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Freud (The Routledge Philosophers)

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  117 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Jonathan Lear clearly introduces and assesses all of Freud's thought, focusing on those areas of philosophy on which Freud is acknowledged to have had a lasting impact. These include the philosophy of mind, free will and determinism, rationality, the nature of the self and subjectivity, and ethics and religion. He also considers some of the deeper issues and problems Freud ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published July 26th 2005 by Routledge (first published June 15th 2005)
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Michael A.
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Lucid and accessible philosophical introduction to Freud that is critical yet sympathetic (my favorite kind of introductions!) Argues, contra Donald Davidson, that the unconscious ought not to be thought of as a "second mind". I am rather new to Freud but I found Lear's argument rather compelling, I do think the mind ought to be thought of holistically that may be divided (preconscious, unconscious, subconscious, conscious...) but it is still "one"... I guess a kind of cognitive monism? I don't ...more
Frankie Della Torre
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, therapy
Jonathan Lear, a professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago, has here written an extremely helpful introduction to the thought of Freud that comes at this giant's work from the angle of the ancient philosophical search for wise living. That was a mouth-full so let me put it simply: Lear is a philosopher who reads Freud for the purpose of living a more healthy life. The fundamental task taken up by Socrates - the quest to "know thyself" - is the most basic intention and goal of this boo ...more
Paul Johnston
May 21, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a very readable and interesting introduction to Freud (and to psychoanalysis). It looks at Freud from a philosophical point of view and makes many interesting links particularly to Socrates and Plato. I did occasionally feel that it was seeking to be popular in a negative sense and the author certainly has the confidence to present clear views and make clear judgements, some of which did strike me as being a bit quick or superficial. However, there are many interesting perspective and a ...more
Noor Alam
Jan 29, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was a nice follow up to the Mishra book, "An End to Suffering." I was in the mood to be more self-reflective, and what better way to do it than to read something about Freud? Lear basically uses Freud's talk therapy sessions as the raw material for his book, at times incorporating Frued's interpretation of what was happening, but at other times showing where Freud went wrong. In whole, Lear seems to be arguing against the idea of our identities being that of distinct, contradictory sel ...more
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nearly five stars, but there's whole important areas of Freud's thought that are never mentioned (e.g., castration complex), and many sections where Lear opens with: "Freud's view on this subject is somewhat dated and incorrect, so I'm going to give my own view". The problem is, even if Freud's view is incorrect on some such subject, it would be prudent to tell the reader what Freud thought, instead of skipping over his ideas in favor of Lear's, since we readers did after all buy a book on Freud ...more
Leonard Houx
Jul 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
An anglo/analytic approch to Freud. Some interesting critiques. Five excellent chapters and one ok-ish. For some reason, Lear feels that Freud's critiques of religion are unjustified (um, ok?).

Contains great lists of recommended reading at the end of each chapter. Also, of interest: he describes the goal of psychotherapy as 'free speech'--similar to Lacan.
May 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is really just an excellent and well-written introduction to Freud's theories.
Aug 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
In this excellent philosophical introduction to Freud, Lear explores the many ways in which a reading of Freud reframes the age-old question of "how shall I live?".
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very readable story about Freud's work and its importance for philosophy.
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