The Ethical Turn: Otherness and Subjectivity in Contemporary Psychoanalysis

by David Goodman (USA)

goodmancoverimage1116wLevinas (1969) 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? This possibility is explored by the authors in this volume who seek to bring the “ethical turn” into the world of psychoanalysis. This phenomenologically rich and socially conscious ethics has taken center stage in a variety of academic disciplines, inspired by the work of philosophers and theologians concerned with the moral fabric of subjectivity, human relationship, and socio-political life. At the heart of this movement is a reconsideration of the other person, and the dangers created when the question of the “Other” is subsumed by grander themes.

The authors showcased in this volume, co-edited by David Goodman and Eric Severson, represent the exceptional work being done by both scholars and practitioners working at the crossroads between psychology and philosophy in order to rethink the foundations of their disciplines. The Ethical Turn: Otherness and Subjectivity in Contemporary Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2016) guides readers into the heart of this fresh and exciting movement and includes contributions from many leading thinkers, who provide fascinating new avenues for enriching our responses to suffering and understandings of human identity. It will be of use to psychoanalysts, professionals in psychology, postgraduate students, professors and other academics in the field.

Contributors include:

Judith Alpert
Lewis Aron
Peter August
Sam Binkley
Doris Brothers
Elizabeth Corpt
Christina Emanuel
David M. Goodman
Susannah Heschel
Claire Katz
Lynne Layton
Michael Oppenheim
Donna Orange
Jill Salberg
Donna San Antonio
José Saporta
Eric R. Severson
Brian Smothers
Esther Sperber

Eric R. Severson is a philosopher specializing in the work of Emmanuel Levinas. He is author of the books Levinas’s Philosophy of Time (Duquesne University Press, 2013) and Scandalous Obligation (Beacon Hill Press, 2011), and editor of several other works. He currently teaches for both Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University.

goodmanphoto1116wDavid M. Goodman is the Associate Dean at the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College, the Director of Psychology and the Other, and a Teaching Associate at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Hospital. He has written over a dozen articles, a book titled The Demanded Self: Levinasian Ethics and Identity in Psychology (Duquesne University Press, 2012) and has co-edited several books on the intersection of psychology and philosophy. Dr. Goodman is also a licensed clinical psychologist and has a private practice in Cambridge, MA.


David M. Goodman, PhD
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Advising
Boston College
The James A. Woods, S.J., College of Advancing Studies
Email David Goodman