Localization And Its Discontents: A Genealogy Of Psychoanalysis And The Neuro Disciplines

Hardcover | December 8, 2015

byKatja Guenther

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Psychoanalysis and neurological medicine have promoted contrasting and seemingly irreconcilable notions of the modern self. Since Freud, psychoanalysts have relied on the spoken word in a therapeutic practice that has revolutionized our understanding of the mind. Neurologists and neurosurgeons, meanwhile, have used material apparatus—the scalpel, the electrode—to probe the workings of the nervous system, and in so doing have radically reshaped our understanding of the brain. Both operate in vastly different institutional and cultural contexts.

Given these differences, it is remarkable that both fields found resources for their development in the same tradition of late nineteenth-century German medicine: neuropsychiatry. In Localization and Its Discontents, Katja Guenther investigates the significance of this common history, drawing on extensive archival research in seven countries, institutional analysis, and close examination of the practical conditions of scientific and clinical work. Her remarkable accomplishment not only reframes the history of psychoanalysis and the neuro disciplines, but also offers us new ways of thinking about their future.

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Psychoanalysis and neurological medicine have promoted contrasting and seemingly irreconcilable notions of the modern self. Since Freud, psychoanalysts have relied on the spoken word in a therapeutic practice that has revolutionized our understanding of the mind. Neurologists and neurosurgeons, meanwhile, have used material apparatus—t...

Katja Guenther is assistant professor of the history of science at Princeton University. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:296 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:December 8, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022628820X

ISBN - 13:9780226288208

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"This thoughtful and deeply researched volume casts a new light on the modern history of scientific and clinical approaches to the mind/body relationship. Guenther explores an underlying theme—the tension between “localizing” and “connective” traditions—that unites and illuminates the work of such key figures as pathological anatomist Theodor Meynert, psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, and neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield. Combining a subtle reading of texts, practices, individuals, and contexts, she illuminates an important dimension of the history of physiology, psychology, and psychiatry; and, in so doing, provides a revealing perspective on the neurosciences today."