Schelling, Freud, and the Philosophical Foundations of Psychoanalysis provides a long-overdue dialogue between two seminal thinkers, Schelling and Freud. Through a sustained reading of the sublime, mythology, the uncanny, and freedom, this book provokes the reader to retrieve and revive the shared roots of philosophy and psychoanalysis.
Teresa Fenichel examines the philosophical basis for the concepts of the unconscious and for the nature of human freedom on which psychoanalysis rests. Drawing on the work of German philosopher F. W. J. Schelling, the author explores how his philosophical understanding of human actions, based as it was on the ideas of drives, informed and helped shape Freud’s work. Fenichel also stresses the philosophical weight of Freudian psychoanalysis, specifically in regards to the problem of freedom and argues that psychoanalysis complicates and reinforces Schelling’s basic idea: to know reality we must engage with the world empathetically and intimately.
This book also serves as an introduction to Schelling’s thought, arguing that his metaphysics—particularly concerning the primacy of the unconscious and of fantasy—can be read as a therapeutic endeavor. Finally, the book offers a deep rethinking of the action and nature of sublimation through both Freud’s and Schelling’s texts. Fenichel suggests psychoanalytic therapy is self-interpretation—a recognition of our narratives as narratives, without for that reason taking them any less seriously.
Schelling, Freud, and the Philosophical Foundations of Psychoanalysis will be of great interest to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists as well as scholars of philosophy.