A Jeanne Site
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: January 30, 2000
Curran or Takata.
As we move into the 21st Century, there has been a frenetic need to assess the contributions of the great thinkers of the past. Lear's book guides us through an understanding of Freud's contribution. His approach is one that makes enormous sense for an undergraduate seminar that chooses to look at theory in some depth. He highlights Freud's key contributions, goes back to the texts to develop his arguments, and is clear about the assumptions he makes, and the unstated assumptions of others. Thus, in addition to one plausible way to interpret the West's love of rationality, you are treated to some fine examples of solid reasoning in tracing the development of ideas through classic texts. These are skills we hope you will apply to future reading.
This book is of particular interest as we move into the 21st Century, for it sets a tone of how we might eventually value the intellectual contributions of the 20th Century. Freud-bashing is popular in today's climate of "knowingness." Simply "everyone" knows Freud, though most of us have never read his work. Lear brings that work into the reach of those of us who would like to incorporate into our understandings the insights psychoanalysis offers to those of us who will never be in a position to afford psychoanalysis. I was particularly impressed that Lear's major conclusion is that what psychoanalysis is all about is heightened "awareness," not necessarily "knowing," why we do things, but understanding that we are both rational and non-rational creatures. The willingness to accept "not knowing" is as important to Lear as it is to us. Lear interprets it that psychiatrists may do no harm. We interpret it that teachers, with whom you are all more likely to come in contact with, may do no harm. In this review of Lear's work, we will emphasize what we as teachers have found to enlighten our practice in Freud, as interpreted through this text.
For a plausible answer see Cheating as Acting Out response to Pass? or Prepared? on Love, Learning, and Structural Violence.