[xmca] Emotion at Work

From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack who-is-at yahoo.com>
Date: Sun Jul 29 2007 - 21:54:51 PDT

Dear Wolff-Michael:
  Yes, I immediately recognized (and appreciated) the double-entendre in the title. I also appreciate (now that I think about it) your remarks about how individual activity realizes a potential that exists on the collective level (though I think that is not ALL it does, else individual creativity would not be possible).
  Once more on Damasio. I found this today in:
  Volosinov, V.N. (1976) ¡°A Critique of Marxist Apologias of Freudianism¡± In. Freudianism: A critical sketch. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
  Volosinov takes on a number of Marxist writers who have defended psychoanalysis. He dismisses with a wave of the hand Trotsky's remarks in Literature and Revolution (where Trotsky speculates on the compatibility of Marxism and psychoanalysis) and he is particularly hard on Luria's youthful enthusiasm for Freud. On p. 125 he says:
  ¡°It is an outright falsehood to represent the doctorine of erogenous zones as an objective physiological theory. According to this theory, the body is drawn into the personality¡¯s mental system, not vice versa. It is drawn, of course, not as an objective, external body, but as an experience of things corporeal, as an aggregate of internal instincts, desires, and notions. It is, so to speak, the body seen form the inside out.¡±
  Volosinov continues (pardon my triple quote marks):
  'The attempt to ascribe an objective character to the psychoanalytical concept of "drives" is also completely incorrect. Luria writes "¡¦for psychoanalysis, drives are not a purely psychological concept, but have a much broader sense "¡®acting as a bridge between the mental and the somatic,¡¯ and are more of a biological nature."' No biologist would agree, of course, with such an odd definition of the biological as being a bridge between the soma and the psyche (¡¦). Thus the psychoanalytic concept of the whole personality contains not one objective quantity that would make it possible for that personality to be incorporated into the surrounding material reality fo the natural world. It is no easier to incorporate it into the objective socioeconomic process of history. We already know, after all, that Freud derives all objective, historical formations (the family, the tribe, the state, the church and so forth) from those same subjectively mental roots and that their
 existence begins and ends with that same interplay among internal subjective forces (power as the ego-ideal; societal solidarity as mutual identification, given the common nature of the ego-ideal; capitalism as the sublimation of anal eroticism, and so on.)'
  Thus speaks Volosinov. But it seems to me that the SAME problem exists with Damasio's version of the James-Lange theory: it merely takes the objective world and turns it into psychological object. Not only is there no place for the social, there is no place for material culture as the product of sensuous human activity.
  David Kellogg
  Seoul National University of Education

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Received on Sun Jul 29 21:57 PDT 2007

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