This insightful and innovative book sheds light on the complexity of the concept of guilt, while exploring aspects of guilt that have previously been overlooked in psychoanalytic theory and discourse.
Offering original insights on the topic, Donald Carveth looks at Freud's failure to distinguish persecutory guilt from reparative guilt, and the superego from the conscience. The significance of these distinctions for both psychosocial theory and clinical practice is explored throughout the volume. Carveth distinguishes varieties of punitive guilt, such as justified, unjustified, "borrowed" or induced, existential and collective. He expertly describes patterns of self-punishment and self-sabotage, while also addressing the widespread use of persecutory guilt and self-punishment as a defence against and evasion of reparative guilt, contrition, and reparation. Throughout the volume, Carveth critically reviews a range of recent contributions to psychoanalytic literature to support his theories.
Part of the Routledge Introductions to Contemporary Psychoanalysis series, this book will be of interest to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, social scientists, and social philosophers, as well as to those studying ethics and theology.
Table of Contents:
Preface 1. Guilt 2. Conscience 3. Guilt evasion in the self, society, and psychoanalysis 4. Conscience vs. superego 5. Two case vignettes 6. Recent contributions to the theory of the superego, guilt and conscience 7. Why I write about guilt
About the Author:
Donald L. Carveth is an emeritus professor of sociology and social and political thought and a senior scholar at York University, Toronto, Canada. He is a past director of the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis and a past editor-in-chief of the Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis/Revue Canadienne de Psychanalyse. He is the author of Psychoanalytic Thinking (2018) and The Still Small Voice (2013).