Freud's Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Philosophy

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Freud's Group Psychology

Spring 2021

Taught By:

Section: A

CRN: 8600

Credits: 2

In the last few years, Sigmund Freud’s Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego have received wide attention from philosophers and social scientists. Freud’s insights are thought to enlighten the surging phenomenon of collective support for authoritarianism, but despite the constant invocation of Freud’s text to analyze early twentieth-century fascist movements, his theory seems to have a different aim. Far from simply an analysis of the pathologies of mass politics, Freud’s essay is an attempt to bridge the gap between the individual and the social by analyzing the common sources of psychic and social life, and analyze the very nature of human groups, democratic and non-democratic alike. The course will consist in a close reading of Freud’s book Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego. By putting the text in its intellectual context, we will analyze the value of Freud’s intervention in the “group psychology” debate, the importance of his book for the development of his psychoanalytic theories, and the influence it still plays in contemporary social thought. Among the topics to be discussed are: the differences and similarities between democratic and non-democratic groups; the role of identification, love, and libido in social life according to psychoanalysis; the role of the leader in political organizations; the complex nature of social bonds; and the contemporaneity of Freud’s thought.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Philosophy (LPHI)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Sync Type: N/A

Course Format: Tutorial (J)

Max Enrollment: 8

Add/Drop Deadline: N/A
Online Withdrawal Deadline: N/A

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

*Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 8:30pm 9/18/2020 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Friday

Times: 4:00pm - 6:40pm

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 1/19/2021 - 3/14/2021