The Genesis of Desire

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-11-01
  • Publisher: Michigan State Univ Pr
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We seem to be abandoning the codes that told previous generations who they should love. But now that many of us are free to choose whoever we want, nothing is less certain. The proliferation of divorces and separations reveal a dynamic we would rather not see: others sometimes reject us as passionately as we are attracted to them. Our desire makes us sick. The throes of rivalry are at the heart of our attraction to one another. This is the central thesis of Jean-Michel Oughourlian's The Genesis of Desire, where the war of the sexes is finally given a scientific explanation. The discovery of mirror neurons corroborates his ideas, clarifying the phenomena of empathy and the mechanisms of violent reciprocity. How can a couple be saved when they have declared war on one another? By helping them realize that desire originates not in the self but in the other. There are strategies that can help, which Dr. Oughourlian has prescribed successfully to his patients. This work, alternating between case studies and more theoretical statements, convincingly defends the possibility that breakups need not be permanent.

Author Biography

Jean-Michel Oughourlian is professor of clinical psychopathology at the University of Paris and chief of psychiatry at the American Hospital in Paris. He is a collaborator with RenGirard and Guy Lefort on the research that is the basis of Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World (1987), and the author of The Puppet of Desire: The Psychology of Hysteria, Possession, and Hypnosis (1991), an application of mimetic theory into a fully developed psychological methodology.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Psychological Movementp. 17
Mimetic Desirep. 17
Interdividual Psychologyp. 31
The Creation and the Fallp. 43
Universal Mimesisp. 81
Some Precursorsp. 81
The Discovery of Mirror Neuronsp. 88
A New Theory of Desirep. 95
The Clinical Analysis of Rivalryp. 107
The Logic of Reciprocityp. 107
Jealousy between the Members of a Couplep. 119
Jealousy Regarding a Third Partyp. 134
Epilogue Can One Rescue a Relationship?p. 145
Notesp. 159
Selected Bibliographyp. 167
Indexp. 171
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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