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Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 1998;35(1):20-30.

Sartre's Freud and the future of Sartrean psychoanalysis.

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  • 1Philosophy Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Israel.


I describe Sartre's analysis of Freud as an exemplary case study in existential psychoanalysis, a kind of anti-psychiatric analysis; in addition Sartre's analysis of Freud is a practical critique of the latter's theory. Sartre's overall aim is revolutionary, not primarily concerned with healing people; his method transcends the traditional aims of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. The paper is divided into four sections: 1) Sartrean Existential Psychoanalysis: An explanation of the basic understandings of Sartre's Existentialism and Psychoanalysis. 2) Sartre and Anti-psychiatry: An analysis of the relation and influence of Sartre's philosophy on R.D. Laing's anti-psychiatry, and a review of the contemporary anti-psychiatric practice of the Philadelphia Association. 3) Sartre's Case-study of Freud: An exemplary application of Sartrean psychoanalysis and a critique of traditional psychoanalysis. 4) Transcending the Boundaries of Therapy: A proposal for a radical application of Sartre's philosophy that extends beyond the aims of clinical approaches.

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