointed place alongside Copernicus and Darwin to take up his rightful place alongside Mesmer in the shameful history of failed ideas.
Particularly praiseworthy is the sheer amount of meticulous research that went into this book. Every point is backed up with innumerable lengthy blocks of supportive quotations that represent an extremely wide variety of sources and perspectives. In many case, obscure journal articles have been dug up, and letters traced down. I highly recommend that readers also chase up these citations for themselves, for only then can you tell if they are being used appropriately, and back up the author's claim as stated. From everything that I have seen, the use of citations is absolutely immaculate here, and in many cases, looking up the sources powerfully corroborates the author's claims, which, if anything are understated - always the hallmark of exemplary research. It is clear that the conclusions reached would be unpalatable to many, and in anticipation of this, the author has done a remarkable job of ensuring that a watertight case is presented, backed up with copious amounts of high-quality evidence. Every imaginable criticism (epistemological, ethical, methodological, historical etc) is thoroughly presented without the slightest hint of exaggeration or polemic, all the more to devastating effect. Borch-Jacobsen's clear eyed awareness of the currently fashionable commentary on psychoanalysis left by Derrida and Lacan make the book even more acutely relevant (Borch-Jacobsen is the author of the most revealing analysis of Lacan ever published Lacan: The Absolute Master). Overall, Borch-Jacobsen's approach follows in the footsteps of Michel Foucault (see his History of Sexuality), whose hostility to psychoanalysis was well known. In some ways this is the book that Foucault might have written had he lived longer, only Borch-Jacobsen has a balanced awareness of all the different aspects of criticism directed against psychoanalysis from almost every possible discipline, and he meticulously weaves the disparate perspectives of even usually mutually hostile intellectual traditions into the fabric of his book to form a powerfully coherent multi-pronged assault on the Freudian monolith.
The only possible conclusion is that psychoanalysis today occupies a position more like a cult that is increasingly resembling scientology. As a result, you can expect that critics like Borch-Jacobsen will come under a relentless stream of malicious attacks by cult members, and the fact that he puts up an uncompromisingly detached and staunchly methodical front is in fullest anticipation of the massive storm of outcry he knows he must face. The main counter argument that will be presented is that Borch-Jacobsen is a "Freud hater" who is driven to his malicious conclusions only by his neuroses or psychoses, and that his pathological "resistances" to psychoanalysis have repressed psycho-sexual grounds of which he is in frank denial. In short, anyone who dares to question the cult is dismissed as being a pervert and a madman in desperate need of immediate "treatment": a method of burying critics that originates from Freud himself who stated that such "resistances" constitute "actual evidence in favour of the correctness" of his ideas (Freud 1953-1974, 13:180). The implication is that everyone must give up their "resistances" and submit to brainwashing by the cult until "cured" of the last vestige of pathological "resistance." The end result is that, like scientology, the cult becomes uncriticizable. As to whether Borch-Jacobsen is some crazed "Freud basher" who needs to be cured of his "resistances" by submission to the cult, or whether his is the heartfelt voice of a sincere reason, I utterly implore everyone to read this book and to decide for themselves.