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Lear, J. (2003). The idea of a moral psychology: The impact of psychoanalysis on philosophy in Britain. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 84:1351-1361.

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(2003). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 84(5):1351-1361

Developments in Related Fields: Philosophy

The idea of a moral psychology: The impact of psychoanalysis on philosophy in Britain

Jonathan Lear

In this paper the author addresses the question of the significance of psychoanalysis for moral psychology via a more specific question: the impact of psychoanalysis on British philosophy in the twentieth century. He argues that there has been no influence of any real significance, and offers intellectual reasons why not. However, he also argues that there has recently emerged the possibility for a future engagement between psychoanalysis and philosophy, and he offers a history of the emergence of this possibility. In particular, the author discusses how the emerging interest within philosophy to work out a satisfying approach to naturalist moral psychology leads it to a concern with internal mental structure and, most importantly, to transformations of intrapsychie structures. He believes that this will lead philosophy to take a greater interest in psychoanalysis.

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