Essays on Phenomenology and the Self (Volume 1)


These three essays are phenomenological investigations into moral theory, humanistic/modern social relations, and the possibility of radical subjectivity. The first essay, Chasing the Self, is a criticism of 20th-Century psychology, arguing that it rests upon scientific assumptions that prevent a fuller and richer anthropological conception of humans. It is rich in theory and has practical, clinical applications. The second essay, Existential Psychoanalysis, is a study of Jean-Paul Sartre’s dialectic between psychoanalytic distortions in self-concept and the resulting moral problematic of sado-masochistic social relations. It is well researched and is a valuable contribution to the complicated question concerning radical subjectivity. The third and final essay, Prolegomena to The Possessive Self, concerns the problem of the Other by examining and criticizing the possessive self of the Enlightenment. By criticizing the very construction of the modernist self, the “I” of humanism is dismantled, opening up theoretical and practical possibilities for new structures in social relations. All three essays are introductory and open up fertile possibilities for continued development of their ideas and assertions.

Kevin Boileau is Professor of Psychoanalysis & Philosophy at the Center for Global Advanced Studies; Executive Director and Professor of Psychoanalysis & Phenomenology at the Existential Psychoanalytic Institute of North America. He has written several theoretical texts about subjectivity, phenomenology, and psychoanalysis, as well as several novels about the human condition. He lives in Missoula, Montana and San Francisco, California