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Greenberg, D.E. (2013). Cartesianism: Post, Proto, Hyper: A review of World, Affectivity, Trauma: Heidegger and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis by Robert D. Stolorow. New York: Routledge, 2011, 136pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 49(2):287-299.
    

(2013). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 49(2):287-299

Book Reviews

Cartesianism: Post, Proto, Hyper: A review of World, Affectivity, Trauma: Heidegger and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis by Robert D. Stolorow. New York: Routledge, 2011, 136pp.

Review by:
Daniel E. Greenberg, Ph.D.

Robert Stolorow's world, affectivity, trauma is a significant exploration of the philosophical foundations of what Stolorow calls “post-Cartesian” psychoanalysis. Radical in its rejection of the traditional subject/object dichotomy, suspicious of the conceit of an isolated, all-knowing mind standing apart from its “object of study,” and alert to the myriad ways in which archaic mechanistic conceptions of mind/body have infiltrated traditional analytic metapsychology, Stolorow aims to ground psychoanalytic theory on the radical contextualism of Heidegger's existential phenomenology, especially as it is expressed in Being and Time (1926/1962).

Modest in length, this book's ambitious aim is nothing less than a thoroughgoing reworking of the most fundamental philosophical foundations underpinning psychoanalytic theory and practice. Stolorow believes strongly that the philosophical presuppositions underlying psychoanalytic theories are part of the context in which we practice and thereby influence the ultimate well-being of our patients. Stolorow understands Cartesian subjectivism and epistemology as broad forces in Western thought and culture that find expression in many aspects of traditional psychoanalysis, including drive theory, one-person approaches to treatment, and reified notions of mind, body, and affect.

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