Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation - download pdf or read online

By PAUL RICOEUR

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It is in opposition to this re­ duction of reflection to a simple critique that I say, with Fichte and his French successor, Jean Nabert, that reflection is not so much a justification of science and duty as a reappropriation of our effort to exist; epistemology is only a part of this broader task: we have to recover the act of existing, the positing of the self, in all the density of its works. Why must this recovery be characterized as appropri­ ation and even as reappropriation? I must recover something which has first been lost; I make "proper to me" what has ceased being mine.

To understand is to make this substitution. The title Traumdeutung, which we have briefly considered, alludes to this analogy between analysis and exegesis. At this point we may draw an initial comparison between Freud and Nietzsche. Nietzsche borrowed the concept of Deutung or Auslegung from the discipline of philology and introduced it into philosophy. It is true that Nietzsche remains a philologist when he interprets Greek tragedy or the pre-Socratics, but with him the whole of philosophy becomes interpretation.

Nietzsche, focusing on the problem of "value"—of evaluation and transvaluation—looks for the key to lying and masks on the side of the "force" and "weakness" of the will to power. Fundamentally, the Genealogy of Morals in Nietzsche's sense, the theory of ideologies in the Marxist sense, and the theory of ideals and illusions in Freud's sense represent three convergent pro­ cedures of demystification. Yet there is perhaps something they have even more in common, an underlying relationship that goes even deeper.

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Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation by PAUL RICOEUR


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