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Table of Contents

Introductory Remarks. Rethinking Internalization. The Function of Paradox. Subjective Agency - And Passivity. The Problem of Entitlement. Actions and Reactions. The Question of Forgiveness. The Quest for Responsibility. Empathy and Sympathy. Self Formation and Self-Decreation.

About the Author

Gemma Corradi Fiumara is a former professor of philosophy at the Third University of Rome and a training analyst with the Italian Psychoanalytic Society. Her previous books include The Symbolic Function, The Other Side of Language, The Metaphoric Process and The Mind's Affective Life.


"Whether on philosophy, psychoanalysis, or just the process of living, whatever Gemma Corradi Fiumara writes is fresh and insightful, and this new book is no exception." - Janet Martin Soskice, University of Cambridge, UK "Rarely does a book tackle essential problems in such a fascinating and convincing way. It deals with that very special human quality-spontaneity-which ultimately sustains all creative processes. It also explores the defensive manoeuvres that oppose spontaneity. This lucid and incisive book can be utilized at different levels of complexity. Not only are the contents of the book enriching, but its passion for the frontiers of research will enhance the creativity of readers." - Antonino Ferro, Italian Psychoanalytic Society, Pavia, Italy "Professor Corradi Fiumara seeks to lift psychoanalytic thinking from the creature-driven level of psychic determinism to the higher level of spontaneity, unpredictability, humanness -- as metapsychological constructs. I found this to be an exciting and innovative work." - James Grotstein, author of A Beam of Intense Darkness: Wilfred Bion's Legacy To Psychoanalysis "I strongly recommend this stimulating book which deals with areas mainly neglected so far. I am sure that it will bring moments of joy and new insights to its readers." - Claudio Eizirik, President, International Psychoanalytic Association "I highly recommend this book to all practicing analysts. It offers neither prescriptions nor proscriptions; instead, it provides a consistent and much-needed analytic reflection about our active participation in all aspects of our own psychic life in health and pathology. It softly calls for a new manner of looking at our patients and our theories in regard to causality and determinism, in contrast to the ever-present psychici potential for creative and spontaneous psychic action. This book is beautifully written in a style endowed with a subtle but persistent Socratic irony. It is a pleasure to read." - Ana Maria Rizzuto, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly

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