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Continental Philosophy - Freud And The Unconscious

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The pioneering work of Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) on the unconscious had a deep influence on modern literature, literary criticism, and on continental philosophy. When continental philosophy rediscovered the unconscious, it inspired a deeper appreciation of the human body and of human sexuality and also supported the rejection of the dualism of René Descartes (1596–1650). Concerned with issues presented by Freud's work, French philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980), Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986), Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean Baudrillard, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, and the feminist philosophers Luce Irigaray (b. 1930), Julia Kristeva (b. 1941), Sarah Kofman (1934–1994), Michele Le Doeuff (b. 1948) and Helene Cixous (b. 1937) are now at the forefront of the crossroads between philosophy, linguistic theory, Marxism, psychoanalysis, and literature. For example, Irigaray writes: "Sexual difference is one of the major philosophical issues, if not the issue, of our age" (Ethique de la difference sexuelle, 1984; An Ethics of Sexual Difference, p. 19).

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