Thursday, 1 January 2015

Tensed Time and Free Will. Raymond Tallis conducts Inner Circle Seminar 212 (26 April 2015)


Tensed Time and Free Will
                
Raymond-Tallis-008.jpg (460×276)
Raymond Tallis

Raymond Tallis
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 212
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 26 April 2016
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Raymond Tallis gave the memorable Inner Circle Seminar No. 184 on 2 December 2012 in which he showed how biologism aspires to turn the ‘humanities’ into ‘animalities’. Today, he will continue to show the absurdity of reductionism. He will demonstrate the falsity of the purported use of neuroscience to disprove free will.

In the spirit of Samuel Johnson, Martin Heidegger and John Horton Conway, it may be asked why philosophers, psychotherapists or anybody at all should be trying to prove free will. Is not the onus on those who deny it to explain their belief? However, those who are wavering, tempted by the seduction of neuroscientism dressed as neuroscience, perhaps sensing its wrongness but unsure how to resist, will surely gain heart from the clarity and rigour of Raymond Talliss elucidation.


Raymond Tallis writes:

The seminar will be in two parts.

1. Determinism and Neurodeterminism: The Case Against Free Will

The traditional case for determinism is based on the assumption that humans are ultimately material objects – specifically their brains - wired into a causally closed universe. This metaphysical argument against free will has recently been supplemented by interpretations of experimental findings in neuroscience, notably those associated with Benjamin Libet and John Dylan-Hayes. Attempts to escape determinism and neurodeterminism by appeal to chaos theory, quantum indeterminacy, and the notion that humans break the laws of nature in virtue of being uncaused causes will be criticised.

2. Tensed Time and Human Freedom

The second part of the seminar will undermine the case for determinism first by critiquing the fundamental assumption that humans are their brains and human consciousness identical with neural activity. The discussion will begin with intentionality and its failure to fit into a world that seems to be causally closed. This will ground a critique of the notion of causation as an inherent property of the material world and will help us to understand how voluntary actions are possible in a world of material events (that include actions). The co-evolution of first-person being, selfhood, agency, and freedom will be examined. All of these will be connected with the temporal depth – made explicit in tensed time  that is unique to human consciousness. Freedom will be shown to be neither impossible nor an illusion.

Raymond Tallis BM BCh MA FRCP LittD (Hon Causa) DLitt (Hon Causa) F Med Sci FRSA was Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester and a consultant physician in Health Care of the Elderly in Salford until 2006. He also advised the government on health care of older people and in particular on the development of stroke services. He has published 200 research articles in the neurology of old age (epilepsy and stroke) and neurological rehabilitation, and original articles in NatureMedicineLancet and other leading journals. In 2000 he was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He received the Dhole Eddlestone Prize; the Founders Medal of the British Geriatrics Society; the Lord Cohen Gold Medal for Research into Ageing. He is Chair of Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying.

He has published a novel, short stories, three volumes of poetry, and 23 books on the philosophy of mind, philosophical anthropology, literary theory, the nature of art, and cultural criticism. These offer a critique of current predominant intellectual trends and an alternative understanding of human consciousness, the nature of language and of what it is to be a human being. For this he has been awarded two honorary degrees: DLitt (Hon Causa) University of Hull, 1997; and LittD (Hon Causa) University of Manchester 2002. 
In 2008 he was appointed Honorary Visiting Professor in the Department of English at the University of Liverpool. He writes op-eds for The Times and has a column in Philosophy Now. He is a regular at the leading literary and science festivals. He is a frequent broadcaster, with recent appearances on Start the WeekNightwavesInside the Ethics Committee and The Moral Maze. Among his recent books are Aping Mankind. Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity (2011) and Reflections of a Metaphysical Flaneur and Other Essays (2013). 

In 2009, the Economist Intelligent Life Magazine listed him as one of the world’s 20 leading polymaths.


Venue:   Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (http://www.durrantshotel.co.uk/)
Cost:    Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
                   Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857     E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Laing & Esterson: 3. The Churches. 50 years on. Inner Circle Seminar 211 (15 March 2015)



Laing and Esterson
Sanity, Madness and the Family
(1964)

Continuing research on the families
50 years on

Family 3:
The Churches
Anthony Stadlen
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 211
Sunday 15 March 2015
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


We believe that the shift of point of view that these descriptions both embody and demand has an historical significance no less radical than the shift from a demonological to a clinical viewpoint three hundred years ago.

Thus, in 1964, R. D. Laing and Aaron Esterson introduced their revolutionary descriptions of eleven families of ‘schizophrenics’ in their epochmaking book Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics. But fifty years on, the ‘clinical viewpoint’ still rules supreme. Are Laing and Esterson ‘discredited’, as is claimed? Have they been proved wrong? Or are they not yet understood?

Most psychiatrists and psychotherapists say Laing and Esterson said families cause ‘schizophrenia’. However, in reality, Laing and Esterson wrote: ‘No one can deny us the right to disbelieve in the fact of schizophrenia.’

But most psychiatrists and psychotherapists will tell you that Laing and Esterson said: ‘families cause schizophrenia’  the very ‘schizophrenia’ they insisted they disbelieved in. In other words, most psychiatrists and psychotherapists find it difficult to read the plain English that Laing and Esterson wrote. They dont contradict it  they simply manage not to see it. Is this because it would be too threatening to them to see it and to consider it seriously?

What Laing and Esterson recorded and wrote about is the very stuff of life. As Hilary Mantel put it, in her introduction to the first seminar in this new subseries, it is  the simple words the people speak.  There is no psychology’ or metapsychology’ deeper than this, or behind’ itAs  Esterson said, these are the deepest secrets. But they are open to all. All is there, in a sense, on the surface, in what people say to one another.

This is the third of a new subseries of eleven Inner Circle Seminars on the eleven families studied in the book. We shall discuss Chapter 3, on Claire Church’ and her family, in the light of Anthony Stadlen’s continuing historical research on and with the living families, which renews, amplifies and clarifies Laing and Estersons research half a century on. Your contribution will be welcome.

‘The highly respected Anthony Stadlen, who has practised as an existential-phenomenological psychotherapist in London for over thirty years, continues to this day to hold well-attended and regular seminars in London on a wide variety of existential-psychotherapy-related topics, including dedicated all-day sessions focusing on the individual families featured in the ground-breaking work Sanity, Madness and the Family, first published over forty years ago.’
Adrian Laing, son of R. D. Laing (R. D. Laing: A Life, 2nd edition, 2006)

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (http://www.durrantshotel.co.uk/)
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Is Psychoanalysis a Jewish Science? Freud and his Rebbe. Joseph Berke conducts Inner Circle Seminar 210 (15 February 2015)

Is Psychoanalysis a Jewish Science?
Dr.JosephHBerke.jpg (298×199)
Dr Joseph H. Berke
Freud and his Rebbe

Joseph Berke
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 210
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 15 February 2015
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Nazis burned Sigmund Freuds books, persecuted Jewish psychoanalysts, and banned psychoanalysis as a Jewish science. Freud had gone to great trouble a quarter of a century earlier to protect psychoanalysis from such an apparently bizarre allegation by arranging that the Swiss ‘Aryan’ psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung should appear to be leading the psychoanalytic movement.

But David Bakan, in his book Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition (1959), argued that there is an authentic sense in which psychoanalysis, springing from that tradition, is indeed a Jewish science (this does not imply that it is a natural science, as Freud claimed). In todays seminar, the psychiatrist and psychotherapist Dr Joseph H. Berke develops Bakans argument, and reports on Freuds relationship with, and treatment of, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe.


Dr Joseph H. Berke writes:

Kabbalah is the Jewish mystical tradition. In the seminar I shall demonstrate the importance of Kabbalah to the development of Freud’s work and the way it has entered Western culture through psychoanalysis. I shall also show how these ideas have enriched our understanding of mental processes and clinical practices.

Hassidism is a mystical and religious renewal movement based on the Kabbalah.  Freud’s ancestors were hassidim going back many generations. I shall discuss how this background influenced Freud’s life and work. I shall show how he struggled to deny these roots
Sigmund Freud
in order to be accepted as a secular, German professional, and at the same time how he
 used them in the development of his ideas about dreaming, sexuality, depression and mental structures as well as healing practices.

Essentially psychoanalysis is a secular extension of Kabbalah.

Freud utilized the Jewish mystical tradition to develop a science of subjectivity.

This concerns:
1) The systematic exploration of human experience.
2) Uncovering the secret compartments of the mind.
3) Expanding human consciousness beyond ‘objective reality.
4) Exploring the deepest levels of the mind: preconscious and unconscious methods of thinking.
5) The revelation of hidden, unconscious thought processes by free association and dream analysis, all linked to kabbalistic  modalities such as ‘skipping and jumping .
6) The close connection between psychoanalysis, quantum physics and kabbalah.
Rashab.jpg (168×130)
Rebbe Rashab, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe

I shall begin by describing Freuds successful treatment of the great hassidic leader, the Rebbe Rashab, the fifth Rebbe of Lubavitch Hassidim.

I shall end by showing how Freud’s creativity has passed through generations of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.


Dr Joseph H. Berke is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist working with individuals and families. He is a lecturer, writer and teacher and has lived in London since 1965. He had attended Columbia College of Columbia University and graduated from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York.

Dr Berke moved to London to study with Dr R. D. Laing and assisted in establishing the Kingsley Hall Community. There he helped Mary Barnes, a middle-aged nurse who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, to pass through a severe regression. Barnes later became a noted artist, writer and mystic. The book which Barnes and Berke co-authored, Mary Barnes: Two Accounts of a Journey Through Madness, was adapted as a stage play and has been performed in many countries. It has now been optioned as a feature film.

In 1970 Berke and colleagues founded the Arbours Housing Association in London to provide personal, psychotherapeutic care and shelter for people in emotional distress. Later he founded and was the director of the Arbours Crisis Centre.

Berke is the author of many papers and books on psychotherapy, social psychiatry, psychosis, therapeutic communities and transpersonal psychology as well as Kabbalah and Hassidism. This includes: Centers of Power: The Convergence of Psychoanalysis and Kabbalah (with S. Schneider, Jason Aronson, 2008). For further information, visit his website: www.jhberke.com.

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (http://www.durrantshotel.co.uk/)
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com 
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/
The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Laing & Esterson: 2. The Blairs. 50 years on. Inner Circle Seminar 209 (18 January 2015)

R. D. Laing
Aaron Esterson
Laing and Esterson
Sanity, Madness and the Family (1964)

Continuing research on the families
50 years on

Family 2: The Blairs
Anthony Stadlen
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 209
Sunday 18 January 2015
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We believe that the shift of point of view that these descriptions both embody and demand has an historical significance no less radical than the shift from a demonological to a clinical viewpoint three hundred years ago.

Thus, in 1964, R. D. Laing and Aaron Esterson introduced their revolutionary descriptions of eleven families of ‘schizophrenics’ in their epochmaking book Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics. But fifty years on, the ‘clinical viewpoint’ still rules supreme. Are Laing and Esterson ‘discredited’, as is claimed? Have they been proved wrong? Or are they not yet understood?

Most psychiatrists and psychotherapists say Laing and Esterson said families cause ‘schizophrenia’. However, in reality, Laing and Esterson wrote: ‘No one can deny us the right to disbelieve in the fact of schizophrenia.’

But most psychiatrists and psychotherapists will tell you that Laing and Esterson said: ‘families cause schizophrenia’  the very ‘schizophrenia’ they insisted they disbelieved in. In other words, most psychiatrists and psychotherapists find it difficult to read the plain English that Laing and Esterson wrote. They dont contradict it  they simply manage not to see it. Is this because it would be too threatening to them to see it and to consider it seriously?

What Laing and Esterson recorded and wrote about is the very stuff of life. As Hilary Mantel put it, in her introduction to the first seminar in this new subseries, it is  the simple words the people speak.  There is no psychology’ or metapsychology’ deeper than this, or behind’ itAs  Esterson said, these are the deepest secrets. But they are open to all. All is there, in a sense, on the surface, in what people say to one another.

This is the second of a new subseries of eleven Inner Circle Seminars on the eleven families studied in the book. We shall discuss Chapter 2, on Lucie Blair’ and her family, in the light of Anthony Stadlen’s continuing historical research on and with the living families, which renews, amplifies and clarifies Laing and Estersons research half a century on. Your contribution will be welcome.

‘The highly respected Anthony Stadlen, who has practised as an existential-phenomenological psychotherapist in London for over thirty years, continues to this day to hold well-attended and regular seminars in London on a wide variety of existential-psychotherapy-related topics, including dedicated all-day sessions focusing on the individual families featured in the ground-breaking work Sanity, Madness and the Family, first published over forty years ago.’
Adrian Laing, son of R. D. Laing (R. D. Laing: A Life, 2nd edition, 2006)

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (http://www.durrantshotel.co.uk/)
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/
The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

R. D. Laing remembered by his son. Adrian Laing conducts Inner Circle Seminar 208 (14 December 2014)


R. D. Laing
R. D. Laing
 by his son
Adrian Laing

25 years after R. D. Laing’s death (1989)

50 years after Laing and Esterson’s
Sanity, Madness and the Family (1964)

Adrian Laing
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 208
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 14 December 2014
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
R. D. Laing



R. D. Laing

R. D. Laing



Adrian Laing
It is twenty-five years since the death of R. D. Laing (7 October 192723 August 1989), one of the most remarkable existential psychiatrists and psychoanalysts of the twentieth century. It is also fifty years since the publication of the epochmaking book he wrote with Aaron Esterson, Sanity Madness and the Family (1964), which we are exploring in eleven seminars on the subsequent histories of the eleven women and their families it describes. Today we focus on the life and work of R. D. Laing himself.
His son and biographer, Adrian Laing, will provide an analysis of his fathers personal and professional life by reference to each of R. D. Laings published works from The Divided Self (1960) to Wisdom, Madness and Folly (1985). He will present hitherto unknown material on his father and attempt a reassessment of his contribution, including its complex relationship with the work of David Cooper, Aaron Esterson, and Thomas Szasz.
Adrian Laing is a barrister. He is a former student of Michel Foucault and friend of David Cooper. He is author of the highly praised R. D. Laing: A Biography (1994) [second edition: R. D. Laing: A Life (2006)] and the novel Rehab Blues (2012), written as ‘laughter therapy’ and satirising such phenomena as the ‘rebirthing’ practised by his father. He is uniquely qualified to facilitate our quest for an understanding and balanced evaluation of his father’s life and work.
Please note that this is a subscription seminar, requiring early payment (see below).

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (http://www.durrantshotel.co.uk/)

Subscription: Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable by 14 October 2014; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled

Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857  E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Existential Pioneers. 20. Frantz Fanon. Inner Circle Seminar 207 (16 November 2014)



Frantz Fanon

Existential Pioneers
20. Frantz Fanon
(1925–1961)

Anthony Stadlen
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 207
Sunday 16 November 2014
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Frantz Fanon (20 July 1925 6 December 1961) was a Martinique-born, French-trained psychiatrist who worked in colonial Algeria. His writings (all in French) have inspired many independence movements. His Black Skin, White Masks (1952) was influenced by existential phenomenology and psychoanalysis. Jean-Paul Sartre, whose Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960) was a major influence on Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth (1961), enthusiastically endorsed in his preface to that book Fanon’s thesis of the ‘cleansing’ power of revolutionary violence, which Fanon stated thus:

Violence alone, violence committed by the people, violence organised and educated by its leaders, makes it possible for the masses to understand social truths and gives the key to them. Without that struggle, without that knowledge of the practice of action, there’s nothing but a fancy-dress parade and the blare of the trumpets. There’s nothing but a minimum of readaptation, a few reforms at the top, a flag waving: and down there at the bottom an undivided mass, still living in the middle ages, endlessly marking time.

As Sartre put it:

The rebel’s weapon is the proof of his humanity. For in the first days of the revolt you must kill: to shoot down a European is to kill two birds with one stone, to destroy an oppressor and the man he oppresses at the same time: there remain a dead man, and a free man... 

Hannah Arendt criticised this thesis in On Violence (1970). David Macey, in his biography of Fanon (2001), writes:

He certainly had a talent for hate and he did advocate and justify a violence that I can no longer justify. And yet, his first readers sensed in his work a great generosity.

There is, indeed, far more to Fanon than the advocacy of violence. To give just one example: his classic account of the police torturer who consults him as a psychotherapist to help him continue torturing but without feeling guilt is essential reading for psychotherapists of any school in any society.

Fanon, at the end of his first book, wrote:

I am not a prisoner of history. I should not seek there for the meaning of my destiny.
I should constantly remind myself that the real leap consists in introducing invention into existence.
...
The body of history does not determine a single one of my actions.
...
Was my freedom not given to me then in order to build the world of the You [Toi]?
...
My final prayer:
O my body, make of me always a man who questions!

R. D. Laing identified Fanon as one of a select few (Artaud, Merleau-Ponty, Fanon, Marcuse, Grass’) with whom ‘truly contemporary experience and thought begins’. In today’s seminar we shall study Fanon as a great, if problematic, existential pioneer. We shall draw on his two books mentioned above, on his Studies in a Dying Colonialism (1959) and For the African Revolution (1964), and on Macey’s fine biography. Your contribution will, as always, be welcome.
Venue:   Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (http://www.durrantshotel.co.uk/)
Cost:    Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857     E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Existential Pioneers. 19. Martin Heidegger: ‘The Question Concerning Technology’ (1954). 60 years on. Richard Rojcewicz conducts Inner Circle Seminar 206 (19 October 2014)


Martin Heidegger
Existential Pioneers
19. Martin Heidegger
‘Die Frage nach der Technik’ (1954)
[‘The Question Concerning Technology’]
An Elucidation 60 Years On

Richard Rojcewicz
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 206

Richard Rojcewicz
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 19 October 2014
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Martin Heidegger’s essay ‘Die Frage nach der Technik’ [‘The Question Concerning Technology’] (1954) is one of his most important postwar contributions. Like  his essay ‘The Thing’, it develops the thinking of his 1947 four-part presentation to the Bremen Club, ‘Insight into that which is’.

Professor Richard Rojcewicz is one of the world’s great phenomenologists. He teaches philosophy at Point Park University, Pittsburgh. He was formerly Executive Director of the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. He has translated major works of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, and has superbly translated or co-translated many of Heidegger’s writings unpublished during his lifetime: the lecture courses Phenomenological Interpretations of Aristotle: Initiation into Phenomenological Research, Platos Sophist, Basic Concepts of Ancient Philosophy, Basic Concepts of Philosophy: Problems’ of Logic’, and Parmenides; and the ‘ponderings’ of the 1930s, Contributions to Philosophy (Of the Event) and The Event.

Rojcewicz’s book The Gods and Technology: A Reading of Heidegger (2006) stands out as a high point in the abundant secondary literature on Heideggers ‘The Question Concerning Technology’ and indeed on Heideggers writings in general. It is based on Rojcewiczs profoundly illuminating new translation of Heideggers text, which we shall study in the seminar. Even Rojcewicz’s discussion of the subtle ambiguity of the ‘nach’, inadequately translated as ‘concerning’, in Heideggers title ‘Die Frage nach der Technik’, is revelatory. Rojcewicz also points out, for example, that translating both Gegenstand’ and Objekt’ as object, as the published translation does, makes nonsense of the radical distinction Heidegger draws between what these terms connote. And Rojcewicz objects that the published translation of ‘Ge-stell’ as ‘enframing’ is ‘correct but not true...it misses the essential and is not horrible enough’.

Professor Rojcewicz writes: ‘I have come away from reading the secondary literature with the conviction that Heideggers writings on technology largely remain terra incognita. It is is not so much that [these] books are in error, although I do indeed not agree with any of them completely. It is more a matter of their unwillingness to engage Heideggers work on a fundamental level. While they all have something to say, not one of them, in my view, exhibits the close reading Heidegger deserves and repays.

Professor Rojcewicz is providing his own, meticulous and deeply considered, still unpublished, translation as the basis for our discussion in the seminar. Your contribution will, as always, be welcome.

Incidentally, Heidegger’s philosophy of the decade 1950-60 is as pertinent as Sartre’s to understanding the context of Laing and Estersons Sanity, Madness and the Family to which we have devoted the first seminar of a 50th-anniversary subseries in 2014. R. D. Laing, in his 1964 lecture ‘Violence and Love’ at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, shortly before the publication of Sanity, Madness and the Family, cited – as crucial to the understanding of the spiritual fragmentation and devastation he encountered as a psychiatrist – Heidegger’s sentence from ‘The Thing’: The Dreadful has already happened’.

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (http://www.durrantshotel.co.uk/)
Payment: Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable by 19 September 2014; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/
The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.