The Quest for Conscience and the Birth of the Mind

Paper: 978 1 85575 705 9 / $40.95
 
Published: December 2009  

Publisher: Karnac Books
180 pp., 6 1/4" x 6 1/4"
The Quest for Conscience and the Birth of the Mind examines conscience as an as-yet-unrealized human potential, but a potential toward which human beings are naturally driven. A “mature conscience”, dependent on the development of an authentic self, is distinguished from classical ideas of the superego, postulating that the two may represent two separate lines of development. The more primitive superego is seen as an often pathological manifestation of this natural mental potential, while the development of a mature conscience is seen to have its foundation in the development of a true self. Detailed clinical material illustrates these ideas.

– Bion’s ideas regarding the relationship between religious thought and a scientific perspective, and its relevance to psychoanalytic work
– Freud’s and Bion’s perspectives on religion are examined, revealing fundamental differences in their views of the mind
– Obstacles to the development of a healthy conscience


Table of Contents:
1. Conscience and superego and the distinction between them.
2. The relationship between psychological birth and the development of a healthy or mature conscience.
3. Conscience and consciousness – the development of a mature conscience as dependent on the capacity for consciousness and the capacity to think.
4. Obstacles to the development of a healthy conscience.



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Reviews & Endorsements:
“Dr. Reiner has written an outstanding theoretical and clinical discussion of the archaic superego. The work is unusually clear and succinct and I think it will contribute significantly to clinical understanding across theoretical points of view.”
- Michael Ian Paul, M.D. (Los Angeles)