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World, Affectivity, Trauma


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Existential Analysis, Daseinanalysis, and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis. Heidegger's Investigative Method in Being and Time. Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis as Phenomenological Contextualism. Existential Anxiety, Finitude, and Trauma. Worlds Apart: Dissociation, Finitude, and Traumatic Temporality. Our Kinship-in-Finitude. Relationalizing Heidegger's Conception of Finitude. Expanding Heidegger's Conception of Relationality: Ethical Implications. Heidegger's Nazism and the Hypostatization of Being: A Distant Mirror. Conclusions: The Mutual Enrichment of Heidegger's Existential Philosophy and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis.

About the Author

Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D. is a Founding Faculty Member and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, a Founding Faculty Member at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, New York City; and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the author of Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections (Routledge, 2007) and has coauthored four other books for the Analytic Press: Working Intersubjectively: Contextualism in Psychoanalytic Practice (1997), Contexts of Being: The Intersubjective Foundations of Psychological Life (1992), Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach (1987), Structures of Subjectivity: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Phenomenology (1984).


"In this short and readable book, psychoanalyst and philosopher Robert Stolorow demonstrates how Heidegger's existential philosophy enriches modern psychological thought and how contemporary psychoanalysis enriches Heidegger's existential philosophy. Stolorow and his collaborators have developed a contemporary post-Cartesian version of psychoanalysis known as intersubjective-systems theory, which is distinguished by its emphasis on phenomenology, hermeneutics, and contextualism, and that illuminates the rich relationality of authentic existing. Stolorow brilliantly elucidates the use of Heidegger's philosophy and places his fall into Nazism within the context of an examination of the salient themes that dominated Heidegger's personal psychological world, including the theme of emotional trauma, and of how these motifs left their imprint on both his philosophy and his version of Nazism. We are left with both an enriched understanding of the mutual influence of philosophy and psychoanalysis and insight into the personal subjectivity underlying all systems of thought. One can no longer be interested in either modern philosophy or psychoanalysis without a thorough familiarity with Robert Stolorow's contributions." - Lewis Aron, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, USA "For 35 years, Robert Stolorow has set about the task of restoring psychoanalysis to its rightful existential base. In this book, not only has Stolorow carried this task one step forward, he has brilliantly articulated a radically transformative philosophy of life. This book has implications not only for the reformation of psychoanalysis but for the reformation of our day-to-day relationships, beliefs, and experiences of the world." - Kirk J. Schneider, author, Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy (Routledge, 2007) "For many years now, Stolorow and his colleagues have greatly advanced our understanding of clinical phenomena through their emphasis on intersubjectivity, contextuality, and a consistently phenomenological vantage point. In this book, Stolorow takes this understanding still further, articulating in new ways how this simultaneous immersion in post-Cartesian philosophy and in psychoanalysis mutually enhances and deepens each perspective and enriches our understanding of our patients and of human behavior and experience more generally." - Paul L. Wachtel, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, CUNY, USA "How could the most important philosopher of the 20th century have thrown the weight of his thought behind its most horrifying political movement? That haunting question represents a 'wounding of thinking' (in Blanchot's words), a trauma that philosophers are still painfully working through. When the most profound trauma theorist, Robert Stolorow, publishes his work on Heidegger, we should thus all pay attention. As a psychoanalyst and philosopher, Stolorow shows how the phenomenology of trauma and Heidegger's thinking revealingly illuminate one another. Indeed, for all those wanting to understand what the relation between psychoanalysis and existential philosophy will be in the future, there is no more important work than this deeply thought and clearly written meditation on the perils and promise of human finitude." - Iain Thomson, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of New Mexico, USA, and author, Heidegger on Ontotheology (Cambridge University Press, 2005) "World, Affectivity, Trauma shows how today's psychoanalysis can be deepened and transformed by an encounter with Heidegger's thought - and vice versa. Rather than forcing a philosophical theory onto psychoanalytic practice, Robert D. Stolorow puts his careful readings of Heidegger into dialogue with clinical and personal experience, as well as using his own psychological insights to shed light on Heidegger the man. Stolorow makes the case that when we recognize, with Heidegger, that no one is a worldless, Cartesian mind, we can come to understand emotional and relational problems in a contextual, intersubjective framework. This perspective focuses not on inner drives, but on affects as ways of participating in the world. As Stolorow argues, a Heideggerian understanding of phenomena such as anxiety, trauma, and mortality can help us develop a 'kinship-in-finitude,' an honest solidarity between vulnerable human beings." - Richard Polt, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, Xavier University, and author, The Emergency of Being: On Heidegger's "Contributions to Philosophy" (Cornell University Press, 2006) "The great strength of Stolorow's book is to gradually unveil what trauma really means: the collapse of all meaning; the drastic change in the way we experience space and time; and the terrifying experience of the evaporation of everyday meanings that we take for granted...[T]he reader is richly rewarded by this dense text that elucidates the deep-structure of human existence. The book is a treasure for practicing clinicians of all styles, because it helps us understand some of the most central tenets of human life and the experience of trauma in great vividness and poignancy. But it will also be of great value for a wider educated readership interested in a deeper understanding of the structures of existence and the nature of trauma." - Carlo Strenger, Psychology Today "Stolorow has become, in my view and those of others, one of the country's pre-eminent thinkers on the subject of trauma...Stolorow is both insightful and compassionate...For those interested in how Heidegger's existential philosophy can enrich psychoanalysis, or those alternatively intrigued by how contemporary psychoanalysis can deepen an understanding of Heidegger's thought, I can recommend World, Affectivity, Trauma without reservation. For both the professional clinician and the motivated general reader, it is a bracing, challenging and, ultimately, deeply rewarding work." - Dennis Palumbo, The Huffington Post

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