Philosophy and Psychoanalysis


Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

The Transformation of Modern Thought – Philosophy, psychoanalysis, culture

Course code: 22 

Year of study: Not specified

Course principal:
Prof. Jelica Šumič Riha, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective 

Languages: Slovene 

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, discussion classes 


Course syllabus


None required.


Content (Syllabus outline):

Ontology and psychoanalysis:

  • Being, reality, the real
  • Being, lack, the symbolic
  • The real, semblance
  • Being and desire


Subjectivization in psychoanalysis and philosophy:

  • The subject and the Other
  • The subject and event
  • The subject and the truth
  • Desire and will
  • The subject and gender difference


Philosophy, psychoanalysis, science:

  • Knowledge and truth
  • The issue of demonstration in philosophy, science, and psychoanalysis
  • Various theorizations of the universal
  • Mathematics in philosophy and psychoanalysis


Ethics and law:

  • Kant’s moral law and the ethics of desire
  • Law and transgression
  • Psychoanalytic subversion of the philosophical ethics
  • Ethics and the infinite
  • Ethics between desire and drive


Modern ethics mutations:

  • The return to Kant
  • Ethics of the universal, ethics of the particular
  • The place of the body in ethics
  • Finitude, infinity



  • Agamben, G. 2005. Kar ostaja od Auschwitza. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • Badiou, A. 2004. Manifest za filozofijo. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • Badiou, A. 2006. Pogoji. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • Deleuze, G. 1998. Logika smisla. Ljubljana: Krtina.
  • Deleuze, G. 1968. Différence et Répétition. Pariz: PUF.
  • Deleuze, G. in F. Guattari. 1999. Kaj je filozofija. Ljubljana: Študentska založba.
  • Foucault, M. 1998. Zgodovina seksualnosti. Ljubljana: Založba ŠKUC.
  • Foucault, M. 2001. Arheologija vednosti. Ljubljana: SH.
  • Freud, S. 2001. Nelagodje v kulturi. Ljubljana: Gyrus.
  • Heidegger, M. Bit in čas. SM.
  • Kant, I. 2006. Utemeljitev metafizike nravi. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • Lacan, J. 1980. Seminar XI, Štirje temeljni koncepti psihoanalize. CZ.
  • Lacan, J. 1988. Seminar VII, Etika psihoanalize. CZ.
  • Lyotard, J.-F. 2002. Navzkrižje. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • Lyotard, J.-F. 1974. Economie libidinale. Pariz: Minuit.
  • Milner, J.-C. 2005. Jasno delo. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • Milner, J.-C. 2003. Strukturalizem. Ljubljana: Krt.
  • Ranciere, J. 2005. Nerazumevanje. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.


Objectives and competences:

The establishment of psychoanalysis represented a revolution in ways of thinking and ethics, as well as in attitudes towards religion, politics, and science. This course shows that, for the majority of contemporary philosophical currents, the encounter with Freud’s (and later Lacan’s) psychoanalysis was an opportunity for their renewal and critical assessment of their own history. Moreover, it shows that for philosophy the encounter with psychoanalysis was also productive because it was forced to find its own place and subject matter in relation to other practices of thought foreign to and outside philosophy. The lecture classes analyse how, from the Frankfurt School and especially contemporary French philosophy onwards, contemporary philosophy has been taking up the task of reconsidering the issues of the subject, thought, and norm in light of Freud’s discovery of the unconscious. Students learn how philosophy had to face the problem of reconsidering its own basic concepts (i.e., the truth, subject, Being, language, and so on), which psychoanalysis borrowed from it and at the same time already thoroughly remodelled. The lecture classes show students how psychoanalysis and its concepts or remodelled philosophical concepts enabled philosophy to reconsider the concept of the universal in science, ethics, and politics. Based on these lecture classes, students analyse the problems caused by contemporary depolitization and the accompanying strengthening of political power of religious movements. Students can find evidence of the lost importance of the common in contemporary forms of cultural and communitarian exclusion, and analyse various identity policies of exclusion and the rejection of contemporary manifestations of otherness on the basis of the psychoanalytical concept of identification. By attending lecture classes, students learn to understand the increasing recours to ethics as an ultimate arbitrator, be this in human conflicts, the environment and human rights protection, or in judging scientific progress.


Intended learning outcomes:

Students use the knowledge acquired in the course to write a piece of academic writing that can serve as a draft of a dissertation chapter or a research article.


Learning and teaching methods:

Types of learning/teaching:

  • Frontal teaching
  • Independent students work
  • e-learning


Teaching methods:

  • Explanation
  • Conversation/discussion/debate
  • Work with texts



  • 80 % Long written assignments
  • 20 % Final examination (written/oral)


Contemporary philosophy and modernist literature

Assist. Prof. Rok Benčin, Ph.D.,


Critical Aesthetics and Twentieth-Century Art

Prof. Aleš Erjavec, Ph. D. ,

Prof. Lev Kreft, Ph. D. ,


Formation of the Concepts

Assist. Prof. Aleš Bunta, Ph. D. ,

Assist. Prof. Tadej Troha, Ph. D. ,


German idealism and its consequences

Assoc. Prof. Frank Ruda, Ph. D. ,


Ideology and Philosophy

Assoc. Prof. Jan Völker, Ph. D. ,


Philosophy and Psychoanalysis

Prof. Jelica Šumič Riha, Ph. D.,


Philosophy and scientific revolution

Assoc. Prof. Matjaž Vesel, Ph.D.,


Psychoanalysis and the social bond

Prof. Alenka Zupančič, Ph.D.,

Assoc. Prof. Peter Klepec, Ph. D.,