holy motherloving crap i need to read this book

March 20, 2009

The part about semen sounds ridiculous but the rest is exactly what I thought I would write about in my second book – if it weren’t such a vague topic. I mean, I’d still write about it if I could find a fun, Klosterman-esque way to do so.

This book argues that the need to know in Western culture is expressed by the relentless drive of science to get to the source of all phenomena. However, the profound reach into the interior of nature is accompanied by primitive unconscious phantasies of mastery, of knowing as making, of masculine intrusion into nature’s creativity, and of nature’s retaliation and deterioration. Science becomes a tool of domination and a suspect magical enterprise. Benign nature becomes ominous and depleted. 
As a result, the need to know becomes a moral quest in which science unconsciously researches into the internal world of our intentions, externalized into the world of the phenomena that it investigates. The book also argues that the masculine domination of nature is typically understood as phallic mastery, but has roots in a phantasy mediated by semen, in which the male identifies with and replicates the sources of life. 
These themes are addressed in a Kleinian psychoanalytic framework using clinical, mythological, anthropological, and historical material.

Psychoanalysis Science and Masculinity by Karl Figlio

Update: Probably even more to my liking will be Reflections on Gender and Science by Evelyn Fox Keller.

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