1st Edition

Psyche, Culture, World Excursions in Existentialism and Psychoanalytic Philosophy

By Jon Mills Copyright 2023
    428 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    428 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Across the array of topics explored in this comprehensive volume, philosopher and psychoanalyst Jon Mills argues for a fundamental return to the question and meaning of existence. Drawing on the traditions of German Idealism, existentialism, and onto-phenomenology, he offers a rich tapestry of insight and critique into the foundations of psyche, human nature, and society.

    As a philosophy of mind and culture, psychoanalysis offers us a promising perspective to reengage our being in the world in meaningful ways that illuminate human existence, the mysteriousness of unconscious processes, our relation to transcendence, ethical obligations towards social collectives, and the wonder of logos for our present-day consciousness. After examining the unconscious origins of psychic reality and the contradictory nature of our internal lives, Mills examines the scope of existentialism from antiquity to postmodernism, the question of authenticity, paranoiac epistemology, the essence of evil, dysrecognition and social pathology, belief in God, myth, the ideologies of science, hermeneutics, truth, freedom and determinism, and the fate of civilization in relation to the pervasive forces that threaten our existence.

    Psyche, Culture, World will be of interest to philosophers, psychoanalysts, psychologists, academics, and students in the arts and humanities, cultural studies, anthropology, myth, psychology of religion, and psychotherapy.

    Prolegomenon: Towards a Psychology of Existence About the Texts  1. On the Origins of Psychic Reality  2. Psyche as Inner Contradiction  3. Existentialism and Psychoanalysis: From Antiquity to Postmodernism  4. The False Dasein: From Heidegger to Sartre and Psychoanalysis  5. Lacan on Paranoiac Knowledge  6. The Essence of Evil  7. Recognition and Pathos  8. God: The Invention of an Idea  9. Towards a Theory of Myth  10. Deconstructing Hermes: A Critique of the Hermeneutic and Phenomenological Turn in Psychoanalysis  11. Psychoanalysis and the Ideologies of Science  12. Truth  13. Freedom and Determinism  14. Civilization and its Fate


    Jon Mills, PsyD, PhD, ABPP is a philosopher, psychoanalyst, and retired clinical psychologist. He is Honorary Professor, Department of Psychosocial & Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, UK; on Faculty in the Postgraduate Programs in Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy, Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology, Adelphi University and the New School for Existential Psychoanalysis, USA; and is Emeritus Professor of Psychology & Psychoanalysis at Adler Graduate Professional School in Toronto, Canada. Recipient of numerous awards for his scholarship, he is the author and/or editor of over 30 books in philosophy, psychoanalysis, psychology, and cultural studies.

    "Jon Mills’ Psyche, Culture, World is one of the most ambitious attempts yet to synthesize philosophy and psychoanalysis. In particular, Mills offers readers a sophisticated contemporary reactivation of the tradition of existential psychoanalysis bringing together analytic metapsychology with the insights of phenomenology and existentialism. Against those who would dismiss psychoanalysis and/or existentialist thought as passé, Mills convincingly demonstrates that a combination of these two orientations provides the best cognitive mapping available of our present set of psychical and social conundrums, of the human condition in the twenty-first century." 

    Adrian Johnston, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of New Mexico; author of Prolegomena to Any Future Materialism (3 Vols)

    "Once again, Jon Mills has regaled us with yet another example of the breadth and depth of his subtle understanding of the relationship between philosophy and psychoanalysis. In this important work, Mills deftly demonstrates the philosophical underpinnings of psychoanalysis while bringing heretofore neglected aspects of phenomenology and existential philosophy to bear in illuminating the existential basis of psychoanalytic practice. His exegesis of the unconscious, myth, truth, freedom, and evil are both impressive and original. A true tour de force and cogent exploration of the role that existence plays in our lives."

    M. Guy Thompson, PhD, author of The Death of Desire: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness

    "Jon Mills views psychoanalysis as essentially an existential enterprise about human beings as agents. He combines psychoanalysis with a rich philosophical tradition to confront key conundrums of human existence. Novel and illuminating ideas leap from the pages of this brilliant scholarly yet accessible magnum opus."

    Douglas Kirsner, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Psychoanalytic Studies, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia; author of Unfree Associations

    Jon Mills is a rare breed. . . . Mills himself is extraordinarily prolific, and his work is extremely wide-ranging. Dr. Mills newest book, Psyche, Culture, World: Excursions in Existentialism and Psychoanalytic Philosophy tackles many diverse topics from relational psychoanalysis to the future of human life. Firmly rooted in psychoanalysis and European philosophy, Mills brings a unique sensibility to the most central issues in and outside psychoanalysis. His ambitious goal is to move towards a psychology of existence.

    Ken Fuchsman, International Psychohistorical Association