[lit-ideas] Re: CFP: PEACE REVIEW on the Psychological Interpretation of War

  • From: Andy Amago <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 16:41:32 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Yost <NYCEric@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Dec 8, 2004 2:36 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: CFP: PEACE REVIEW on the Psychological Interpretation 
of War

Andy may believe that Koenigsburg's question is new and brave, but I 
think Koenigsburg's just trying to clear an academic niche using the 
wrong tools.


A.A.  Historically few have asked the question except perhaps to some extent 
Plato who thought Homer needed the classical equivalent of a V chip.  Current 
psychoanalytical writing barely scratches the surface.




E.Y. Psychoanalytic writing about war and conflict is nothing new. Wilhelm 
Reich, Erich Fromm, Norman O. Brown, Karl Menninger, Colin Wilson, and 
Arthur Koestler have all tried to establish working theses about human 
destructiveness. Many have also studied the effect of group behavior on 
violence.


A.A.  Human motivation is a work in progress.  Because others have studied it 
is not a reason to stop studying it.



E.Y. Few prescriptions result from these studies: Koestler concluded that our 
warlike nature was the result of a wrong turn in evolution, one that put 
our neocortex under the control of our limbic system, and that we should 
all spend our lives on drugs designed to reroute our violent impulses. 
Fromm and Brown (in "Anatomy of Human Destructiveness" and "Love Against 
Death: the Psychoanalytic Meaning of History") have concluded that 
society should change so as to minimize the emergence of "necrophiliac 
personality types" or hinder the ascendancy of death-centered thinking.



A.A.  Prescriptions are a dime a dozen.  K. wasn't looking for prescriptions, 
just thoughts.



E.Y. Koenigsburg comes late to this strand of humanist psychology and doesn't 
seem to have much to add to it except his name, a large mailing list, 
and his ambition. Plus he doesn't respond to objections from any of the 
groups he spams regardless of their qualifications.



A.A.  When is late?  Is the field closed, brimming with insight?   It sounds 
based on this thread that objections are not substantive and focused on his 
person.  Objections to his call for thoughts are of the "what a stupid idea" 
variety.


Andy Amago







Eric

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