Against Interiority: Foucault’s Battle Against Foucault with Joel Whitebook at NYPSI

Marianne and Nicholas Young Auditorium
247 East 82nd St., between 2nd & 3rd, NY, NY  10028

Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 8:30 p.m.  Donations Accepted
Against Interiority: Foucault’s Battle Against Foucault  with Joel Whitebook, Ph.D.

The thesis of this paper is that Freud was Foucault’s nemesis throughout his career, from his early psychological works through his late volumes on the care of the self. Foucault could not successfully refute Freud, but neither could he let go of him. So he was involved in a constant back-and-forth relationship with the founder of psychoanalysis which never found any equilibrium. Foucault tried to suppress the fact that as a student he was intensely interested in psychology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis and even considered a career somewhere in the Ψ-professions. But after a profound personal crisis, he turned on the field and wrote Madness and Civilization, an attack on it. But even here, he could not renounce Freud completely and ambivalently praised him. Throughout his “structuralist” period, Foucault presents himself as a friend of psychoanalysis, but the psychoanalysis he is supporting is not Freud’s but Lacan’s. Finally, The History of Sexuality, Volume I, purports to be a critique of Freud, but is in fact a critique of the Freudian Left he knew in Paris. It is a poorly argued book, and Freudian arguments are in fact never addressed.

Dr. Whitebook is the Director, Columbia University’s Psychoanalytic Studies Program and a Faculty Member, Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.

Students, academics and clinical professionals in the analytic community are encouraged to attend.

For more information:

Educational Objectives: After attending, participants will be able to
1) understand some basic ideas of Foucault.
2) understand the nature of his opposition to psychoanalysis.
3) understand the relation between psychoanalysis and philosophy.

Information regarding CME credit for physicians
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of [2] AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Information regarding CE credit for psychologists

Who Should Attend: Mental health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and licensed psychotherapists)

APA-approved CE Credits:

Psychologists: The New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education programs for psychologists. NYPSI maintains responsibility for this program and its content. APA-approved CE credits are granted to participants with documented attendance and completed evaluation forms. After submitting a completed evaluation form, attendees will receive a pdf documenting credit via email.

Persons with disabilities: The building is wheelchair accessible and has an elevator. Please notify the registrar in advance if you require accommodations.

DISCLOSURE: None of the planners or presenters of this CE program has any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

For information about NYPSI training programs please visit us at

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