A World of Fragile Things: Psychoanalysis and the Art of by Mari Ruti

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By Mari Ruti

Psychoanalytic point of view on what Western philosophers from Socrates to Foucault have known as “the paintings of living.”

How are our lives significant? what's the dating of loss to creativity? How do we most sensible interact and conquer our discomfort? From Socrates to Foucault, Western philosophers have sought to outline “the paintings of living”—the complicated craft of human lifestyles that elicits our considerate participation, and the concept although loss of life escapes our keep an eye on, lifestyles isn't anything that easily occurs to us in a passive demeanour yet is as a substitute a method that invitations our lively and energetic engagement. A international of Fragile Things deals a especially psychoanalytic point of view on “the paintings of living,” one who makes a speciality of ongoing and ever-evolving approaches of self-fashioning instead of defining a hard and fast and unitary feel of self. With a compelling mix of philosophical perception and psychoanalytic acumen, Mari Ruti asks specialists and readers alike to probe the complexities of human life, delivering a latest outlook on probably the most enduring questions of Western thought.

"…[a] most excellent booklet … In exploring such subtending subject matters because the relation of loss to creativity and the that means of affection, delusion, and personality improvement, Ruti stands within the culture of humanist writers who've bridged the disciplinary gaps among philosophy, psychotherapy, and the human sciences." — CHOICE

“Ruti’s bracing postmodernist sensibility is definitely ballasted via actual open-mindedness or even a fresh sprint of humanism. Her eloquent argument that ‘psychoanalysis teaches us to make a advantage of contingency’ might be heeded not just via students of literature and philosophy but additionally through working towards clinicians.” — Peter L. Rudnytsky, coeditor of Psychoanalysis and Narrative Medicine

“Passionate, persuasive, bold and caring—Ruti cogently bridges ontological matters into psychoanalytic thought.” — Ellen McCallum, writer of Object classes: tips to Do issues with Fetishism

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Extra resources for A World of Fragile Things: Psychoanalysis and the Art of Living (SUNY series in Psychoanalysis and Culture)

Sample text

The same way as Platonic ideals supposedly express uncorrupted Truth, there might appear to be something untainted about the potential for happiness that resides concealed within the depths of our being. This notion is problematic on several levels, but what is perhaps most damaging about it is that it can lead us to overlook, or at the very least to underestimate, the manner in which our experience of lack and alienation contributes to the intensity of our psychic lives; it keeps us from recognizing that our persistent sense of being less than fully realized—our perception of the various fissures and shortcomings of our being—is not necessarily an impediment to self-actualization, but rather the very foundation of our capacity to take an active interest in the intricacies of the world.

In addition, the notion of an autonomous and unitary subjectivity has yielded to a more postmodern conception of a fluid and radically porous self that is filled with warring and contradictory strands of meaning and intensity that cannot be disciplined under any overarching principle of organization. By this I do not mean to cast a rigid opposition between the traditional art of living and postmodern theories of subjectivity for, as we have discovered, many of the proponents of the art of living—most notably Nietzsche—characterize the self as a mutable entity capable of innumerable self-enactments.

38 Indeed, it is in many ways exactly this idiom or spirit that the art of living is meant to cultivate. This, however, should not be confused with the idea that our identities rest on secure ontological foundations. One reason that we manage to feel self-consistent even in the absence of secure ontological foundations is that the stories that we tell about ourselves—about the kinds of individuals that we think we are or would like to become—inevitably intersect with the larger cultural narratives that structure our lives.

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