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Denial, Negation And the Forces of the Negative: Freud, Hegel, Lacan, Spitz, And Sophocles (Suny Series in Hegelian Studies) Paperback – June 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book relates Freud's theory of denial and negation to Hegel, Lacan, and Spitz, producing conclusions on the nature of human freedom and wholeness that are both philosophically interesting and practically useful. The last two chapters move the theoretical discussion very much into the realm of practical life and should be useful both to therapists and to individuals." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

At Georgetown University, Wilfried Ver Eecke is Professor of Philosophy and also teaches courses in psychology and psychoanalysis. He is the coauthor (with Alphonse De Waelhens) of Phenomenology and Lacan on Schizophrenia, after the Decade of the Brain and Saying No: Its Meaning in Child Development, Psychoanalysis, Linguistics, and Hegel."

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Product Details

  • Series: SUNY Series in Hegelian Studies
  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791466000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791466001
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,252,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
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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