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Eros and knowledge: wishful thinking?

Hellings, J. ORCID: (2011) Eros and knowledge: wishful thinking? In: Quinn, M. and Gomersall, C. (eds.) Rigorous Holes: Perspectives in Psychoanalytic Theory in Art and Performance Research. CCW Graduate School, London. ISBN 9780955862878

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Doubtlessly in the first years of his psychoanalytic research, Freud shared the conventional rationalistic belief that knowledge was intellectual, theoretical knowledge. He thought that it was enough to explain to the patient why certain developments had taken place, and to tell him what the analyst had discovered in his unconscious. This intellectual knowledge, called ‘interpretation,’ was supposed to effect a change in the patient. But soon Freud and other analysts had to discover the truth of Spinoza’s statement that intellectual knowledge is conductive to change only inasmuch as it is also affective knowledge. Discovering one’s unconscious is, precisely, not only an intellectual act, but also an affective experience. The process of discovering the unconscious can be described as a series of ever-widening experiences, which are felt deeply and which transcend theoretical, intellectual knowledge. In this article I overturn and displace the traditional image of the (academic/clinical) researcher as a neutral and objective, detached and unaffected, figure. My aim is to elucidate the conditions of possibility for a new model of engagement encompassing art, aesthetics, philosophy and psychoanalysis. My hypothesis is that a deeper understanding of the dialectical play of eros and knowledge is crucial if one is to achieve this aim of a radically interdisciplinary research practice.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Art > Fine Art
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Art > Art History
ID Code:114032
Publisher:CCW Graduate School

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