Method in the madness: hysteria and the will to power

Gildersleeve, Matthew (2016) Method in the madness: hysteria and the will to power. Social Sciences, 5 (3 - Article 29).

Text (Published Version)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (286Kb) | Preview


At the very start of a chapter on hysteria in her book From Mastery to Analysis: Theories of Gender in Psychoanalytic Feminism, Patricia Elliot cites Nietzsche’s 'truths are illusions of which one has forgotten that they are illusions'. This paper follows this connection between hysteria and the work of Nietzsche. This paper will highlight how a Lacanian interpretation of hysteria can elucidate Heidegger’s reading of Nietzsche’s Will to Power and how this interpretation of the Will to Power can better explain the value and importance of hysteria for psychoanalysis and philosophy. I will show that the hysteric’s discourse has a 'higher value' than the master’s discourse because it meets Nietzsche’s definition of art, which aims at life’s enhancement rather than the master’s knowledge or truth which aims at the preservation of life. My work will explain how the hysteric’s discourse can transform the master’s discourse into the analyst’s discourse through the Will to Power. This is important, as this is the ultimate aim of psychoanalysis where 'At the end of analysis the subject passes to the position of analyst'. This is the ultimate aim of psychoanalysis because 'For Lacan, the Discourse of the Analyst is revolutionary because it articulates the truth of the (unconscious) subject'. Fundamentally, the objective of this article is to demonstrate that 'hysteria is to be understood not as an ‘abnormal’ condition but as one possible manifestation of the subject’s uncanny relationship to itself'.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 34950
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2016 by the author; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2018 05:06
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2019 03:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nietzsche; Lacan; Heidegger; hysteria
Fields of Research : 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220317 Poststructuralism
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220318 Psychoanalytic Philosophy
Identification Number or DOI: 10.3390/socsci5030029

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only