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Nissim-Sabat, M. (2007). Rereading Freud: Psychoanalysis Through Philosophy. Edited by Jon Mills. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2004. 224 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 76(3):1032-1040.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 76(3):1032-1040

Rereading Freud: Psychoanalysis Through Philosophy. Edited by Jon Mills. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2004. 224 pp.

Review by:
Marilyn Nissim-Sabat

This collection of ten essays aims to show that philosophy—nineteenth-century, European philosophy in particular—can enable a deeper and richer understanding of Freud's theories and the writings in which he conveyed those theories. Those of Freud's writings analyzed and interpreted here are not his case studies or works written for a broader audience that included non-analysts; rather, they are those in which he developed his theories in the most intricately detailed manner, e.g., The Interpretation of Dreams (1900); Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905); and Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety (1926).

Interestingly, Mills's prefatory quotation from Freud (from an 1896 letter to Fliess) suggests an approach to the relation between philosophy and psychoanalysis that is the converse of the book's subtitle of Psychoanalysis through Philosophy: “Through the detour of being a physician … I most secretly nourish the hope of reaching my original goal, philosophy.” Here Freud seems to propose not a route to psychoanalysis through philosophy, but rather the converse: philosophy through psychoanalysis.

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