Review of <em>Fetishism, psychoanalysis, and philosophy: The iridescent thing</em>.

Reviews the book, Fetishism, Psychoanalysis, and Philosophy: The Iridescent Thing by Alan Bass (see record 2018-00450-000). Bass’s book is about fetishistic objects in the broadest sense— those that get worshiped, those seen functioning sexually, and those that constitute, in Marx’s thinking, the fetishization of commodities. Bass builds his argument on the foundation of two of Freud’s late-appearing assertions/theories. Bass ties fetishization to concrete thinking by noting that both involve a failure to appreciate the difference—there is that word again—between the indicator (sign, symbol, call it what you may) and what it serves to indicate (that which is designated, that which is symbolized, “the thing itself”). Bass starts at the beginning—dedicating a chapter to the work of Charles de Brosses, a proto-anthropologist who coined the term “fetishism” in 1760 to describe a primitive form of thinking that, to de Brosses’s way of thinking, was indicative of an “excess of stupidity that precluded reason”. The following chapter takes up the work of August Comte, widely regarded as the father of sociology. This book’s longest and most sweeping chapter is dedicated to the thinking of Heidegger, whose concept of Dasein translates into “being-in-the world”—a world that is not objectively present for the subject—a primitive absorption in phenomenon (being) unmediated by traditional philosophical abstractions. Further along in this chapter, Bass singles out Heidegger’s illustrative use of “the knot in the handkerchief” (better understood in our parlance as the string tied around the finger)—a reminder (symbol) of what one wishes not to forget (what one is trying to remember). There can be little doubt that this review cannot begin to do justice to the depth and complexity of Bass’s review of philosophy (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)