Intersubjectivity and Responsibility in Relational Psychoanalysis and Modern Jewish Philosophy

Authored by: Michael Oppenheim

The Routledge International Handbook of Psychoanalysis and Philosophy

Print publication date:  November  2022
Online publication date:  November  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367276454
eBook ISBN: 9780429297076
Adobe ISBN:


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The point of departure for this study is the recent statement by David Goodman and Eric Severson that “[Emmanuel] Levinas claims that ‘morality is not a branch of philosophy but first philosophy’ and if he is right about this, might ethics also serve as a first psychology?” The work of Jessica Benjamin and Donna Orange, who are significant figures in the Relational Psychoanalysis movement, is juxtaposed with the positions of the modern Jewish philosophers of encounter, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Emmanuel Levinas. Two themes are prominent in this comparison: that relationships with others constitute the essence of human experience and that the issue of meaning is central to understanding both health and flourishing. A few of the complementary subjects highlighted by this multidisciplinary lens are the ethical precept of one’s responsibility for others and the powers of speech. Possible areas of cross-fertilization are identified at the end of this examination.

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