1st Edition

The Routledge International Handbook of Psychoanalysis, Subjectivity, and Technology

Edited By David M. Goodman, Matthew Clemente Copyright 2024

    The Routledge International Handbook of Psychoanalysis, Subjectivity, and Technology uniquely provides a comprehensive overview of human subjectivity in the technological age and how psychoanalysis can help us better understand human life.

    Presented in five parts, David M. Goodman and Matthew Clemente collaborate with an international community of scholars and practitioners to consider how psychoanalytic formulations can be brought to bear on the impact technology has had on the facets of human subjectivity. Chapters examine how technology is reshaping our understanding of what it means to be a human subject, through embodiment, intimacy, porn, political motivation, mortality, communication, interpersonal exchange, thought, attention, responsibility, vulnerability, and more.

    Filled with thought-provoking and nuanced chapters, the contributors approach technology from a diverse range of entry points but all engage through the lens of psychoanalytic theory, practice, and thought.

    This book is essential for academics and students of psychoanalysis, philosophy, ethics, media, liberal arts, social work, and bioethics. With the inclusion of timely chapters on the coronavirus pandemic and teletherapy, psychoanalysts in practice and training as well as other mental health practitioners will also find this book an invaluable resource.

    Introduction: Technology and Its Discontents

    David M. Goodman and Matthew Clemente

    PART I

    Everything Has Two Handles: Technological Ambivalence

    1 Touching Trauma: Therapy, Technology, Recovery

    Richard Kearney

    2 Mediating the Subject of Psychoanalysis: A Conversation on Bodies, Temporality, and Narrative

    Patricia T. Clough, Bibi Calderaro, Iréne Hultman, Talha İşsevenler, Sandra Moyano-Ariza, and Jason Nielsen

    3 Dreaming Life in the Digital Age

    Richard Frankel

    4 The Soul behind Your Eyes: Psychic Presence in the Digital Screen

    Victor J. Krebs

    5 The Time of Technology: Plato’s Clock and Psychoanalysis

    Eric R. Severson

    6 Psychoanalysis Has Lost Its Touch and Other Reflections from a Technologic Age

    Matthew Clemente


    The Philosopher’s Stone: Converting Theory into Practice

    7 Auxiliary Organs and Extimate Implants: Coming to Terms with Technology from a Psychoanalytical Perspective

    Hub Zwart

    8 Foucault’s Care of Self: A Response to Modern Technology

    Hannah Lyn Venable

    9 Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Reflections on the Other as Monster

    Robert D. Romanyshyn

    10 Lifepower as a Metaphor in Edith Stein’s Philosophy of Psychology: Salient Questions for Psychoanalysis and Transhumanism

    Gabriel J. Costello

    11 Technology in Tenebris: Heidegger on the Paradoxes of Truth, Freedom, and Technology

    William J. Hendel


    Through the Looking-Glass: Online Fantasies, Social Media, and the Screen

    12 No One Gets Out of Here Alive: Trading Technologies of Human Exceptionalism for Dense Temporalities of Transcorporeal Zooms

    Katie Gentile

    13 The Intimacy of the Virtual Distance

    Susi Ferrarello

    14 Abject Evil: Technology and the Banality of the Thanatonic

    Brian W. Becker

    15 The Analytic Fourth: Telepsychotherapy between Opportunities and Limitations

    Osmano Oasi, Roberto Viganoni and Chiara Rossi

    16 From the Analog to the Digital Unconscious: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of Psychoanalytic Media Studies

    Jacob Johanssen

    17 Could I Interest You in Everything All of the Time?: A Bionian Analysis of Social Media Engagement

    Karley M.P. Guterres, A. Taiga Guterres and Julia Goetz

    18 Hashtag Mania or Misadventures in the #ultrapsychic

    Stephen Hartman

    19 Internet Memes and the Face of the Other 241

    Lewis Thurston and Nancy Thurston

    20 Who Am I Really? Illusions and Splits in the Mirror

    Susan E. Schwartz

    21 Emotional Trauma and Technology: A Clinical Story of Traumatic Isolation and Technologically Mediated Psychoanalytic Therapy

    Peter Maduro

    22 Touch (Screened): Technological Trauma, Excarnation, and Dissociation in a Digital Age

    M. Mookie C. Manalili


    Animating the Inorganic: Analyzing Artificial Intelligence

    23 AI and Madness

    Anestis Karastergiou

    24 Algorithmic Dedication and Mercurial Psychoanalysis: Subject, Subjectivation, and the Unconscious in the Digital World-Environment

    Jean Marc Tauszik

    25 Uncanny Traces: Villiers de l’Isle-Adam’s Critique of the Metaphysics of Selfhood

    Manolis Simos

    26 Auto Intimacy

    Hannah Zeavin

    27 Mental Health Treatment in the Information Age: Exploring the Functions of Artificial Intelligence and Human Subjectivity in Psychotherapy

    Lisa Finlay

    PART V

    Future of an Intrusion: Technology, Politics, and the Road Ahead

    28 Ironically into the End of an Era, with Continual Reference to Kierkegaard

    Samuel C. Gable

    29 Streaming Desire and the Post-Machine World

    Heather Macdonald

    30 Cruel Optimization: Interrogating Technology’s Optimization of Human Being

    Stephen Lugar

    31 ROOM: A Sketchbook for Analytic Action: The Use of Digital Technology as a Vehicle in Psychoanalysis

    Hattie Myers and Isaac Slone


    David M. Goodman is an Associate Dean at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, the Director of the newly launching Center for Psychological Humanities and Ethics, and serves on the faculty in three Boston College departments: Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology, Philosophy, and Formative Education.

    Matthew Clemente is a husband and father. He is a Research Fellow in the Center for Psychological Humanities and Ethics at Boston College and the Coeditor in Chief of the Journal for Continental Philosophy of Religion.

    "Open this handbook with great care, for in it you will find a mirror (at times, a black mirror) reflecting a contemporary vision and analysis of yourself, your world, and the technologies that shape you. Psychoanalysis becomes the perfect tool for exploring how we live with and are lived by technology, and this book digs deep into the theory, practice, and process of living in a world transformed by the machines we create."

    -Jack Foehl, President, Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute

    "If one were able to go back in time and tell Louis XIV, in all his glory, that in our times one can have a warm home equipped with hot running waters throughout the winter and a cool breeze in his bedchamber all summer long and do so effortlessly; or the means to illuminate every corner in his rooms and every room in his house at will; or to have any meal or drink his appetite might fancy delivered to him within the hour at his door; or have his coffee made at the press of a button; or to have the uncanny ability to summon in his presence the representations of absent people, whether living or dead, hear them talking and talk with them as if they were present, and, in short, all of the other abilities modern technology makes possible to us, he would say that these are powers unfathomable even to a Sun King, to be assigned perhaps only to a god, even if, as Freud aptly put it, a prosthetic god.

    And if one were able to go back in time and tell King Solomon, in all his wisdom, that such god-like powers have been given to all, from haughty rulers to humble parlormaids, and given equally, he would question whether our powerful devices have made the latter any happier or the former wiser than him. It takes an analytic approach, as Freud again rightly notes, to untangle the tele-technological enigma. And it is to our great benefit that this handbook begins the work of doing just that."

    - John Panteleimon Manoussakis, Associate Professor of Philosophy, College of the Holy Cross