Liran RazinskyJan 5, 2015
Freud, Psychoanalysis, and Death
Cambridge University Press 2012
Liran Razinsky's book, titled Freud, Psychoanalysis, and Death (Cambridge University Press, 2014) came out of a decade's long attempt to reconcile Liran's personal search for meaning within two areas of professional inquiry: philosophy, and psychology.These two fields are intimately related in that each asks essential questions about what it means to be a human subject that lives always in the face of death. However divergent in their systems of logic, each runs the risk of loosing its subject to its own ethos.Psychoanalysis is more functional theoretically when thought of as a philosophical system, but its applications were intended to be clinical.For Razinsky, psychoanalysis succumbs to the split in these two fields in its conception of death. Those who lived to be intellectually killed by Freud as he claimed their ideas as his own, knew that Freud had no limits in refusing the limit of his life.He would destroy individual egos--and entire careers--in building a legacy that would outlast him.He got what he wanted but at what cost?Where is death to be found in a system structured by a man who refused loss?Those psychoanalytic thinkers who have survived him have had to live with his legacy and its confusing logic. Razinsky reads Freud's conceptualizations of death against themselves, at different places in his body of work, and against those that came after him. He argues that there is an essential problematic in the way Freud considers death which, for psychoanalysis to survive as a philosophical system with clinical applications must be addressed. Beyond this, however, the book raises a discussion about the limits of subjectivity: both literal, as in the case of death, and symbolic, as in the ways in which we imagine ourselves in relationship to it. Liran Razinsky is a lecturer at The Program for Hermeneutics and Culture at Bar Ilan University in Israel where he conducts research at the disjuncture between philosophy, and psychoanalysis, life and death.