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Death and Mastery: Psychoanalytic Drive Theory and the Subject of Late Capitalism

by Benjamin Fong Columbia University Press
Pub Date:
03/2018
ISBN:
9780231176699
Format:
Pbk 240 pages
Price:
AU$66.00 NZ$68.70
Product Status: In Stock Now
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The first philosophers of the Frankfurt School famously turned to the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud to supplement their Marxist analyses of ideological subjectification. Since the collapse of their proposed "marriage of Marx and Freud," psychology and social theory have grown apart to the impoverishment of both. Returning to this union, Benjamin Y. Fong reconstructs the psychoanalytic "foundation stone" of critical theory in an effort to once again think together the possibility of psychic and social transformation.




Drawing on the work of Hans Loewald and Jacques Lacan, Fong complicates the famous antagonism between Eros and the death drive in reference to a third term: the woefully undertheorized drive to mastery. Rejuvenating Freudian metapsychology through the lens of this pivotal concept, he then provides fresh perspective on Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse's critiques of psychic life under the influence of modern cultural and technological change. The result is a novel vision of critical theory that rearticulates the nature of subjection in late capitalism and renews an old project of resistance.
This book will appeal to students of critical theory, philosophy, psychology, and social science. There is no other book like it, given the work's fresh and accessible language and its scholarly engagement with ideas that have long waited for an intellectual resurrection.
Benjamin Y. Fong is an Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College of Arizona State University. His work has been published in Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, The Stone (New York Times), and the Philosophical Salon (Los Angeles Review of Books).