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A Basic Theory of NeuropsychoanalysisA Cursing Brain?A Dream of Undying FameA Map of the MindAfter LacanAgainst AdaptationAgainst FreudAn Anatomy of AddictionAnalytic FreudAndré Green at the Squiggle FoundationAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnna FreudAnna Freud: A BiographyApproaching PsychoanalysisAttachment and PsychoanalysisBadiouBecoming a SubjectBefore ForgivingBerlin PsychoanalyticBetween Emotion and CognitionBeyond GenderBeyond SexualityBeyond the Pleasure PrincipleBiology of FreedomBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheCarl JungCassandra's DaughterCherishmentConfusion of TonguesContemporary Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of the Third ReichCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesCulture and Conflict in Child and Adolescent Mental HealthDarwin's WormsDesert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Dispatches from the Freud WarsDoes the Woman Exist?Doing Psychoanalysis in TehranDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDreaming by the BookEnergy Psychology InteractiveEqualsErrant SelvesEthics and the Discovery of the UnconsciousEthics Case Book of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFed with Tears -- Poisoned with MilkFeminism and Its DiscontentsForms of Intersubjectivity in Infant Reasearch and Adult TreatmentFour Lessons of PsychoanalysisFratricide in the Holy LandFreudFreudFreudFreudFreudFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud at 150Freud's AnswerFreud's WizardFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFrom Classical to Contemporary PsychoanalysisFundamentals of Psychoanalytic TechniqueGenes on the CouchGoing SaneHans BellmerHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHate and Love in Psychoanalytical InstitutionsHatred and ForgivenessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHeinz KohutHidden MindsHistory of ShitHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisImagination and Its PathologiesImagine There's No WomanIn Freud's TracksIn SessionIn the Floyd ArchivesIntimaciesIntimate RevoltIrrationalityIs Oedipus Online?Jacques LacanJacques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of PsychoanalysisJung and the Making of Modern PsychologyJung Stripped BareKilling FreudLacanLacanLacanLacan and Contemporary FilmLacan at the SceneLacan For BeginnersLacan in AmericaLacan TodayLacan's Seminar on AnxietyLawLearning from Our MistakesLove's ExecutionerMad Men and MedusasMale Female EmailMelanie KleinMemoirs of My Nervous IllnessMental SlaveryMind to MindMixing MindsMoral StealthMourning and ModernityMovies and the MindMurder in ByzantiumNew Studies of Old VillainsNocturnesNoir AnxietyOn Being Normal and Other DisordersOn BeliefOn IncestOn Not Being Able to SleepOn the Freud WatchOn the Way HomeOpen MindedOpera's Second DeathOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhenomology & Lacan on Schizophrenia, After the Decade of the BrainPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPractical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and PatientsPsychiatry, 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the SelfThe Cambridge Companion to LacanThe Challenge for Psychoanalysis and PsychotherapyThe Clinical LacanThe Colonization Of Psychic SpaceThe Condition of MadnessThe Couch and the TreeThe Cruelty of DepressionThe Dissociative Mind in PsychoanalysisThe Dreams of InterpretationThe Examined LifeThe Fall Of An IconThe Freud EncyclopediaThe Freud FilesThe Freud WarsThe Fright of Real TearsThe Future of PsychoanalysisThe Gift of TherapyThe Heart & Soul of ChangeThe Knotted SubjectThe Last Good FreudianThe Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto RankThe Mind According to ShakespeareThe Mystery of PersonalityThe Mythological UnconsciousThe Neuropsychology of the UnconsciousThe New PsychoanalysisThe Power of FeelingsThe Psychoanalytic MovementThe Psychoanalytic MysticThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Puppet and the DwarfThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Revolt of the PrimitiveThe Seminar of Moustafa SafouanThe Sense and Non-Sense of RevoltThe Shortest ShadowThe Social History of the UnconsciousThe Surface EffectThe Symmetry of GodThe Tragedy of the SelfThe Trainings of the PsychoanalystThe UnsayableThe World of PerversionTherapeutic ActionTherapy's DelusionsThis Incredible Need to BelieveThoughts Without A ThinkerTo Redeem One Person Is to Redeem the WorldTrauma and Human ExistenceTraumatizing TheoryUmbr(a)Unconscious knowing and other essays in psycho-philosophical analysisUnderstanding Dissidence and Controversy in the History of PsychoanalysisUnderstanding PsychoanalysisUnfree AssociationsWalking HeadsWay Beyond FreudWhat Does a Woman Want?What Freud Really MeantWhen the Body SpeaksWhere Do We Fall When We Fall in Love?Whose Freud?Why Psychoanalysis?Wilhelm ReichWinnicottWinnicott On the ChildWisdom Won from IllnessWittgenstein on Freud and FrazerWittgenstein Reads FreudWorld, Affectivity, TraumaZizek
intent of this book is to give the reader both a background in the history of
ethics from Plato and Aristotle to the present day as well as to show the
challenges to all ethical theories the 'discovery of the unconscious' now
issue principally is the rethinking of ethics to include unconscious dimensions
of the psyche without thereby absolving persons of all responsibility. If we
accept the fact of the unconscious, as Riker does, then does this not, he asks,
demolish all possible ethics? This, in a sense, was both Nietzsche's and
Freud's question to traditional ethical theory based on intent and agency.
are responsible for what we intend, Riker says of traditional ethics and insofar
as we do not intend actions which are driven by a fundamentally unconscious
dimension, we would not then be responsible. For Riker this argument, while
powerful and needing to be addressed, does not provide a reasonable response we
can live with.
Riker develops a theory of the mature self whereby our first ethical task, he
says, is to become acquainted with and delve into our own unconscious selves.
The source of evil deeds, he claims, following Scott Peck's work in, The
People of the Lie, is our unconscious and driven selves and which is
for the most part diametrically opposed to our conscious intentions or anything
we would wish for or defend.
model for this new mature self which takes stock of itself at all levels, is
the Alcoholics Anonymous strategy of both turning one's self over to a higher
power as well as taking a moral inventory of who one truly is by coming out of
denial and letting go of rationalizations and defenses for past behaviors and
attitudes. This rethinking of the self involves a synthesizing of Aristotle's
notions of character and responsibility based on virtue as well as Freud's
concept of the ego, id and superego each of which is revamped by Riker's
level of analysis here should be accessible to those without backgrounds in
either Greek philosophy or contemporary psychoanalytic theory since Riker takes
great pains to explain his terms and to provide good introductory summaries of
the theories he is addressing.
results of this text are disappointing, however, since the claims and expectations
for its conclusions are set so high. In the end we are charged with 'amor fati'
-- loving one's fate, accepting things we cannot change (in and about the
unconscious) and taking responsibility for changing those things about
ourselves that we can. The age old Serenity Prayer surfaces here to seemingly
close the analysis but it also begs the question that is asked at the outset
and that is how to deal with the unconscious in us and in others when it is
precisely this part of the human psyche that we do not and will not have total
control over. Making peace with one's fate seems hardly a solution for ethics
and the charge to take responsibility rather than resign oneself to an
essentially tragic world. Riker does not do the latter but he does not in the
end come up with more than Aristotle's virtue ethics cast in the light of the
mature self with some immature aspects. This is not to say that the project is
not needed at this time and that Riker has not pinpointed the dilemma that does
indeed face contemporary ethics and with it psychoanalytic theory and
therapeutic analyses. Ethics cannot become a variation on therapy and Riker
sees this clearly. He does not however get us beyond the problems that AA
itself never dealt with.
2002 Irene HarveyIrene Harvey, Department of Philosophy, Penn
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