Guilt: A Contemporary Introduction

Author(s) : Donald L. Carveth

Part of Introductions to Contemporary Psychoanalysis series - more in this series

Guilt: A Contemporary Introduction

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : July 2023
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 94
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 97228
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032382661
  • ISBN 10 : 103238266X
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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

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(s)

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. After completing a doctorate (1977) comparing and contrasting sociological and psychoanalytic theories of human nature (a summary of which was awarded the annual Theory Prize of the American Sociological Association in 1984), he undertook clinical psychoanalytic training, graduating from the Toronto Institute in 1985. With Dr. Eva Lester and others he helped found the Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis/Revue Canadienne de Psychanalyse of which he is a past Editor-in-Chief. He has published some fifty papers in this and other journals. Over the past decade his work has concentrated on issues of guilt, guilt-substitutes, and the differentiation of conscience as a fourth component of the structural theory of the mind in addition to id, ego and superego. He is in private practice in Toronto.

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