NPSA Congress – Brussels 2019
The 20th Annual Congress of the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society
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SATISFACTION AT LAST
NEUROPSYCHOANALYSIS ON SEX, DRIVE AND ENJOYMENT
What is the standing of Freudian theory in the light of modern neuroscience when it comes to drives, pleasure, enjoyment, and sex? To date, neuropsychoanalysis might be seen as a rather desexualized body of theories, studies, and methods: sexual topics pop up here and there, but not in any systematic way that recognizes sexuality as a constitutive foundation of the human condition. This congress aims to rectify this impression by directing our attention to questions like:
- What is sex? What is libido? What is an erogenous zone?
- Do we have to reconsider the Freudian notion of infantile sexuality?
- What about affect, emotion and drive in the sexual act and in sexuality?
- Are we enslaved to love? What is the role played by reward in love, addiction, or sex?
- What can we say about the role of the object in the sexual act and in sexuality: partial, transitional, sublime, exquisite – including lost objects?
- Are there specific (neuroscientific, conceptual, clinical) reasons to distinguish feminine enjoyment?
The Congress will take inspiration from Freud’s notion of the “experience of satisfaction” as well as from various post-Freudian notions, such as the prominent place given by Lacan to enjoyment (Jouissance) in relation to human subjectivity. Thus, we might ask:
- Is Freud’s interpretation of the experience of satisfaction still tenable, more than a century later? Do we need to revisit the relation between needs, libido, drive, and desire in light of current neuroscientific findings?
- What about the relation between Freud’s repetition compulsion and Lacan’s jouissance in the light of modern neurosciences?
- How do we conceive of death drive in this discussion?
- What (neuroscientific) grounds are there for the introduction of multiple forms of enjoyment, as Lacan’s work suggests: phallic enjoyment, “autre jouissance,” surplus enjoyment (“plus-déjouir”)?
- What about the idea of a sexual relationship, of which Lacan states that there is no such thing (“Il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel”)?