Alchemists of Human Nature - Psychological Utopianism in by Petteri Pietikainen

By Petteri Pietikainen

This is often the 1st book-length research of Modernist utopias of the brain. Pietikainen examines the psychodynamic writings of Otto Gross, C G Jung, Wilhelm Reich and Erich Fromm. once they broke from Freud and orthodox psychoanalysis, Pietikainen argues, utopianism turned more and more very important to the basic pursuits of all 4 thinkers. He exhibits how Gross' "Matriarchal Communism", Jung's "Archetypal Cosmos", Reich's "Orgonomic Functionalism" and Fromm's "Socialist Humanism" have been makes an attempt to reshape social constructions and human family by means of conquering the subconscious. Pietikainen areas the 'utopian impulse' with the ancient context of the massive, violent socio-political narratives of the early 20th century. This cutting edge interdisciplinary ebook contributes to ongoing scholarly discussions concerning the historicity as opposed to the universality of human nature.

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This was the philosopher’s stone they searched for, and even if they died (Gross), ended up in a haze of mental confusion (Reich) or became disillusioned with the capability of man to change for the better ( Jung and Fromm), their utopian imagination merits consideration. They had a dream that was destined to clash with reality, but to imagine a world without dreams is to imagine an anti-utopia. 2 THE NEW SOVIET MAN: PSYCHOANALYSIS AND THE CONQUEST OF THE UNCONSCIOUS IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE SOVIET UNION We can find the first adherents of modern dynamic psychology among the educated members of the Central European middle class.

And it was the restoration of this crucial connection with the authentic part of our personality that Gross, Jung, Reich and Fromm saw as their ultimate goal, because it would mean the full realization of human nature. There is, then, a burning moral vision in their utopian glorification of authenticity: as modern-day psychoalchemists, they wanted to ennoble the base substances of human nature and produce a new, improved edition of man. This was the philosopher’s stone they searched for, and even if they died (Gross), ended up in a haze of mental confusion (Reich) or became disillusioned with the capability of man to change for the better ( Jung and Fromm), their utopian imagination merits consideration.

These are the goods of the higher order, for they are not only more substantial than other goods (such as work, family, money and so forth), but also more fundamental in the sense that they constitute the standpoint from which these other, lesser goods are evaluated. With regard to nature as a constitutive good, we can say that there are Enlightenment and Romantic versions of nature as an ultimate moral source. Scientific naturalism – exemplified in evolutionary biology – is a paradigmatic representative of the Enlightenment as it derives its power from disengaged reason, and is committed to progress by scientific means, whereas the constitutive good in the Romantic version of nature or its modernist successor visions, of which Jung’s analytical psychology is a prime example, is subjective fulfilment.

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