Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

It is to Ren

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Introduction

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pp. 1-16

I have been practicing as a psychiatrist for forty years. My professors taught me, during my internship and clinical residency, to diagnose pathologies of mood and temperament (mania, melancholy, depression of various types), of personality (psychoses and neuroses), and of behavior (sexual, eating, social, etc.). I learned, like all my colleagues, to treat these with medications. There can be no doubt that psychopharmacology has made extraordinary progress during these last forty years...

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Ch. 1: Psychological Movement

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pp. 17-42

To be able to reflect on desire, I propose to give it a definition that seems to me both appropriate and sufficiently broad to allow investigators from a variety of fi elds to think about it together: desire is psychological movement. In psychology, there is no movement that is not desire, and there is no desire that is not movement...

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Ch. 2: The Creation and the Fall

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pp. 43-80

I would like to propose the hypothesis that the text of Genesis and the idea of “original sin” interpret through metaphor the birth of psychological man, that is, of humanity, of the couple, and of desire. In connection with this, I also propose to show that this birth of psychological man, like that of social man, is brought about by purely mimetic mechanisms...

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Ch. 3: Universal Mimesis

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pp. 81-106

It took only a few steps for me to arrive at the theory of imitation. What is it that makes for the cohesion of the human race? What can explain the way human beings take such an interest in each other and try to live together? What is it that both draws them together and pushes them apart, unites them and sets them in opposition to one another? These are questions that...

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Ch. 4: The Clinical Analysis of Rivalry

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pp. 107-144

The two nodal points N and N', that were identified in our inquiry into theoretical psychopathology do not offer themselves to be seen distinctly as such in a clinical setting. Their clinical expression is usually simultaneous, with the subject laying claim at the same time to both his ownership (N' ) of his desire and its anteriority (N) in relation to the other’s desire...

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Epilogue: Can One Rescue a Relationship?

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pp. 145-158

The first comment I would like to make to conclude all these reflections is that diagnosis must precede treatment. Diagnosis in the kind of cases we have been talking about must first of all include assuring ourselves that the members of the couple are of good will, that is, that they wish to get out of their predicament, that they are willing to consider new ideas, and that...

Notes

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pp. 159-166

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 167-170

Index

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pp. 171-174