The Still Small Voice: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Guilt and Conscience

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9781780491684: The Still Small Voice: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Guilt and Conscience
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Whereas Freud himself viewed conscience as one of the functions of the superego, in The Still Small Voice: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Guilt and Conscience, the author argues that superego and conscience are distinct mental functions and that, therefore, a fourth mental structure, the conscience, needs to be added to the psychoanalytic structural theory of the mind. He claims that while both conscience and superego originate in the so-called pre-oedipal phase of infant and child development they are comprised of contrasting and often conflicting identifications. The primary object, still most often the mother, is inevitably experienced as, on the one hand, nurturing and soothing and, on the other, as frustrating and persecuting. Conscience is formed in identification with the nurturer; the superego in identification with the aggressor. There is a principle of reciprocity at work in the human psyche: for love received one seeks to return love; for hate, hate (the talion law).

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About the Author:

Donald L. Carveth is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Social and Political Thought and Senior Scholar at York University in Toronto. He is a training and supervising analyst in the Canadian Institute of Psychoanalysis and current Director of the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis.

Review:

"Carveth's book is a powerful challenge to rethink the ethical basis of psychoanalysis. He wants to add conscience to Freud's typology of id, ego and superego, none of which can be thought of as reified bounded entities but as dynamic dimensions of a single complex self. He sees conscience as the realm of morality, especially the requirement to love one another, something Freud himself seemed to recognize with his late conception of eros in the dichotomy between eros and thanatos. Carveth's book is not only relevant to the psychoanalytic community, which surely needs it, but to the wider public in providing a deeper context for the great insights of Freud and his followers." (Professor Robert N. Bellah, author of Religion in Human Evolution and Elliot Professor of Sociology, Emeritus)

"What will be our moral purpose? And, how may we exceed the confines of rationality in learning to live with others? With these questions Donald Carveth’s superb study integrates social theory with the history of psychoanalytic thought. With deep sensitivity to the nuances of mental life and the dilemmas theory inherits, the study proposes the psychoanalytic project as one of listening to the voice of conscience. Carveth provides insightful readings of the moral significance of guilt from a number of perspectives and argues for a shift from the superego to that of conscience. Questions of theology are placed between the cultural and clinical realms and readers encounter the modern dilemmas of tolerating mental pain as the human condition." (Deborah Britzman, author of Freud and Education and Distinguished Research Professor)

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Book Description Taylor & Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Whereas Freud himself viewed conscience as one of the functions of the superego, in The Still Small Voice: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Guilt and Conscience, the author argues that superego and conscience are distinct mental functions and that, therefore, a fourth mental structure, the conscience, needs to be added to the psychoanalytic structural theory of the mind. He claims that while both conscience and superego originate in the so-called pre-oedipal phase of infant and child development they are comprised of contrasting and often conflicting identifications. The primary object, still most often the mother, is inevitably experienced as, on the one hand, nurturing and soothing and, on the other, as frustrating and persecuting. Conscience is formed in identification with the nurturer; the superego in identification with the aggressor. There is a principle of reciprocity at work in the human psyche: for love received one seeks to return love; for hate, hate (the talion law). Seller Inventory # AA69781780491684

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Book Description Taylor & Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Whereas Freud himself viewed conscience as one of the functions of the superego, in The Still Small Voice: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Guilt and Conscience, the author argues that superego and conscience are distinct mental functions and that, therefore, a fourth mental structure, the conscience, needs to be added to the psychoanalytic structural theory of the mind. He claims that while both conscience and superego originate in the so-called pre-oedipal phase of infant and child development they are comprised of contrasting and often conflicting identifications. The primary object, still most often the mother, is inevitably experienced as, on the one hand, nurturing and soothing and, on the other, as frustrating and persecuting. Conscience is formed in identification with the nurturer; the superego in identification with the aggressor. There is a principle of reciprocity at work in the human psyche: for love received one seeks to return love; for hate, hate (the talion law). Seller Inventory # AA69781780491684

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