Knowledge as Desire: An Essay on Freud and Piaget - Vol. 10

By Hans G. Furth | Go to book overview

Knowledge As Desire
AN ESSAY ON FREUD AND PIAGET

Hans G. Furth

In his latest book Hans G. Furth, author of several now-classic volumes on Piagetian thought, provides an in-depth treatment of the most radical issues in the work of Jean Piaget and Sigmund Freud. Through creative, clearly presented reinterpretations of their theories, he synthesizes and reconciles the two masters in a way that is both logically consistent and empirically grounded, allowing their theories to illuminate each other.

Furth suggests that Freud's theories are of interest to persons trying to understand the less conscious, less controlled components of human actions, and that the individual's emotional history is a key part of this understanding. Similarly, the appeal of Piaget's work is his developmental approach to traditionally philosophical problems of human knowledge. What is needed, Furth contends, is a "whole picture" that links knowledge and emotions from a unified developmental perspective. There now exists what he calls a "baneful and potentially catastrophic" split between knowledge and desire; a division between such areas as contingent actions, emotions, and social relations on one side, and objective knowledge and logical necessity on the other. But by recognizing that Piaget's logical coordinations and Freud's sexual drives jointly underlie all human endeavor, the separation can be overcome.

"Behind knowledge in all its varied and seemingly purely 'objective' manifestations," Furth writes, "there always is, and must be, a 'subjective' component of personal bias and desire. At this juncture, knowledge, morality, and social relations are organically linked."

(Continued on back flap)

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Knowledge as Desire: An Essay on Freud and Piaget - Vol. 10
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Knowledge As Desire - AN ESSAY ON FREUD AND PIAGET *
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • TO THE READER ix
  • 1 - Symbols: Where Freud and Piaget Meet 1
  • 2 - The Formation of the Symbolic World 15
  • 3 - The Formation of the Unconscious World 41
  • 4 - Libido Bound Through Symbols 65
  • Interlude: Preliminary Summary 93
  • 5 - Symbols: The Key to Humanization 101
  • 6 - Symbols, Biology, and Logical Necessity 121
  • 7 - Logic and Desire 153
  • References 173
  • Index 177
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