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The triumph of the therapeutic; uses of faith after Freud. Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: HARPER & ROW
  • ASIN: B000YNDJ5G
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,096,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME on September 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In this brilliant work Philip Rieff expands on his first book on Freud, The Mind Of The Moralist. He looks at the moral aspects of the writings of Freud, Carl Jung, Wilhelm Reich and DH Lawrence, in which he sees the birth of Psychological Man and the victory of relativism. He observes that psychoanalysis was instrumental in breaking down standards of morality and undermining religion. But in the 19th century, rationalism had already weakened Christianity in its heartland. The negative trends that replaced it contain no positive symbolism and above all, require no commitment.

Rieff does not deny the obvious literary genius of these authors and thinkers but rejects their respective faiths of the inner God, hedonism and impulse. Defining faith as "the compulsive dynamic of culture," Rieff does not think that any of the aforementioned substitutes has what it takes to serve as integrating factor for Western culture. They lack the binding force of commitment, enhance hedonist tendencies and undermine virtue. The feeling of the individual is exalted over the virtuous as a measure of value. This matter is brilliantly examined by Theodore Dalrymple in Our Culture, What's Left of It.

He argues that the negation of concepts like good and evil has become the foundation upon which personality is formed. The dangers are obvious.
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