Admirable Evasions: How Psychology Undermines Morality by Theodore Dalrymple

By Theodore Dalrymple

In Admirable Evasions, Theodore Dalrymple explains why human self-understanding has no longer been bettered via the fake can provide of the several colleges of mental idea. such a lot mental causes of human habit usually are not in simple terms ludicrously insufficient oversimplifications, argues Dalrymple, they're socially destructive in that they enable those that think in them to circumvent own accountability for his or her activities and to place the blame on a large number of scapegoats: on their youth, their genes, their neurochemistry, even on evolutionary pressures.

Dalrymple finds how the modern colleges of psychoanalysis, behaviorism, sleek neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology all hinder the type of sincere self-examination that's essential to the formation of human personality. in its place, they advertise self-obsession with no self-examination, and the gross overuse of medications that impact the mind.

Admirable Evasions additionally considers metaphysical objections to the assumptions of psychology, and means that literature is a much more illuminating window into the human situation than psychology might ever desire to be.

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Extra resources for Admirable Evasions: How Psychology Undermines Morality

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As psycho­ analytic treatment uses the resistance against the disclosure of the unconscious as a necessary means for success, resistances i n mental hygiene w i l l be taken up similarly as objects of discussion by which an unwelcome novelty can be accepted and compre­ hended. Everyone who works among people i n order to teach and enlighten them learns how to reverse a resistance and make fruit­ ful use of it. By this procedure not only is a teacher's talent tested, but, equally his knowledge of the causes and the strengths of the various objections to his aims.

Self-mastery, therefore, antedates and follows culture and civilization. Yet, Freud, i n addition, has emphasized how much pleasure must be relinquished i n the course of these processes. A discontent that pervades civilization is the price to be paid. Again and again this burden becomes unbearable, and individuals as well as masses escape to the more 'pleasurable' primitive condition of 'bestial­ ity', w i t h its unfettered living out of the instinctual impulses. To prevent such recurrences the mind must master these drives better than before, u n t i l a dependable structure of the individual and of society has been attained.

He was especially skillful w i t h his hands. While I waited, hoping to be treated, Dr. ' When I answered that I did, he asked me to explain the Oedipus complex to him. ' I don't t h i n k any analyst has ever received a larger fee than this one. What I collected was the saving of my hands and my life. My knowledge of psychoanalysis and the ability to convey i t i n a way that even the unsophisticated could understand made me known throughout the camp. Amongst the so-called criminal pris­ oners i t gave me a good standing, because they had heard that psychoanalysts consider criminality a disease.

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