The Self on the Shelf examines the cultural and philosophical determinants of popular “recovery” books. Greenberg argues that this literature can be read as documents of the prevailing understanding of the self in American society. The construction of the self promoted by recovery literature is seen as a nihilistic one insofar as it denies the significance of what continental philosophy calls the Other. In this sense the self-help books are correct in their assertion that we have lost sight of how to love, but their proposed solution shows up as a recapitulation and strengthening of the conditions that gave rise to this situation in the first place. Greenberg’s critique provides a commentary on the difficulties that face our culture in achieving any sense of meaningful community, and on the way that this problem surfaces in a highly popular discourse.
|Publisher:||State University of New York Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.95(w) x 9.05(h) x 0.63(d)|
About the Author
Gary Greenberg is a psychotherapist in private practice.
Table of Contents
1. Codependence in Context
"Greed is Good"
Moral Dilemmas of Psychotherapy
Self and Other as Social Constructions
2. The Cat's Grin
The Codependence Literature
Notes on Method: Rationale for a Hermeneutic Analysis
The Necessity of Entering the Circle
Hermeneutics and "Self-Help"
Why the Codependence Literature?
3. The Contours of the Codependence Genre
The Algebra of "Recovery": ACOA + WWLTM = ACDF
The Constituent Texts of the Codependence Literature
The Homogeneity of the Codependence Literature
4. The Codependence Literature as a Moral Discourse
Codependence as a Strong Evaluation
Strong Evaluation Shapes Moral Space
The Codependence Literature as a Narrative Space
5. The Reader's Colloquy with Herself
A Walk in the Woods: A Digression on the "Space of Questions"
The Narrative Induction: Am I a Codependent?
The Cast of the Net
An Interpretive Framework
The Dimension of Dignity: The "Center" Cannot Hold
Dignity as a Private Affair
Dignity as the Expulsion of Others from the Reader's Story
Dignity as the Smooth Functioning of a Machine
The Dimension of Dignity: A Summary
6. The Sole Author in the Social World
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: The Dimension of Respect for and Obligation to Others
Introduction: Obligation as Crossing Over into the Realm of the Other
Obligation as a Serendipity of Self-Love
May I See Your Passport, Please? Obligation as Foreign Policy
The Twelve-Step Group as the Arena of Obligation
The Dimension of Obligation and Respect: A Summary
The Dimension of a Full Life
Introduction: Horizon as Inescapably Other
The "Higher Power" as the Source of a Full Life
The "Higher Power" as the Divine Within
The "Higher Power" as Santa Claus
Summary and Conclusion
7. The Codependence Literature as an Instance of Nihilism
The Gordian Knot
Othello and Iago
The Dangling Conversation
"The Triumph of the Therapeutic"
"The Eyes of the World''
8. Conclusion: A Reconstitution of Codependence
Introduction: The "Heidegger Problem"
Coda: A Brief Summary of the Argument
A Reconstitution of Codependence
Avenues for Further Research