My dissertation develops a novel account of the imagination and its link to human freedom through a reassessment of the theoretical relationship between Sartrean existentialism and Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalysis. Throughout his career, Sartre is hostile to psychoanalytic theory due to its purported arguments against human freedom. I argue that by focusing on the concept of imagination as it is elaborated in the work of Sartre, Freud, and Lacan, surprising points of similarity are revealed between a Sartrean philosophy of freedom and Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalysis. I develop a nuanced conception of the link between imagination and human freedom according to which the imagination is both a liberating capacity of mind and responsible for numerous psychical pathologies. In this way, I demonstrate the ways in which psychoanalytic theory challenges many standard philosophical accounts of imagination and how psychoanalysis can be productively integrated with such accounts.
Committee: James B. South (Chair), Michael Monahan (Memphis), Curtis Carter, Thomas R. Flynn (Emory University)
"Unconscious Structure in Sartre and Lacan." Forthcoming in Psychoanalytische Perspectieven.
"The Debate between Grunbaum and Ricoeur: The Hermeneutic Conception of Psychoanalysis and the Drive for Scientific Legitimacy." Ricoeur Studies/Etudes Ricoeuriennes Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016), pp. 103-119. [pdf]
"Toward a Non-Reductive Naturalism: Combining the Insights of Husserl and Dewey" William James Studies Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016), pp. 19-35. [pdf]
Adrian Johnston, Irrepressible Truth: On Lacan's "The Freudian Thing". In Continental Philosophy Review.
Jonathan Lear, Wisdom Won from Illness: Essays in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis. In Metapsychology Online Reviews.
Benedict O'Donohoe (ed.) Severally Seeking Sartre. In Contemporary French Civilization.
Theodore Gracyk, On Music. In American Society for Aesthetics Graduate E-Journal.
Dominic McIver Lopes, A Philosophy of Computer Art. In American Society for Aesthetics Graduate E-Journal.