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Maduro, P. (2017). Dignity in Context, and Out: Discussion of Lynne Jacobs’ “On Dignity, a Sense of Dignity, and Inspirational Shame”. Psychoanal. Inq., 37(6):395-411.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 37(6):395-411

Dignity in Context, and Out: Discussion of Lynne Jacobs’ “On Dignity, a Sense of Dignity, and Inspirational Shame”

Peter N. Maduro, J.D., Psy.D.

Dr. Lynne Jacobs’ “On Dignity, a Sense of Dignity, and Inspirational Shame” is an interdisciplinary integration of a priori ethics and a phenomenology of dignity. She contends that the human person’s engagement with other people—writ large in the therapeutic encounter—is inherently ethically situated. Moreover, she avers an inherent content to this ethics, namely, mutual respect for distinctively human value—dignity—between and among people. Her ethics of dignity informs her psychoanalytic exploration of experiences of dignity, indignity, and her notion of inspirational shame, among others. I join in Jacobs’ advocacy for therapeutic facilitation of a person’s sense of inherent worth, as well as her opposition to relational contexts of devaluation and degradation. However, the primordiality Jacobs grants to her ethics of dignity often obscures the constitutively cultural, familial, and personal contextuality of, first, her—and in my view, any—ethical conviction; second, what she describes as the experience of being human; third, the alleged indignity of human vulnerability; and finally, the claim that shame is the natural reaction to one’s failure to live up to personal ideals. In the end, and subject to certain clinical concerns, Jacobs’ article integrates into psychoanalysis primordial ethical duties that she and others claim inhere in us as human beings.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

Copyright © 2017, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

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