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The New Wounded: From Neurosis to Brain Damage (Anglais) Broché – 15 avril 2012

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Psycho-neurological-politico-philosophical assessment of Trauma 2 novembre 2012
Par Wayne - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
A tour de force of passion and continental philosophy confronting the limitations of Freudian psychoanalytic concepts of the nature of trauma. The author writes from first hand knowledge and compassion about her grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer's, throwing Malabou into an empathic impasse.

She argues that Freud's theories of the life and death drive, and libido theory in particular leave no room for understanding nor treating trauma "beyond the pleasure principle" nor even beyond the "death principle" (death drive), since all psychic life is either siphoned through the sexual drives toward others (or narcissistic inversion toward self), or the aggressive drive toward others (sadism, cruelty, mastery) or self (masochism)--and nothing else.

She does a masterful analysis of many of the limits of Freudian theory, although many points are often repeated from slightly different directions to counter various Freudian nuances. She follows the maxim of giving the best possible interpretation of those you critique. Her use of deconstructive philosophical concepts to challenge dualistic drive theory is perhaps the most valuable aspect of her work.

While "plasticity, for Freud, designates the imperishable character of psychic formations" (p.57), Malabou posits a neurological ("cerebration") and destructive plasticity deeper than the psyche, in the brain itself which leads to the New Wounded, the destruction and reduction of the psyche, of the self to the sheer Material, beyond psyche, indifferent--the living dead.

Clearly, Alzheimer's patients appeal to our compassion, as to Malabou's compassion for her grandmother. And what does it mean that such a radical destruction of personality, or of identity is possible? Is a radical reconstruction of psychoanalysis and a new treatment of such trauma called for?

While Malabou avoided reviewing current treatments of trauma, you can see the approaches available in Robin Shapiro's book, "The Trauma Treatment Handbook," which includes psychodynamic therapies, EMDR, somatic therapies, ego state therapies, dialectical behavior therapy, etc.--meaning that there are many psychotherapies beyond psychoanalysis which are effectively treating many trauma patients.

Perhaps the most comprehensive theoretical approach to trauma is being addressed by Attachment Theory through the concept of Disorganized Attachment Disorder as identified by Mary Main. However, her approach, nor any other trauma treatment theorists' approach attempt to address the complete physiological deterioration of Alzheimer's or similar neurological disintegration diagnoses raised by Malabou.

This is where Malabou's empathy for the physiologically destroyed reigns supreme, where her philosophical expertise brings so many issues to be considered. What does it mean to have empathy for indifferent, vegetative states of existence which used to be alive psychic individuals? Can we better appreciate the nature of evil and thus of good by having such empathy? Does this definition of evil have implications for the ethical and political presence of evil versus good?

These are the issues raised in this intriguing work on the New Wounded.
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For Your Consideration 24 mai 2013
Par Lost Lacanian - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The New Wounded is a provocative new work. Malabou's stated intention is to bring together the latest in neurology with psychoanalysis. This is an encounter that, Malabou implies, psychoanalysis will not survive. For obvious reasons, traditionalists will feel anxious concerning neurology's presence. But I would encourage these folks to read Malabou's work, and then decide. In the final analysis, one may still disagree with Malabou's conclusions, but I do think she presents something that must be reckoned with.

The book orbits around a few key concerns. Malabou wants to replace Freud's theory of sexuality with a new concept: cerebrality. She wants to think a causality that is external to the subject's psychic constitution: the accident. And last she wants to think a form of being that is beyond the pleasure principle: destructive plasticity.

There is much that could be said about Malabou's work. Indeed, it is not difficult to see that Malabou, and The New Wounded in particular, will be at the center of critical theory for some time to come. I am not sure that Malabou succeeds in her project. And if she has succeeded, then I am skeptical about the consequences. But instead of airing those concerns here, I will only recommend that readers read this book, and decide for themselves.
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damn this is a good book 22 octobre 2012
Par steve jobes - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
holy s*** i cannot overstate how historically profound and deeply personal this book is at the same time. it is a triumph of a passionate research and execution, a scholar pushing herself to explode her field for urgent, immediate, concrete reasons. must read of the century for those interested in understanding the human condition pushed to its limits.
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