Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-6c8bd87754-r6xbn Total loading time: 0.298 Render date: 2022-01-20T09:31:10.551Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

9 - Norms and the normal

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2009

Get access

Summary

A System must have its utopia. For psychoanalysis, the utopia is ‘genitality’.

E. Erikson

Freud denied that psychoanalysis has ‘moral’ implications beyond those of the scientific attitude in general (1933a, XXII, 158ff.). Yet any comprehensive vision of human nature such as he provides must have implications for the nature of happiness, and for the relation of man's natural capacities to his normal or ideal state. Classical theories of man might be forced into a dichotomy between what we might tag the ‘biological’ and the ‘theological’. The former derive normative conclusions from the innate and specific endowments of man, the latter start from an ideal model somehow revealed. (In this sense Aristotle's vision is biological, Plato's theological.) Freud's view contrasts with both: the normal man in maturity is not ‘natural’, he is the outcome of a complex development the course of which is not determined by innate capacities alone. Yet no source exists, outside that development itself, for an ideal of maturity. This third way blurs the venerable distinction between Fact and Value: in the developmental vision of the normal human, we should find both a source of therapeutic values – whether or not these coincide with conventional morals – and a relative measure of the worth, in relation to happiness, of different levels of experience and activity. My central object in these pages is to give a qualified defence of this approach, and to show how Freud's version of it fares in the face of criticism.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1982

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×