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Fetishism

OverviewHistorical And Linguistic Origins, Comparative Religion, Philosophy, And Fetishism, Commodity Fetish, Psychoanalytic Interventions

Since the seventeenth century, thought about fetishism has been concerned with four overriding questions, all of them emerging in conflicts over representation that arose at the borders between cultural and historical worlds. These four questions concern the relationship between images and their referents in religious discourse; the attribution of causality and the nature of reason; the means for assessing and representing economic value; and desire and the relationship between consciousness and the material world. Although the term fetishism had its origins in comparative religious studies, it has become mainly associated with Marxian economic analysis on the one hand and psychoanalysis on the other.

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