This is Part 2 of the talk (Q&A). To view Part 1, click here.
The Arnold Pfeffer Center for Neuropsychoanalysis of the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute
Saturday, June 4th 2016
“Is psychoanalysis operating a phenomenological turn? Some historical and epistemological elements of response?”
Mathieu Arminjon, PhD
At the turn of the century, neuroscience provided space for the generation of a number of “neurodisciplines,” such as social neuroscience (Cacioppo & Bernston, 1992), neurophenomenology (Varela, 1996), neuropsychoanalysis (Nersessian & Solms, 1999), and neuroeconomy (Camerer, Loewenstein, & Prelec, 2005). To Fernando Vidal (Vidal, 2009) such cerebralization of the subject is not the result of recent advances in neuroscience. Instead, it is the endpoint of an anthropological mutation, extending back to the eighteenth century, which generated a disembodied representation of the self.
Dr. Arminjon proposes to show that Vidal’s historical account fails to explain why neuropsychoanalysis and neurophenomenology emerged precisely during the neuroscience boom and not before. Nevertheless, discussing Vidal’s thesis opens a space for showing why, in contrast to cognitive science’s disembodied model, both neuropsychoanalysis and neurophenomenology rehabilitated a corporeal and subjective conception of the subject.
This historical and epistemological analysis will have two aims: (1) Showing how Antonio Damasio’s neurobiology and Freudian metapsychology are both historically rooted in Theodor Meynert’s neuropsychiatry (Arminjon, Ansermet, & Magistretti, 2010), and (2) showing why adopting a phenomenological perspective allows for clarifying to what extent the id can be said to be conscious (Solms, 2013).