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Re: What was Sartre's stance on Mental Illness?

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  • scarey1917
    I suppose that a Sartrean psychologist would use the method of Existential Psychoanalysis that is described in BN to understand mental illness . Sartre
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 12, 2006
      I suppose that a "Sartrean psychologist" would use the method of
      Existential Psychoanalysis that is described in BN to
      understand "mental illness". Sartre throughout his career was always
      very interested in the topic of psychology - which makes sense of
      course since one of his central concerns was to explicate the "lived
      individual". Phenomenology historically has an interest in
      psychology: Husserl was always keen to distinguish
      between "naturalistic" or empirical pyschology and phenomenological
      psychology - and in fact often presented the latter as a gateway to
      transcendental phenomenology itself. By contrast Heidegger never
      seemed to have much interest in the science of psychology. In BN
      Sartre's psychoanalytic method follows the conclusions of his
      ontology. The task of the existential psychologist was to grasp the
      individual as a totality that expresses the fundamental desire or
      choice of being - the project of Bad Faith (the desire to be God).
      The aim was to understand the empirical (or maybe "ontic") choices of
      the individual by reference to this fundamental project. Now in BN
      Sartre explicitely rejects the notion of the Freudian Unconscious.
      Man's fundamental project is fully conscious, although not an object
      of an explicit knowledge (bad faith would obviously rule that out).
      As his thought evolved, Sartre later moved toward a re-working of the
      notion of the unconscious under the influence of Marxism - (see that
      interview "Itinerary of a Thought" - it's very interesting).
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