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Thinking the Unconscious: Nineteenth-Century German Thought 1st Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0521897532
ISBN-10: 052189753X
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Editorial Reviews


"From 'Discovering' to 'Thinking the Unconscious': this book offers an enlightening contribution to this still demanding and paradoxical task."
--Professor Dr. Ludger Lütkehaus, University of Freiburg

"While the conceit that Freud discovered - or invented - the unconscious, has long been dispatched, this collection explores in fascinating detail the tangled roots of the concept in the works of Leibniz and Kant and traces its surprising ramifications through the thought of the German Romantics and their successors. The authors reveal how the early constructions of the unconscious differ from that of Freud and brilliantly trouble complainant attitudes about figures (e.g., Goethe, Nietzsche) around whom the dust of opinion has long settled."
--Robert J. Richards, Morris Fishbein Professor of the History of Science, the University of Chicago and author of The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe

"Focusing on the crucible of German intellectual history in the long nineteenth century, this volume assembles expert accounts of how the concept, or complex, of the unconscious was thought and wrought before Freud. Significant new readings of canonical figures from Goethe to Nietzsche are complemented by judicious assessments of less familiar thinkers who helped shape this key term for modernity. Across the genealogical networks of philosophy, psychology, and literature, the vicissitudes of thinking the unconscious are explored with impressive erudition and an apt sense of the elusive and contested character of the subject."
--Andrew Webber, Reader in Modern German and Comparative Culture, University of Cambridge

Book Description

Since Freud, the concept of the unconscious has exerted an enormous influence upon psychoanalysis, psychology, literary, critical and social theory. This volume examines the many theories of the unconscious that existed in nineteenth-century German thought, and the extent to which they may have influenced Freud and the origins of psychoanalysis.

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