Ethics of Evil: Psychoanalytic Investigations

Editor : Ronald C. Naso, Editor : Jon Mills

Ethics of Evil: Psychoanalytic Investigations

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : April 2016
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 304
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 37809
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782203957
  • ISBN 10 : 1782203958
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In today’s world where every form of transgression enjoys a psychological motive and rational justification, psychoanalysis stands alone in its ability to uncover the hidden motives that inform individual and social collective behaviour. Both in theory and practice, it bears witness to the impact of anonymity on the potential for perpetration, especially when others are experienced as faceless, disposable objects whose otherness is, at bottom, but a projection, displacement, and denial of our own interiority—in short, the evil within.

In keeping with this perspective, Ethics of Evil rejects facile rationalizations of violence; it also rejects the idea that evil, as a concept, is inscrutable or animated by demonic forces. Instead, it evaluates the moral framework in which evil is situated, providing a descriptive understanding of it as a plurality and a depth psychological perspective on the threat it poses for our well-being and ways of life. In so doing, it also fashions and articulates an ethical stance that recognizes the intrinsic link between human freedom and the potential for evil. The essays collected in Ethics of Evil argue that moralizing evil is one of the most important agendas of our time.

Contributors: Robin McCoy Brooks, Aner Govrin, Henry Zvi Lothane, Dan Merkur, Jon Mills, Ronald C. Naso, and Robert Prince.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Ronald C. Naso and Jon Mills have edited a fascinating, comprehensive volume on a topic of immense importance that for too long has been neglected by psychoanalytic writers. With a high degree of scholarship, the book’s various contributors address the multiple sources and faces of evil. In so doing, they penetrate deeply into the heart, soul, and justifications that underlie an ethics of evil.’
-- Peter Shabad, PhD, author of Despair and the Return of Hope: Echoes of Mourning in Psychotherapy

‘In a book as sobering as its topic, the editors bring together a wide variety of perspectives on evil, all motivated by the conviction that evil is a multi-faceted reality that psychoanalysis has the power to illuminate. Global in its scope, the book convincingly brings theoretical, empirical, and clinical material to bear on its argument that evil remains a powerful way of thinking about human hatred and vulnerability, even - or especially - in the modern world.’
-- C. Fred Alford, Professor of Government and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, University of Maryland, College Park, and author of What Evil Means to Us and Think No Evil

About the Editor(s)

Ronald C. Naso, PhD, ABPP is psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist in independent practice in Stamford, CT. He is currently a director and secretary of the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis as well as a consultant and supervisor in the Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship training programs at the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut. The author of numerous papers on psychoanalytic topics and associate editor of Contemporary Psychoanalytic Studies, contributing editor of Division/Review, his book entitled Hypocrisy Unmasked: Dissociation, Shame, and the Ethics of Inauthenticity was published by Aronson in 2010.

More titles by Ronald C. Naso

Jon Mills, PsyD, PhD, ABPP is a philosopher, psychoanalyst, and psychologist. He is Professor of Psychology and Psychoanalysis at the Adler Graduate Professional School in Toronto and is the author of many works in philosophy, psychoanalysis, and psychology including seventeen books. In 2006, 2011, and 2013 he was recognized with a Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis in New York City for his scholarship, received a Significant Contribution to Canadian Psychology Award in 2008, a Goethe Award for best book in 2013, and the Otto Weininger Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in 2015 by the Section on Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Psychology of the Canadian Psychological Association. He runs a mental health corporation in Ontario, Canada.

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