Dr. Leon S. Brenner


IPU Berlin
Stromstr. 3b
10555 Berlin
E-Mail: leon.brenner(at)ipu-berlin.de

Abiding by Freud's imperative, I believe that psychoanalysts must be people of letters. Therefore, the focus of my teaching is the intellectual roots situated at the core of the social sciences and particularly the science of psychology. This entails acquainting students with the history of intellectual thought, starting with the birth of modern philosophy and ending with contemporary postcolonial and postmodern theory. In my classes, I put an emphasis on different perspectives on human nature, subjectivity, perception, consciousness, and the relationship between the individual and the social. Among the many scholars that inspire my work and research are Jacques Lacan, Alain Badiou, Michel Foucault, Simone de Beauvoir, Jacques Derrida, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Albert Camus, Kant, Hegel, Luce Irigaray and more. I teach the seminar in module 8 in which the foundations of psychoanalysis are investigated from an epistemological perspective. Another major goal of mine is to clearly demonstrate the crucial value the intellectual foundations of the social sciences hold for practicing psychoanalysts today.

In the past six years I have been conducting research on the subject of autism in psychoanalysis. My first book on the subject has been published in 2020 and is called "The Autistic Subject: On the Threshold of Language". I mainly investigate the interrelation between language and the body and its effect on the formation of different modes of subjectivity. I describe autism as a mode-of-being that is closely tied to one's identity and existence, and provide an alternative to its designation as a developmental disorder.

Three Questions, Three Answers

What can students learn from you personally?
My personal goal in teaching is first of all to kindle in my students a desire for knowledge. After that I put an emphasis on developing reading and writing skills required for a successful career as a researcher.

What is it about psychoanalysis and psychology that excites you? 
The mere notion of the unconscious.

Do you have a motto on life or a favourite quote?
"There is no Other of the Other" (Jacques Lacan)