Fetishism, Psychoanalysis, and Philosophy explores how and why Freud's late work on fetishism led to the beginnings of a re-formulation of the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. Freud himself, however, was unaware of the long history of the concept of fetishism, a history crucial to understanding the concept.
This book contains three main thrusts. One is historical, tracing the development of the concept of fetishism from the 16th century onwards. The focus here is on two important thinkers: Charles de Brosses from the 18th century, and Auguste Comte from the 19th. The second thrust is philosophical. Fetishism is always about the relation between the mind and things. Martin Heidegger, Jaques Derrida, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty have made essential contributions in this area, contributions which have important scientific relevance. The third thrust integrate the historical, philosophical, and psychoanalytic investigations of fetishism. It also looks at Wallace Stevens' poetic meditation on mind and thing, which helps to illuminate everything that precedes.
This comprehensive book features careful integration of the historical, philosophical, and psychoanalytic investigations of fetishism. It will contribute to opening new ways of thinking about the mind and how it is structured, so that fetishism is possible. Fetishism, Psychoanalysis, and Philosophy will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists as well as philosophy scholars.