The Psyche and the Carrion: A Note on Ferenczi's Concept of the Alien Will

Reza Negarestani

This presentation is centered on one of the earliest concepts forged in the tradition of psychoanalysis that leads Freud to develop his theory of death drive. This is Sándor Ferenczi's concept of the alien will, a manifestation of an intrusion so powerful that it pulverizes the psyche and from psychic ashes, it animates a walking corpse, eternally holding a grudge against its former psychic life, while living in the shadows of rot and degradation. The aim of this talk is to argue that Ferenczi's concept is still pertinent. The real import of the concept of the alien will might not be in the arena of psychoanalysis. Its true relevance is surely in the realm of politics.  

Reza Negarestani is a philosopher. He has lectured and taught at numerous international universities, museums, and institutes. His current philosophical project is focused on rationalist universalism beginning with the evolution of the modern system of knowledge and advancing toward contemporary philosophies of rationalism, their procedures as well as their demands for special forms of human conduct. His latest book, Intelligence and Spirit (Urbanomic / Sequence Press, 2018) is focused on philosophy of mind and the possibility of artificial general intelligence. 

Death Drives, or Thinking with the Corpse