Political Ecology Network

Introducing Ecopsychoanalysis: Mind, Politics and Ecology

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ENTITLE blog - a collaborative writing project on Political Ecology

by Ed Thornton

Do mental states have their own ecology? The radical psychoanalyst, political militant and environmental activist Felix Guattari thought so. Looking forward to an upcoming event exploring the relationship between psychoanalysis and ecology, this post introduces some of Guattari’s ideas and asks how psychoanalysts and political ecologists might work together

Two Ecologies?

What do political ecology and psychoanalysis have to say to one another? There are at least two answers to this question:

First off, psychoanalysis can help us to make sense of the strange mix of emotional states that the looming presence of ecological catastrophe can elicit. Whether it be anxiety, denial, paranoia, guilt, hope, or despair, discussions of climate change are never without their psychological dimension. The problem of apathy is especially acute. Psychoanalysis offers us a set of theories designed to explore the origins of these strange neuroses. It also offers a toolbox…

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