|Psychoanalysis’ variable denial of its reliance on intoxication has shaped psychoanalysis’ ethics with respect to philosophy.|
Psychoanalysis, perhaps with some exceptions, presents itself as an anti-philosophy or a rejection of metaphysics. Why? The investment in metaphysics, as an investment with a momentum beyond all possible sensibility (e.g. love of God, freedom, the world) constitutes a kind of anaesthesia. At various moments psychoanalysis cannot tolerate the anaesthetic subject because of a fixation on the dogma that the surfacing of the death drive or the traumatic/shocked/numbed/anaesthetic subject is pure poison.
Thus Silvia Ons argues in “Nietzsche, Freud, Lacan” (2006) that psychoanalysis aims to deconstruct metaphysics to recover sensibility for the subject, as well as resuscitate the subject’s affirmation of life, “The deconstruction of metaphysical morality is in unison with the recovery of a sensibility that has been anaesthetized, undermined, and confined to its lethal destiny” (88). We should remember the therapeutic successes of ‘recovering’ false memories; if the anaesthetized sensibility is touched upon for therapeutic success, the successes of ‘fictional recovery’ teach us that there was never any full, healthy sensibility which might have existed prior to its limitation by an anaesthesia. If psychoanalysis has a viable ethics with respect to metaphysics, perhaps we should think beyond the ethics of recovery, which cannot be the truth of archival work on the psychoanalytic subject of a lack of origin. Following Freud I argue that the ethics of avowing our limits is indispensable for psychoanalytic work, and our thought has a constitutive momentum beyond all possible sensibility or consciousness; or as Kant argued in the “Transcendental Dialectic,” transcendental illusion is unavoidable even when you are paying attention to yourself doing it.