Freud and the Legacy of Sensory Physiology

An online open seminar by Leo Niro Nascimento exploring how Freud imported – and extended – Helmholtz’s theory of perception in developing his new psychology

  • Wed 3 Feb 21

    17:00 - 19:00

  • Online

  • Event speaker

    Dr Leo Niro Nascimento

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of

  • Contact details

    Dr Leo Niro Nascimento

Join Dr Leo Niro Nascimento and Department of Psychosocial and Psychosocial Studies for an open seminar on Freud and the Legacy of Sensory Physiology.

In the literature on the philosophical background of psychoanalysis, Freud is often placed in a Kantian tradition via his engagement with authors such as Schopenhauer, Herbart, Lipps, Meynert and, especially, the physiologists Hermann von Helmholtz, Emil du Bois Reymond, and Freud’s mentor during his medical studies, Ernst Theodor Brücke.

In this talk, Dr Leo Niro Nascimento will explore how Freud imported – and extended – Helmholtz’s theory of perception in developing his new psychology. Further, he will also argue that the physiologists’ work on perception paved the way to an epistemology that would today be described as a type of epistemic structural realism, which, due to their influence, was also adopted (and again extended) by Freud.

Following this assessment, Dr Leo Niro Nascimento will present how the theories of perception proposed by Helmholtz and Freud are currently being recast in similar formats under so-called predictive processing and embodied inference approaches in the neurosciences and philosophy of mind, as well as evaluating its epistemological implications. He will end the talk by schematically describing how the legacy of sensory physiology remained present (via Freud) in the work of the Kleinian school of psychoanalysis, and how this presents an isomorphism with predicted processing accounts of fantasy, dreaming, and primal forms of mental activity.

Freud and the Legacy of Sensory Physiology

The speaker:

Leonardo Niro Nascimento is a Lecturer at the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, where he is Course Director of the MA in Psychoanalytic Studies and coordinator of the Research Group in History of Psychoanalysis. His research focuses on topics related to the history and philosophy of psychoanalysis and the psy-disciplines (psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, neuroscience). In his current work, he establishes historical and conceptual links between psychoanalysis and the biological sciences.

Register your place:

Entry is free and open to all but please register your place.

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