You Ought To!: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Superego and Conscience (Psychoanalytic Ideas)

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9781855759831: You Ought To!: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Superego and Conscience (Psychoanalytic Ideas)
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The superego is one of those psychoanalytic concepts that has been assimilated into ordinary language, like repression, the unconscious and the Oedipus complex. Because it has become such a familiar notion, its complexity may not always be appreciated, nor the controversy that it can inspire. Its origins, for example, its timing in the course of development, whether and how it is influenced by gender all these questions and others have been the source of lively disagreement. For psychoanalysts it is a fundamental concept of their discipline, but it belongs to a meta psychology whose value is often questioned, and opinions might vary on whether it remains truly alive as a generative, energising idea in contemporary psychoanalysis.

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Review:

The clarity of the writing, the comprehensive approach, and the references, and notes, make this book an informative reference for the professional, a stimulating guide for the student, and a valuable text for the teacher. --Donald Campbell, Former President"

"Dr. Barnett, a highly esteemed Training analyst of the British Society, has provided an excellent survey of 'the system superego' ( the ego, the ego ideal, conscience, the sense of guilt, need for punishment etc.). What makes the book fascinating is the illustration of the superego's emotional power as a monitoring and judging agency and how the reader is guided along without any commands from a dictatorial authorial superego of the kind which insists that 'You ought to know!'. The author's account is also unusual in its detailed, development of the literary character studies. These describe, for example, George Eliot's pre-Freudian account of 'conscience' and of 'the unmapped country within us'. Another very interesting chapter describes the many factors which contributed to the catastrophic breakdown of the collective superego in the Holocaust. This is a valuable book which brings some clarity to a fundamental and highly complex topic."--Sylvia Zwettler-Otte, former President,

"The clarity of the writing, the comprehensive approach, and the references, and notes, make this book an informative reference for the professional, a stimulating guide for the student, and a valuable text for the teacher."--Donald Campbell, Former President

-Dr. Barnett, a highly esteemed Training analyst of the British Society, has provided an excellent survey of 'the system superego' ( the ego, the ego ideal, conscience, the sense of guilt, need for punishment etc.). What makes the book fascinating is the illustration of the superego's emotional power as a monitoring and judging agency and how the reader is guided along without any commands from a dictatorial authorial superego of the kind which insists that 'You ought to know!'. The author's account is also unusual in its detailed, development of the literary character studies. These describe, for example, George Eliot's pre-Freudian account of 'conscience' and of 'the unmapped country within us'. Another very interesting chapter describes the many factors which contributed to the catastrophic breakdown of the collective superego in the Holocaust. This is a valuable book which brings some clarity to a fundamental and highly complex topic.---Sylvia Zwettler-Otte, former President,

-The clarity of the writing, the comprehensive approach, and the references, and notes, make this book an informative reference for the professional, a stimulating guide for the student, and a valuable text for the teacher.---Donald Campbell, Former President

Synopsis:

A compact but comprehensive survey, of the concept of the superego is very much to be welcomed. His thoroughness and his systematic approach are evident in this book. Starting with an account of how Freud elaborated, over many years, the idea of an agency within a person's mind which monitors and passes judgement on the person, Barnett goes on to describe the evolution of the superego from infancy to adulthood. He considers different views of this development and its chronology, and also how various analytic orientations have conceptualised the operation of the mature superego.

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