Intercontinental Academia - Talk with Leopold Nosek

Birth and myth: A reflection on temporality. This reflection was originally presented over 25 years ago. It is, therefore, dated, and shows the marks both of permanence and of obsolescence. Like everything else, it has been subject to the effects of time. The text relates the evolvement of “self-consciousness” to the oedipal development and to the perception of time. It examines the assumptions underlying the appropriation, by a subject, of the historicity of his or her life. It considers that this uniquely psychoanalytical theme is a feature of modernity and, in order to better understand it, it also surveys the issue from a philosophical and aesthetic angle. Examples of literary treatments of the awareness of temporality (Lampedusa and T. Mann) are given. The text examines how in Hegel (via A. Kojève) self-consciousness is established from the transformation of nature, that is, from labor. It also sees the emergence of self-consciousness as linked to the possibility of seizing and containing contradictions, and that the perception of time is concomitant with the capture of the phenomena of variation and repetition. This is possible for consciousness as defined by Freud: “a sensory organ for the perception of psychic qualities.” The perception of pleasure and pain allows the apprehension of life. It also makes it possible to face the alternative that emerges from the inevitable experience of frustration, namely, evading the perception or altering its nature. Thus, it is a matter, here, of transforming the inner nature of the subject. The work, at this moment, is to think.