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Denial, Negation, and the Forces of the Negative is a book that will greatly interest those eager to explore not only the philosophical aspects of the subject matter, but its psychoanalytic issues as well. In this regard, Ver Eecke provides a lucid and highly detailed account of the subject, yet the book is also highly readible. The book is divided into seven chapters that roughly takes us through the following discussions: we start out with an exploration of the puzzling phenomenon of denial (negation). Here, Ver Eecke is dealing with Freud and his demarcation of denial. From this "grounding" of the problem in the Freudian oeuvre, including the fact that humans reveal more about themselves than they are able to acknowledge consciously, we are moved on to a discussion of Hegel's analysis of the will to argue that denial can be understood as a misapplication of the forces of the negative that is necesssary for human freedom. As Dr. Ver Eecke points out, the difference between Hegel and Freud is that a positve outcome ensues with the former, a rather negative aspect is associated with the latter. In another interesting chapter, Dr. Ver Eecke argues that a child's "no saying" can be seen as a step toward independence. Here, Vere Eecke is critiquing Spitz by arguing that language provides the first form of negation, and, consequently, the precondition for human freedom. In my opinion, Dr. Ver Eecke's discussion in this section is quite well done, and I would highly recommend the book based on this discussion alone. I would agree with Jon Mills' assessment that this is the best book on human denial; its form; its content; and its use in the literature today. I also understand that this book was one of the finalist for this year's Goethe Prize in the Canadian Psychoanlytic Association's annual meeting.
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