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Title: Psychoanalytic Violence: An Essay on Indifference in Ethical Matters
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Psychoanalytic Discourse/Le discours psychanalytique, 2016, 1 (2), pp. 1 - 21
Abstract: : Drawing on two historical cases of psychoanalysts becoming involved in acts of systematic interpersonal violence, this essay questions the response of psychoanalytic institutions, as formal bodies safeguarding the ethical standards of the profession, to practitioners who have violated human rights, and it examines how this type of professional misconduct might be prevented. Three distinct, mutually exclusive responses to psychoanalytic violence are being investigated: 1. The development of a new, more robust ethical paradigm for psychoanalysis (Derrida-Major); 2. The complete removal of ethical considerations from the psychoanalytic discourse (Allouch); 3. The fundamental reformulation, on psychoanalytic grounds, of the ethical discourse in itself (Badiou). In light of the observation that ethics and violence are not incompatible, insofar as violence may very well be ethically motivated and ethics are commonly associated with a practice of exclusion, including in psychoanalysis, and following Freud’s argument that psychoanalysis does not of itself make for goodness, the essay proposes that psychoanalysts consider the possibility of adopting an ethically neutral discourse, which does not exclude ethics, but which remains indifferent to its hidden seductions of prescription and codification.
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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