Dec. 12, 5:30PM - Montclair Philosophy Workshop
Montclair Philosophy Workshop
Dec. 12, 5:30PM
Guest Speaker: Francey Russell (Barnard College, Columbia University)
Title: "The Philosophical Significance of Freud's Drive Theory"
Location: Schmitt 104
Description: Matthew Boyle has argued along Aristotelian lines that rationality "transforms" the very nature of the animal capacities of rational animals. That is, he denies that we share basic animal nature with other non-rational animals, with rationality added on in a second step; rather our animality is specifically different in virtue of our rationality. And this, Boyle argues, accounts for unity of our form of life. I argue that this is a helpful framework for understanding the philosophical significance of Freud's theory of drives and sexuality. I argue that for Freud, drives and sexuality exemplify the ways in which our animality is essentially different, precisely in virtue of our rationality. However, unlike Boyle, for Freud this transformation results in an essentially conflictual being, at least from the perspective of that very being.