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Gabriel Tupinambá - The political economy of the future

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Published on Mar 11, 2018

This two-part seminar investigates the relation between clinical psychoanalysis and the changing landscape of its historical conditions. Our objective is to introduce some basic concepts of Lacanian psychoanalysis together with the challenges brought about by the stakes of our current historical predicament.
In the first part of our study, we will consider a modern history of the future, using Reinhart Koselleck’s “semantics of historical time” in order to argue for a certain periodization of our experience of historical time between the XIXth and the XXIth centuries, suggesting that there is a socio-economic basis for what
Christopher Lasch called the “era of decreasing expectations”. Here, our aim is to map the way that the economic and symbolic dimensions of Western modernity might have provided a set of conditions of possibility for the psychoanalytic experience - a practice which would therefore be affected by the change in
these conditioning variables. We will focus, specially, on two relevant transformations: the transformation in our experience of the future - from its revolutionary image to the menacing threat of catastrophe - and the transformation in the paradigm of thinking - from the architectonic to the textual.

In the second part of our investigation, we will use this overview as the basis for our introduction of some basic psychoanalytic ideas, first in Freud and then in the work of Jacques Lacan. Our objective here is twofold: on the one hand, we want to show that psychoanalysis is a practice which answers to the particularly modern predicament of subjectivity, but which is also conditioned by this context; but, on the other, it is also a matter of demonstrating the historical limitations of certain theoretical and practical commitments of psychoanalysis - limitations which signal the inclusion of psychoanalysis in its historical moment. In a dialogue with the philosophies of Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek - thinkers who have recognized this historical conditioning of
psychoanalysis - we will conclude with a brief examination of possible strategies of how psychoanalysis might answer to the novelties of our times.

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