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Royal Marine Hotel

Marine Road

Dun Laoghaire

Ireland

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The topic under investigation at the conference is in keeping with the Association’s two year theme ‘Psychoanalysis in the 21st Century’. The Executive Committee of APPI wish to both celebrate and critically consider the work of one of our members.

With a strong clinical and experiential focus, the conference will consider the relevance of the (symbolic) father in contemporary psychoanalysis. Speakers and attendees will be invited to debate the key themes of Rob Weatherill’s recent book The Anti-Oedipus Complex, Lacan, Critical Theory and Postmodernism (Routledge 2017). Together with colleagues from other psychoanalytic traditions, we will examine the book’s propositions that in the absence of the symbolic father we can observe:

1) Excess of hate over love often turned against the self.

2) A Retreat from Otherness of the other sex and the other generation, in favour of the self and the Same.

3) Rejection of and hatred for authority of any kind.

4) A predisposition to pre-Oedipal aims, infantile, demanding, “relating” to part objects.

5) The imaginary and the virtual displace the Symbolic register.

6) The notion of “complex” implies a certain pseudo-stability, even an intense resistance to change.

7) Disavowal of reality, leading to borderline phenomena.

8) The replacement of the Ego Ideal and social values in favour of the tyrannical and narcissistic Ideal Ego on the one hand and archaic superego on the other.

9) Failure to initiate and / or maintain relationships and the social bond.

10) Indifference to these developments.

Weatherill says,

‘If the Oedipus complex signifies our ongoing fraught entanglements with the ambivalent relationships of childhood, the Anti-Oedipus Complex signifies a false freedom. If a true freedom / resolution of Oedipus is ever possible, anti-Oedipus is not it.’[1]

‘In the absence of landmarks – the Law, Oedipus, the Symbolic register and civilisation itself, there is nothing for it but to collapse backwards into imaginary rivalry and the escalating violence of the war machines. It is only the Law and the thin seam or stratum of civilisation that stands guard over and against the (violent) jouissance’.[2]

‘There is no objective foundation of meaning or worth, no secular account of the worth of human life. All values are impromptu interpretations – the making of meaning from within a particular cultural moment, lacking in any ultimate authority or persistence. The irony is that such notions embrace decentralisation and chaos, the freedom upon which capitalism depends for its fullest unfettering’.[3]

Attendees can expect a lively discussion about the responsibilities of psychoanalysts today. There will be brief presentations on the book’s key themes by means of panel discussions as well as experiential work on ‘Fathers we have known’.

Weatherill’s work and the activities of the day will be celebrated with his Book Launch and a glass of wine following the formal proceedings. Mark Dooley, Philosopher, author and Irish Daily Mail columnist will be in attendance to launch Rob's book. His most recent book is, Conversations with Roger Scruton. Bloomsbury 2016.




[1] p. xii

[2] p52

[3] p95

Speakers: Rob Weatherill, Alan Corcoran, Carol Owens, Dorothee Bonnigal-Katz , Helena Texier, Peter Kelly and Rik Loose

Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz is a psychoanalyst and a translator. She is a member of the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, UKCP, CPJA and CP–UK. She is the founder and clinical lead of the Psychosis Therapy Project, a specialist psychoanalytic therapy project for people experiencing psychosis. Her work as a translator includes a number of psychoanalytic texts such as Dominique Scarfone’s Laplanche: An Introduction (2015) and The Unpast: The Actual Unconscious (2016). Her latest translation, Laurence Kahn’s Apathy, Psychoanalysis and the Postmodern Patient recently came out in the New Library of Psychoanalysis series (Routledge, 2018).

Followed by a book launch from 5.30 - 7p.m.



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Royal Marine Hotel

Marine Road

Dun Laoghaire

Ireland

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