Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences

Original title: Psychanalyse et les sciences humaines

Publication Date:

January 1996



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French

Territories Sold

Argentina (rights reverted)
China (Horizon Media)
Japan (Sakuin Sha)
Turkey (Alfa Basim Yayim)
English (World) (Columbia University Press)
Spanish (World) (Godot)



Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences

Original title: Psychanalyse et les sciences humaines


Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences is a significant contribution to the literature. The question of whether psychoanalysis is a science and of its relationship to psychology is very much alive; Althusser’s solution was and remains an original one. – William S. Lewis, Skidmore College

Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences is short, clear and readable. Its accessibility and lucidity will appeal to both novices and experts in Continental-style philosophy. – Adrian Johnston, author of Badiou, Žižek, and Political Transformations: The Cadence of Change

Exploring the epistemic break affected by Lacan’s departure from psychology and its reduction of Freud’s teaching to a technique of social adaptation, Louis Althusser clarifies the difference between science and ideology. The result is a powerful defense of the scientificity of the human sciences that manages to liberate their objects from the normalizing function of technocratic ideology and social control. – Linda M. G. Zerilli, author of A Democratic Theory of Judgment

This intervention exemplifies Althusser’s conception of the role of philosophy in the history of scientific revolutions and reveals the outlines of the larger project of intellectual renovation within which the rereading of Marx took place. Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences provides a vivid account of the combative intellectual world of Althusser and his contemporaries, with many delightful digressions and personal anecdotes. – Gopal Balakrishnan, author of Antagonistics: Capitalism and Power in an Age of War

Two essential texts by Louis Althusser, one of France’s most well-known 20th-century philosophers

Where does psychoanalysis place itself? What is its scene? What is its location within a space that doesn’t exist yet ? What are its non-borders with existing fields? Such is the question that permanently preys on Lacan’s thought. And it is not exaggerated to say that it also preyed on Freud’s thought. What is striking with Freud or Lacan, is this twofold concern: to separate in a radical way psychoanalysis with the field that presents itself as its closest, i.e. psychology, and, on the contrary, to try to tie it up with fields that are apparently far from it, such as sociology, anthropology or ethnology. ~ Louis Althusser

The two lectures of this book were given by Louis Althusser as part of the seminar about Lacan and psychoanalysis he organized at the École normale supérieure in Paris, during the academic year 1963-64. The philosopher approaches in detail the relations between psychoanalysis and social sciences, philosophy and, above all, psychology.

Marketing Information

  • Full English translation available.
  • Over 8,000 copies sold




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Argentina (Nueva Vision), USA (Columbia University Press)