50 episodios

Why Theory brings continental philosophy and psychoanalytic theory together to examine cultural phenomena.

Why Theory Todd McGowan & Ryan Engley

    • Cine y TV

Why Theory brings continental philosophy and psychoanalytic theory together to examine cultural phenomena.

    New Materialisms

    New Materialisms

    In this episode, Ryan and Todd discuss new materialisms, exploring their rejection of epistemology and their embrace of a flat ontology. After laying out the basic position of new materialism and its rejection of the priority of the subject, they attempt to prove that this is ultimately an untenable theoretical position to champion.

    They make reference to Todd's essay that critiques this position in light of Hegel: https://www.academia.edu/9832109/On_the_Necessity_of_Contradiction_Hegel_with_the_Speculative_Realists

    And to Joan Copjec's excellent essay on sexual difference for a similar line of thought: https://www.politicalconcepts.org/sexual-difference-joan-copjec/

    • 1h 14 min
    Psychoanalysis and Aesthetics

    Psychoanalysis and Aesthetics

    In this episode, Ryan and Todd work through the possibilities for a psychoanalytic theory of aesthetics. Starting with the concept of sublimation, they discuss how psychoanalytic ideas might give us the tools for understanding and judging aesthetic value.

    • 1h 19 min
    objet a

    objet a

    In this episode, Ryan and Todd try to pin down Jacques Lacan's elusive and crucial concept of the objet a. They offer different ways of thinking about and give various examples before identifying the point at which it emerges in Lacan's trajectory.

    • 1h 37 min
    Psychoanalysis and Existentialism

    Psychoanalysis and Existentialism

    In this episode, Ryan and Todd discuss the possibilities for the marriage of psychoanalysis and existentialism, including the ideas that might render this marriage ultimately untenable. They explore how psychoanalysis and existentialism each provides a critique of the other, touching on Jacques Lacan's critique of Jean-Paul Sartre and Sartre's version of existential psychoanalysis.

    • 1h 17 min
    Hegel and Race

    Hegel and Race

    In this episode, Ryan and Todd examine Hegel's critique of racism and analyze the charge of racism leveled against him. They discuss his championing of the revolting slaves in Haiti, as well as his comments about Africa in the Philosophy of History.

    • 1h 12 min
    Defending Freud (side B)

    Defending Freud (side B)

    In this continuation of the previous episode, Ryan and Todd spell out the common criticisms launched against Freud and psychoanalysis. In each case, they try to show how these critiques ultimately come up short and either secretly rely on Freud's own psychoanalytic method when criticizing him or miss the aim of the psychoanalytic project. In this part, they confront the charges of Freud's heteronormativity and his sexism, while also speculating about why critiques stick to Freud and not to other theorists.

    • 1h 11 min

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