Inheritance in Psychoanalysis

Edited by Joel Goldbach & James A. Godley

Subjects: Psychoanalysis, Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Literature, Cultural Studies
Series: SUNY series, Insinuations: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Literature
Hardcover : 9781438467870, 368 pages, February 2018
Paperback : 9781438467887, 368 pages, January 2019

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Table of contents


Introduction: Inheritance in Psychoanalysis
James A. Godley

1. Against Heredity: The Question of Causality in Psychoanalysis
Samo Tomšič

2. Lacan with Evo- Devo?
Lorenzo Chiesa

3. The Late Innate: Jean Laplanche, Jaak Panksepp, and the Distinction between Sexual Drives and Instincts
Adrian Johnston

4. Hegel’s Mother
Frank Ruda

5. Biopower in Lacan’s Inheritance; or, From Foucault to Freud, via Deleuze, and Back to Marx
A. Kiarina Kordela

6. Drug Is the Love: Literature, Psychopharmacology, Psychoanalysis
Justin Clemens

7. Testament of the Revolution (Walter Benjamin)
Rebecca Comay

8. “We” and “They”: Animals behind Our Back
Oxana Timofeeva

9. F. O. Matthiessen: Heir to (American) Jouissance
Donald E. Pease

10. A Mortimer Trap: The Passing of Death in The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
Sigi Jottkandt

11. Freud Fainted; or, “It All Started 1000s of Years Ago in Egypt . . .”
Lydia R. Kerr

12. Freud’s Lamarckian Clinic
Daniel Wilson

13. Freud against Oedipus?
Philippe Van Haute

14. Plastic Sex? The Beauty of It!
Patricia Gherovici

15. The Autistic Body and Its Objects
Eric Laurent

16. The Insistence of Jouissance: On Inheritance and Psychoanalysis
Joan Copjec with James A. Godley

About the Contributors

Anthology of recent, cutting-edge work in psychoanalysis and philosophy on the concept of inheritance.


In contrast to the way inheritance is understood in scientific discourse and culture more broadly, inheritance in psychoanalysis is a paradox. Although it's impossible, strictly speaking, for the unconscious to be inherited, this volume demonstrates how the concept of inheritance can occasion a rich reassessment and reinvention of psychoanalytic theory and practice. The collection enacts a critical traversal of inheritance for psychoanalysis: from the most basic assumptions of natural or biological inheritance, such as innateness, heredity, evolution, and ontogenesis, to analysis of the ways cultural traditions can be challenged and transformed, and finally to the reinvention of psychoanalytic practice, in which the ethics of inheritance is fully realized as the individual's responsibility to transform the social bond. Featuring strong interdisciplinary analysis rooted in both psychoanalysis and philosophy, this volume further engages science, politics, and cultural studies, and addresses contemporary political challenges such as autism and transgenderism.

Joel Goldbach is a recent graduate of the PhD program in English at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. James A. Godley is a recent graduate of the PhD program in English at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.