Meditations of a Freudian Philosopher

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Thoughts and ThingsThoughts and Things
by Leo Bersani
University of Chicago Press
119 pages, $30.

 

AFTER a fifty-year career of thinking, teaching, and writing, Leo Bersani, a professor emeritus at Berkeley, still sounds nothing like an old man. The six essays in this collection are suffused with an urgent sense of discovering more to say about familiar subjects: Descartes, Freud, Proust, literature, film, queer theory. At the heart of Thoughts and Things is a philosophical concern with how the thinking subject relates to the world.

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Discussion1 Comment

  1. I find it amazing that the only “academics” who take Freud seriously are literary and queer theorists – his work has been thoroughly discredited in psychiatry and the human sciences as dangerous pseudoscience no better than phrenology or other quack sciences. No one takes Bersani, Butler, Warner or any of the other queer theorists seriously outside the insular ivory tower of elite humanities departments. Who gives a sh*t what Bersani thinks about gay marriage – he can remain a miserable old crank while the rest of us move on with our lives.
    This review reads more like a press release – the reviewer obviously shares Bersani’s disdain of modern science and its realistic epistemology. He should have at least disclosed this and addressed why Bersani believes Freud is still relevant, especially considering how psychoanalysis was so thoroughly complicit in pathologizing homosexuality in the 20th century. I expect better from GLR!

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