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Philosophy and Psychoanalysis

  • Module code: PH7906
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

Each year this module focusses on a study of a different selection of Freud's major and minor works, mining them for their philosophical significance and reflecting on the implications of psychoanalysis for philosophy, particularly in relation to the philosophical notion of the subject. Where appropriate the module will discuss the critical development of this theoretical framework by psychoanalysts such as Jacques Lacan and Jean Laplanche, its reception and deployment in the tradition of Freudo-Marxist critical theory, and the theoretical transformation and political critique of Freudian theory in feminist and queer theory.

Aims

The aims of this module are to:

  • Enable students to understand and critically analyse the theoretical history and conceptual specificity of some of Freud's basic concepts.
  • Introduce students to the philosophical aspects of some of Freud's most important meta-psychological and other works.
  • Enable students to reflect critically on the implications of psychoanalytic theory for philosophy, particularly in relation to the notion of the subject.
  • Enable students to understand and assess the reception of psychoanalytic theory in for example, critical, feminist and queer theory.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the historical and conceptual sopecificity of some of Freud's basic concepts.
  • Undertake a philosophical analysis of non-philosophical texts.
  • Understand some of the implications of Freudian theory for philosophy.
  • Undertake the work of close textual analysis of demanding theoretical texts.
  • Understand and assess the relation between psychoanalytical theory and the critical theory taditions of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Curriculum content

The module includes:

  • Examination of the basic concepts of Freud's metapsychology.
  • Detailed textual analysis of a selection of Freud's work.
  • Examination of the interpretation of Freud's works by, for example, Lacan and Laplanche.
  • Discussion of the deployment of Freudian psychoanalysis in 20th Century critical theory (for example Reich, Marcuse, Butler)

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be taught by means of a mix of lectures and seminars (including student presentations), supplemented by individual tutorials and private study. Emphasis is placed on
seminar-based discussion.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Seminars/lectures: 10 taught sessions (2.5 hours each) 25
Scheduled learning and teaching Group and individual tutorials (one scheduled hour plus office hours) 1
Scheduled learning and teaching Directed and Independent Learning Total 274
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to test a student's ability to meet the module's learning outcomes. Summative assessment involves two pieces of written work:

  • A 1,500-word exercise, normally submitted at or before the mid-way point of the module, worth 20% of the final mark.
  • A 3,500-4000 word essay, worth 80% of the final mark.

The skills required to prepare these assessed elements will be developed in a variety of formative activities throughout the module, notably through class discussion, feedback on in-class presentations, and individual tutorials. Preparation of the final essay normally includes a scheduled tutorial with the module tutor.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Demonstrate an appreciation of the historical and conceptual sopecificity of some of Freud's basic concepts. Assessed formatively through class discussion, presentations and tutorials, and summatively through the two pieces of individual written work.
Undertake a philosophical analysis of non-philosophical texts. Assessed formatively through class discussion, presentations and tutorials, and summatively through the two pieces of individual written work.
Undertake the work of close textual analysis of demanding theoretical texts. Assessed formatively through class discussion, presentations and tutorials, and summatively through the two pieces of individual written work.
Understand and assess the relation between psychoanalytical theory and the critical theory taditions of the 20th and 21st centuries. Assessed formatively through class discussion, presentations and tutorials, and summatively through the two pieces of individual written work.

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Coursework 1500 word exercise 20
Coursework 3,500 to 4000 word essay 80
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams [1900], trans. James Strachey, SE IV and V  (or Penguin edition, 1991)

Sigmund Freud, On Metapsychology: The Theory of Psychoanalysis, Pelican Freud Library  Volume 11 (London: Penguin, 1984).

Sigmund Freud, The Essentials of Psychoanalysis (New York: Vintage, 2008).

Jacques Lacan, Écrits, trans. Bruce Fink (New York: Norton, 2006).

Laplanche, ‘Interpreting (With) Freud', trans. Vincent Ladmiral and Nicholas Ray, in John Fletcher, ed., Seductions and Enigmas: Laplanche, Theory, Culture, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 2014.

Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (London and New  York: Routledge, 1990).

Bibliography recommended reading

Josh Cohen, How to Read Freud, Granta, London, 2005.

Dylan Evans, An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis, Routledge, 1996.

Stephen Frosh, Key Concepts in Psychoanalysis, The British Library, London, 2002.

J. Laplanche and J-B Pontalis, The Language of Psychoanalysis, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith, Karnac/Institute of Psychoanalysis, London 1988.

Jane Milton, Caroline Plomear and Julia Fabricius, A Short Introduction to Psychoanalysis, Sage, 2011.

Stella Sandford, Plato and Sex (Cambridge, Polity, 2010).

 

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