Ethics and the Discovery of the Unconscious

Ethics and the Discovery of the Unconscious

by John Hanwell Riker

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Ethics and the Discovery of the Unconscious by John Hanwell Riker

This book shows why the discovery of the unconscious by Nietzsche and Freud requires a reconception of the concepts of moral agency and responsibility and even of morality itself. it explicates how contemporary psychology has taken over the traditional task of ethics in elucidating a theory of human well-being, but criticizes this psychology for being unable to generate adequate notions of either responsibility or moral agency. Riker develops a new moral psychology in which the reality of unconscious functioning is included within a theory of responsibility, and the agent's primary ethical concern becomes knowing what her unconscious motivations are and integrating them into a morally and psychologically mature self.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781438417356
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 09/30/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 644 KB

About the Author

John Hanwell Riker is Professor of Philosophy at Colorado College. He is the author of Human Excellence and an Ecological Conception of the Psyche, also published by SUNY Press, and The Art of Ethical Thinking.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction: Ethics and Psychotherapy

Part I: The Discovery of the Unconscious

2. The Birth of Ethics
3. The Discovery of the Social Unconscious
4. Freud and the Discovery of the Personal Unconscious
5. The Case Against Ethics
6. Psychological Health

Part II: An Ecological Conception of Maturity

7. Mature Needs and Emotions: A Reconstruction of the Id
8. The Mature Self: A Reconstruction of the Ego and Superego
9. Mature Agency and Social Responsibility
10. Living with the Unconscious



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