Search

Browse

Anthropology (14) Art (68) Business and Finance (28) Cognitive Science and Psychology (25) Communication and Journalism (20) Economics (97) Education (29) History (61) Human Geography (9) Interdisciplinary (17) Language and Linguistics (61) Law (6) Music Studies (7) Philosophy (123) Political Science and International Relations (59) Sociology (150) Statistics and Quantitative Methods (15) Philosophy (35) Education (25) Sociology (19) Series in Literary Studies (17) Language and Linguistics (13) Politics (13) Art (12) Cognitive Science and Psychology (11) Business and Finance (10) Critical Perspectives on Social Science (9) Economics (9) Philosophy of Religion (9) Bridging Languages and Scholarship (8) Anthropology (8) Economic Methodology (7) Vernon Classics in Economics (6) World History (6) Philosophy of Personalism (5) Cinema and Culture (5) Communication (5) Economic History (5) Law (5) Music (5) History of Art (5) Curating and Interpreting Culture (4) Philosophy of Forgiveness (4) Series in American History (4) Series in Critical Media Studies (4) Series on Climate Change and Society (4) Economic Development (4) Performing Arts (4) History of Science (3) Series in Contemporary History (2) Series in Innovation Studies (2) Economics of Technological Change (2) Series in Built Environment (1) Series in Creative Writing Studies (1) Series in Design (1) Series in Social Equality and Justice (1) Series in Urban Studies (1) The Interdisciplinary Built Environment (1) English Spanish

Browsing with filters

Series: Cognitive Science and Psychology

Self-Preservation at the Center of Personality

Superego and Ego Ideal in the Regulation of Safety

Ralf-Peter Behrendt

November 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-103-9
Availability: In stock
184pp. ¦ $45 £35 €42

The book discusses personality as a unified set of evolved and culturally developed structures that serves a single and definable purpose, to maintain the individual’s safety, in the context of dyadic relationships, group processes and more abstract and fluid social configurations. The infant-mother relationship remains the blueprint for modes of relating to the social surround, at whatever level of complexity, and for approximating the sense of safety originally provided by the mother. The personality is organized around the need to maintain self-esteem, thereby preserving the individual’s sense of safety and warding off deep-seated paranoid anxiety, which signals the potential of annihilation of the self. Paranoid anxiety is the counterpart of intraspecific aggression and the potential of the group as a whole to attack and annihilate the individual. Paranoid anxiety, which was recognized by Melanie Klein as playing a critical role in infant development, is not overcome as development proceeds but remains latent, buried under layers of personality organization that are essentially concerned with sourcing recognition and approval from the social environment, thereby inhibiting others’ aggression and guarding against annihilation of the self. The book adds to self psychology (Kohut) by showing how the principle of self-preservation underpins all aspects of normal and abnormal character dynamics. It integrates self psychology with other branches psychoanalytic theory and revives the link between psychoanalysis and ethology. Ethology (Lorenz, Hass, Eibl-Eibesfeldt) has provided insights into how interrelated intraspecific aggression and appeasement gestures are critically important for the evolution of social behavior in higher animals as well as for cultural evolution in humans, insights that allow, more generally, for a bridging of the gap between psychoanalysis and the biology of social behavior. Furthermore, an evolutionary approach to character dynamics and related social phenomena will have important implications for understanding psychopathological vulnerabilities and self-perpetuating processes in mental illness.

EV MDC SSL