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Wilson, E., Jr. (1983). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979: Anxiety Denied. François Pasche. Pp. 5-17.. Psychoanal Q., 52:482.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979: Anxiety Denied. François Pasche. Pp. 5-17.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:482

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979: Anxiety Denied. François Pasche. Pp. 5-17.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

Continuing his reflections on the distinction between neurotic anxiety and psychotic anxiety, Pasche discusses the primary modes of defense against psychotic anxiety. In his important 1953 paper, "Anxiety and the Freudian Theory of Instincts," Pasche had made anxiety the fundamental experience of the self. Under the influence of Kierkegaard, he wrote of pure anxiety as the anxiety of nothingness and drew the conclusion that such anxiety implied the constitution of an object and a space between the self and the object. In the present paper he reviews this earlier position, focusing on the more complex phenomenon of psychotic anxiety, which involves the loss of one's being through absorption into the other or through the invasion of the self by the other. Some writers have discussed the so-called perverse defense against schizophrenia, i.e., the projection of the conflict onto the other. Pasche discusses projections into the transitional space, which, if successful, may become sublimations. His particular concern is with philosophy. He classifies philosophers into two groups: the oedipal philosophers, who accept reality, contradiction, and contingency and are thus philosophers of anxiety; and the system builders, who subordinate reality to a compulsive need to unify their knowledge and understanding and whose conflicts are preoedipal. Pasche singles out Spinoza, who, he claims, rejected the image of the father; this led to a guilt that drove him to deny freedom as well as anxiety. The result was a regression so severe that, to avoid dissolution of the self, a projection of the conflict was instituted. In other words, a philosophical system was constructed to avoid psychotic anxiety.

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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1983). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979. Psychoanal. Q., 52:482

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