Review of Wisdom won from Illness, Essays in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis by Jonathan Lear, Havard University press, 2017
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Among all psychoanalysts, is there a psychoanalyst?
While reading these essays, collected here by Jonathan Lear, it is difficult to find out what unites them into a book. In particular, it is difficult to find out how wisdom can, according to Lear, be won from illness. Rather, it seems that Jonathan Lear puts us in the company of Kierkegaard and Socrates to guide us towards the experience of a creativity which may be won from the attempt to get out of illness – out of any illness that would call for meaning, i.e. out of any sort of illness. Maybe this will be better understood if our reading is accompanied all along by one question – a question that ought to be considered by anyone interested in psychoanalysis, be it to embrace or to condemn it: What is psychoanalysis?
Lear reminds us of an important manner of posing this question: in the first place, one ought to keep psychoanalysis tied “to its method” (Lear 2017, p. 292). As Freud emphasized, psychoanalysis is a braid interlacing...
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