Freudianism is a major icon in the history of ideas, independently rich and suggestive today both for psychoanalysis and for theories of language. It offers critical insights whose recognition demands a change in the manner in which the fundamental principles of both psychoanalysis and linguistic theory are understood. Volosinov went to the root of Freud's theory adn method, arguing that what is for him the central concept of psychoanalysis, "the unconscious," was a fiction. He argued that the phenomena that were taken by Freud as evidence for "the unconscious" constituted instead an aspect of "the conscious," albeit one with a person's "official conscious."
For Volosinov, "the conscious" was a monologue, a use of language, "inner speech" as he called it. As such, the conscious participated in all of the properties of language, particularly, for Volosinov, its social essence. This type of argumentation stood behind Volosinov's charge that Freudianism presented humans in an inherently false, individualistic, asocial, and ahistorical setting.
To launch Set 7 in our Radical Thinkers series, we ran a competition last week to win a copy of every available book published in the series so far.
After a week of frenzied-question posting and a website crash in the face of Radical Thinkers popularity, I’m delighted to announce the winners and runners-up!
Fortnightly from the 9th of April, 2013, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, five engaging speakers will be introducing the thought of Ludwig Feuerbach, Simon Critchley, Max Horkheimer, Alain Badiou and Wilhelm Reich. These events will span themes from sexuality to economics, idealism to ethics, covered in the author’s books in the new set of Radical Thinkers.
Set 7, released this month, is the latest addition to the series. These beautifully designed books have been described by Owen Hatherley as “a compendium of left-wing philosophical and political thought.”
The following provides a brief introduction to the thinkers and offers some related preparatory materials.