A Lacanian Approach to Clinical Diagnosis and Addiction

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Loose, Rik
Issue Date
Karnac Books.
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Towards the end of his Civilization and its Discontents Freud poses a question which he feels he cannot evade. After contemplating the similarities between the development of civilization and the individual he wonders whether is possible to make the diagnosis that 'under the influence of cultural urges, some civilizations, or some epochs of civilization- possibly the whole of mankind- have become neurotic?' (Freud, 1930:144). He immediately points out the danger implicit in making this kind of diagnosis by saying that 'we are only dealing with analogies and that is dangerous, not only with men but also with concepts, to tear them from the sphere in which they have originated and been evolved' (Freud, 1930:144). This is a very important remark.