Psychoanalytic theories have come in out of favour in the past hundred years. As a central theory behind recent empirically validated treatments such as mentalisation based therapy, there is a newfound interest in considering just what psychoanalysis can offer us in psychiatry and philosophy of mind. Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, and the A-Rational Mind is an interdisciplinary book with two aims. Firstly, to sharpen psychoanalytic concepts using philosophical tools and make psychoanalytic theory more viable to the academic community. Secondly, it looks to expand philosophy of mind so as to consider serious accounts of the unconscious and n-rational mental material predominant and ever-present in psychoanalytic data. The book explores some basic psychological phemena- beliefs, desires, phantasies, wishes, and drives- examining a range of fascinating cases, and explaining their significance for both philosophers and psychoanalysts. The book revisits some of Freud's less famous cases (and one of his most famous) while exploring some lesser kwn phemena such as akrasia (weakness of will). The book provides a powerful re-appraisal of psychoanalysis and the role it can play in helping us better understand human nature.
Dr. Linda A.W. Brakel is an Adjunct Associate Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School, where she is Co-Associate Director of the Hunt Memorial Laboratory for Research on Subliminal Processes. She is also Research Associate in the Philosophy Department at the University of Michigan, and a practising psychoanalyst, on the faculty of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. In all of these roles she has had a close acquaintance with psychoanalytic data - data revealing mental phenomena best described as unconscious and a-rational or irrational. For Brakel, these non-rational and non-conscious mental phenomena require empirical investigation and a serious philosophical account. Brakel has thereby done empirical and philosophical work on 'primary process' mentation, a form of thinking different from rational thought. These works have appeared in various academic venues, including psychoanalytic, psychological, and philosophical journals.
Linda A. W. Brakel
Oxford University Press
Date of Publication
Psychiatry & Clinical Psychology: Professional
International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry