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date: 26 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This introduction provides an overview of the three chapters in this section, which explores central issues in ethics in the context of psychoanalysis, including the nature of virtue, the ground of normativity, moral development, the relation between reason and passion, naturalism and moral motivation. One such issue concerns Sigmund Freud’s theory of the superego, which is said to undermine the ‘authority’ of morality. The first chapter argues that the superego represses conscience, and that our ‘moral-psychological difficulties’ can be understood only in light of repressed love. The second chapter examines the place of psychoanalysis in the relationship between virtue and mental health, and between vice and mental dysfunction. The third chapter discusses the idea of an ‘evolved development niche’ to address object relations and their role in moral development.

Keywords: ethics, psychoanalysis, virtue, reason, Sigmund Freud, superego, morality, conscience, mental health, evolved development niche

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