F 2:00 - 4:45 pm
In English / 2 credits
Taught by Catherine Malabou, Otto Mainzer and Ilse Wunsch Mainzer Global Distinguished Professor
Meets last 7 weeks Oct 20-Dec 8
This course revolves around three major reflections on anxiety. Philosophical, with Heidegger and the existential notion of being-for-death. Psychoanalysis, with Freud and the question of the origin of anxiety. Neuroscientific, with the study of stress and its possible epigenetic transmission.
By crossing these studies, we will ask ourselves if anxiety is a threat to the plasticity of the subject, to their capacities for transformation and evolution, or if it does not act on the contrary as a power of metamorphosis and self-creation. We will start with the fundamental distinction between anxiety and fear, the first, unlike the second, having no object. What is this nothing of anxiety? This non-being that triggers anxiety? These questions have proven fundamental in the late Xxth century’s continental philosophy and psychoanalysis. They are currently lying at the heart of the most recent research in neuroscience and epigenetics. After exploring these different domains, we will approach political critiques of the concept of anxiety, like those developed by afro-pessimist thinkers, arguing that this concept is a pre-fabricated response to the absolute lack of plasticity of the non-being.