The Unthinkable

Within our cultures of extremity, of illusion and individualistic pursuits, we increasingly live within realities that we find hard to think about. The fear of voids and violations of the mind, and everyday fascistic practices acting as preconditions of the unthinkable. When the natural flow of thought is immobilised or constantly avoidant we unconsciously change our relations with each other, our society and reality. Is our contemporary paralysis of mind inevitable? Is it really possible to continue to think and remain the subjects of our own lives? Join us to discuss current psychoanalytic thinking about the potential for thoughtfulness.


The Unthinkable was hosted by the Freud Museum in London on 15th July 2017. To listen to the introductory podcast click HERE.



Daniella Angueli: Violating the mind

To listen to a recording of Daniella’s talk click HERE


Distortion of thinking processes or even their abolition, is never a private matter; it arises in inter-subjective relations. It has to do -among other things- with a negation of autonomy or even a desire of annihilation of the subjectivity. It entails the relation of a human being with “lack”, with alterity, uncertainty, trauma and death. “Violating the mind” originates from contexts that dictate omnipotence or omniscience. It appears as a symptom of idealisation of power, knowledge or the other.  Idealisation “fetishises” the other or the subject themselves. Entangled in its nets, the subject is being used as an object, an instrument. And instruments do not think. A human being as an instrument, that is unthinkable.



David Morgan: Nameless Dread – Somatic Manifestations of the Unthinkable and the Use of the other

To listen to a recording of Davd’s talk click HERE


We all have to face the unthinkable and that includes finitude and the fear of the void. In a world of apparent endless possibilities, the body and new technology, can be employed to obviate these facts. Current approaches to gender, sexuality and the use of the other will be explored in this context. It’s important to acknowledge how important is to be open minded but not so open minded that your brain fall out.


Elizabeth Cotton: Hanna Arendt: Unthinking politics and fascist blocking of thought

To listen to a recording of Elizabeth’s talk click HERE


A contribution about the seduction of unthinking politics and certainty of thought in the current political climate. Using Hanna Arendt’s ideas about radical thoughtlessness and the nature of activism, the discussion will raise the question about the potential for psychoanalytic understanding and practice to counter everyday fascistic practices and build a relational solidarity within society.



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