Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To access to IJP Open with a PEP-Web subscription…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Having a PEP-Web subscription grants you access to IJP Open. This new feature allows you to access and review some articles of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis before their publication. The free subscription to IJP Open is required, and you can access it by clicking here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Rustin, M. (2016). The Petrified Ego: A New Theory of Conscience by Elizabeth Reddish Karnac Books, London, 2013; 110 pp; £14.99. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(5):1459-1461.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(5):1459-1461

The Petrified Ego: A New Theory of Conscience by Elizabeth Reddish Karnac Books, London, 2013; 110 pp; £14.99

Review by:
Michael Rustin

Elizabeth Reddish's book argues for the continuing relevance of the concept of the superego for psychoanalytic theory and practice, against what she believes to be its virtual disappearance within some psychoanalytic schools. But at the same time she argues for its radical theoretical revision. The ‘petrified ego’ of her title is the ego which in some people is unable to develop because of the persisting domination of an archaic, primitive superego whose early function is to defend the self against its early survival anxieties. She believes that there are two kinds of superego, not one - as has become conventionally assumed since Freud, in her view, abandoned his initial insight into the role of the ‘ego ideal’ in his theory of the superego and instead developed his theory of the superego as the agency of repression in the oedipal situation. (Had he retained it, she believes, he might have better understood the primitive function of the superego as a means of integration.) This theory, she holds, became the dominant one in psychoanalysis, but because of its limitations has in her view now been widely abandoned.


[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 © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.