Beautiful Monsters: On Destructive Plasticity

by Kikyz 1313

Mini Copernican Turn

As an example of victims of destructive plasticity, Malabou suggests not only patients with brain lesions, victims of various cerebral lesions or attacks, including degenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, but also those who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder. For Malabou, although destructive plasticity has creative powers, its work is evil — it creates monsters. I agree with Malabou’s thoughts on destructive plasticity, though I would like to expand this concept further so that it will not just supplement a concept of positive plasticity, but will start to be seen as even more significant in comparison to it.

The Child

In this context, what I want to suggest is to expand the concept of destructive plasticity in such a way that it will be possible to reconnect it to the concept of childhood. This claim is somehow controversial since Malabou frequently points out that destructive plasticity is opposite to the plasticity of a child, which is seen exclusively as a positive.

Zoe Reshe

Stress and Trauma

The process of learning and psychological formation of the child and subsequent formation that occurs throughout life are not usually seen as causing traumatization’, although I think that the ancient Greeks were right in considering that to learn is to suffer. It is widely agreed, though, that the condition of stress is very important for the process of learning. Stress is a reaction to new circumstances (including exposure to new information) which initiates adaptation (including the assimilation of new knowledge).



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Julie Reshe, PhD

Julie Reshe, PhD

▪️ professor of philosophy, SAS UTMN ▪️ director of the Institute of Psychoanalysis, GCAS ▪️ negative psychoanalyst