- This symposium brings together theorists who draw on insights from Freud and Klein. We consider questions such as:
How do individuals come to invest in norms and ideals that shape social life? Can we read these investments as symptoms of psychic attempts to secure the ego, and its pleasures, in contemporary society?
What can psychoanalysis tell us about forms of affective investment in political life, investments that others have attempted to theorize as aesthetic, ideological, non-rational, or ethical in nature?
Can a theory of unconscious drives help us develop a more compelling account of the relation of the individual to social forms, including intractable forms of ‘art’ and ‘culture’ that often elude political theorizing?
In compelling us to take into account the place of pleasure in guiding human judgment, psychoanalysis opens a new way of thinking about ethics and aesthetics that is of pressing importance for political theory.