New Books in Psychoanalysis
Susie Orbach, “Bodies”
“Why is the body the site of so much ongoing, current and growing attention in the West”? asks the feminist psychoanalyst and public intellectual Susie Orbach in her book Bodies (Picador, 2009). In this interview, the groundbreaking author of Fat is a Feminist Issue (inter alia) speaks to New Books in Psychoanalysis about how the body is “no longer a place we live from” but rather a place where the capitalist marketplace has hit a sort of pay dirt. From trendy diets to vaginal recalibration to liposuction, the body is big business. Indeed, as women and men feel a greater and greater need to control their bodies, losing touch with our natural appetites, and attempting to look a certain way, the market that exploits our fears and anxieties is making a fortune.
New Books in Language
David Crystal, “Just a Phrase I’m Going Through: My Life in Language”
In an enormously prolific writing and editing career, David Crystal has excelled in supplying volumes hitherto missing from the field: here a balanced and accessible introduction to general linguistics, there a lucid specialised textbook in an emerging field. With this memoir, Just a Phrase I’m Going Through: My Life in Language (Routledge, 2009), he fills another gap, and offers a vivid picture of the working life of a professional linguist.
New Books in Philosophy
Susan Schneider, “The Language of Thought: A New Philosophical Direction”
In 1975, Jerry Fodor published a book entitled The Language of Thought, which is aptly considered one of the most important books in philosophy of mind and cognitive science of the last 50 years or so. This book helped launch what became known as the classical computational theory of the mind, in which thinking was theorized as the manipulation of symbols according to rules. Fodor argued that certain features of human thought required that any human-like computational cognitive system had to have a structured format analogous to the structure that sentences have in natural languages. That is, according to Fodor, we must think in a Language of Thought, sometimes also called Mentalese.