The Political Mind
The Role of the Unconscious in Political and Social Life
12 May - 14 July 2015
No of sessions: 10
Time: 8:15-9:45 pm
Dates: 12th, 19th, 26th May; 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th June; 7th, 14 July 2015.
Cost: £120 for BPAS Members and £200 for non Members
Venue: Institute of Psychoanalysis, Byron House, 112a Shirland Road, London W9.
Seminar Series of 10 seminars on the Political Mind in the Summer term at
The Institute of Psychoanalysis, Centre for the Advancement of Psychoanalytic Studies,
Seminar Leader and Organiser: David Morgan, Psychoanalyst, British Psychoanalytical Society (BPAS).
Introduction: Dr Nick Temple President BPAS
1> May 12: David Morgan "Whistleblowers and Dissent: Moral Good or Self Interest? What are the psychological dimensions of defying a perverse or corrupt authority?"
2> May 19: John Alderdice "Devoted Actors the psychology of Fundamentalism & Terrorism"
3> May 26: Sally Weintrobe "Climate change and the culture of uncare"
4> June 2: Phil Stokoe “The Impact of Power on the Mind of the Politician"
5> June 9: Josh Cohen "Psychoanalysis and the Politics of Idleness."
6> June 16: Bob Hinshelwood "Reflection or action: Never the twain shall meet"
7> June 23: David Bell "All thats solid melts into air: Psychoanalytic reflections on the socio-economic crisis"
8> June 30: Ruth McCall "The Psychoanalysis of Exclusion."
9> July 6: Edgard Sanchez "Power and the manipulation of the masses. Third world perspectives."
10> July 13: Michael Rustin "The Psychology of Neoliberalism"
Psychoanalysis and Politics
It would be hard to underestimate the importance of Freud's contribution to political thought. He interrogated the origin and structure of society in "Totem and Taboo", exposed illusions and dogmas in "The Future of an Illusion", "Civilization and its Discontents" and described the foundation of a people in "Moses and Monotheism." Freud challenged "civilised sexual morality" viewing it as the origin of "the nervous and mental illness of modern times." In “Mass Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego" he brought a radical new understanding to the relationship of leaders to the led, the functioning of crowds and the origins of power. The ‘superego’ provided the bridging concept necessary for the understanding of the manner in which values, ideals, and the imperatives associated with morality and society are internalised into the psyche. Many central ideas of political philosophy (such as concepts of rationality, human agency, autonomy, the nature of human responsibility, the idea of 'the good society') have a natural intersection with psychoanalytic concepts.
This series of seminar’s aims to provide a forum for continuing this interdisciplinary conversation.