Force, Drive, Desire: A Philosophy of Psychoanalysis (Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy) (Hardcover)

Force, Drive, Desire: A Philosophy of Psychoanalysis (Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy) By Rudolf Bernet, Sarah Allen (Translated by) Cover Image
By Rudolf Bernet, Sarah Allen (Translated by)
This title is not currently in stock and is likely unavailable for us to order. For more info, click on Ask A Bookseller.


In Force, Drive, Desire, Rudolf Bernet develops a philosophical foundation of psychoanalysis focusing on human drives. Rather than simply drawing up a list of Freud’s borrowings from Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, or Lacan’s from Hegel and Sartre, Bernet orchestrates a dialogue between philosophy and psychoanalysis that goes far beyond what these eminent psychoanalysts knew about philosophy. By relating the writings of Freud, Lacan, and other psychoanalysts to those of Aristotle, Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, and, more tacitly, Bergson and Deleuze, Bernet brings to light how psychoanalysis both prolongs and breaks with the history of Western metaphysics and philosophy of nature.

Rereading the long history of metaphysics (or at least a few of its key moments) in light of psychoanalytic inquiries into the nature and function of drive and desire also allows for a rewriting of the history of philosophy. Specifically, it allows Bernet to bring to light a different history of metaphysics, one centered less on Aristotelian substance (ousia) and more on the concept of dunamis—a power or potentiality for a realization toward which it strives with all its might. Relating human drives to metaphysical forces also bears fruit for a renewed philosophy of life and subjectivity.

About the Author

RUDOLF BERNET is a professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Leuven in Belgium and former director of the Husserl Archives. He has been a visiting professor at the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, the University of Copenhagen, Boston College, the Sapienza University of Rome, Stony Brook University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, and Peking University. He is the editor of Edmund Husserl’s Texte zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins (The Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness) and Die Bernauer Manuskripte über das Zeitbewusstsein (The Bernau Manuscripts on Time-Consciousness), the coauthor of An Introduction to Husserlian Phenomenology, and the author of La vie du sujet: Recherches sur l’interprétation de Husserl dans la phénoménologie (The Life of the Subject: Research on Husserl’s Interpretation of Phenomenology) and Conscience et existence: Perspectives phénoménologiques (Consciousness and Existence: Phenomenological Perspectives). 

Praise For…

“Rudolf Bernet’s Force, Drive, Desire is a highly welcome contribution to contemporary philosophy. Bernet offers an impressive, multifaceted account of the fundamental forces that move human beings, individually and collectively. This is crucial not just to phenomenology and psychoanalysis but also to political philosophy, ontology, and metaphysics.” —Sara Heinämaa, author of Toward a Phenomenology of Sexual Difference

“Clear and erudite, challenging and exciting, this work is a literal tour de force. The aim of Rudolf Bernet’s Force, Drive, Desire is nothing less than a renewal of both philosophy and psychoanalysis by way of a powerful reconstruction of the concepts of drive and desire as fundamental to each.” —James Dodd, author of Phenomenology, Architecture, and the Built World

“This unique book is sure to be a classic. Bernet’s masterful study unearths remarkably deep connections between psychoanalytic concepts of drive and desire, and philosophical problems of force, movement, agency, negativity and passivity, offering extraordinary insights into what drives us in our relations to each other and nature.” —David Morris, author of Merleau-Ponty's Developmental Ontology
Product Details
ISBN: 9780810139985
ISBN-10: 0810139987
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Publication Date: February 15th, 2020
Pages: 440
Language: English
Series: Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy