La psyché démodée. Psychanalyse et objectivité sociale chez Adorno

The old-fashioned psyche: Adorno on psychoanalysis and social objectivity

  • The paper discusses the problem of the possible relation between psychoanalytic concepts and social critique in the perspective of Adorno's social thought. The title refers to Adorno's idea that psyche as individual spontaneity has now lost the weight it used to have in the liberal era. As a brief introductory remark, I clarify the status of theory for Adorno, i.e., the circularity between interpretation and description as grounded by the nature of the social object itself. Then I analyse his core idea of “social objectivity” as an impersonal mechanism which is at the same time produced by men and reified, heteronomous for them, and I argue that, for Adorno, the discontinuity existing between individual and society prevents an immediate shift of psychoanalytic concepts to the social world: the example of fascism clearly proves that the determining social forces today, while instrumentally exploiting deep psychical materials, are not themselves psychological. In the final part, I show how, for Adorno, psychology and sociology nevertheless need to be mediated with each other, while avoiding the superficial synthesis the so-called “revised psychoanalysis” aims to, and I point out some similarities between psychoanalytic practice and social critique as conceived by him.

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Author:Giovanni Zanotti
Parent Title (English):Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology and Practical Philosophy
Place of publication:Iași
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2014
Year of first Publication:2014
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2020/08/28
Tag:Adorno; Critical Theory,; Dialectic; Frankfurt School; Fromm; Individual; Psychoanalysis; Social Objectivity; Society; Totalitarianism
Page Number:31
First Page:67
Last Page:97
Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy is an online, open access journal. All articles of this journal are published under a Creative Commons Licence (Attribution-NoDerivs: CC BY-ND)
Institutes:Philosophie und Geschichtswissenschaften / Philosophie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 10 Philosophie / 100 Philosophie und Psychologie
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie / 300 Sozialwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Keine Bearbeitung