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Eros in a Narcissistic Culture : an Analysis Anchored in the Life-World

Author: Ralph D Ellis
Publisher: Dordrecht : Springer Netherlands, 1996.
Series: Contributions to Phenomenology, In Cooperation with the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, 22.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
While many books have been written about human sexuality, few have seriously explored the philosophical and psychological meaning of erotic love. This reflects a bias and a problem in contemporary culture: the misunderstanding of eros out of a theory of physiological drive-reduction (ignoring the countervailing motivation toward intensification rather than reduction of conscious feeling) has led to an egocentric  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Ralph D Ellis
ISBN: 9789400916616 9400916612
OCLC Number: 851381831
Description: 1 online resource (ix, 286 pages).
Contents: The Urgency of Changing Our Thinking about Eros --
1. The Centrality of Eros in the Project of Defining Meaning for Human Beings --
2. Reassessing Assumptions and Methods in the Study of Eros --
I A Phenomenology of the Experience of Eros --
One Eros as Transformation --
Two After the Awakening --
Three Sexuality and Infatuation --
Four Fear of Eros and the Fragmentation of Consciousness --
II Eros in Its Broader Existential and Cultural Context --
Five The Destruction of Eros --
Six The Obsession with Eros as Pointing beyond Itself --
Seven Eros and the Value of Being --
Conclusion --
References.
Series Title: Contributions to Phenomenology, In Cooperation with the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, 22.
Responsibility: by Ralph D. Ellis.
More information:

Abstract:

While many books have been written about human sexuality, few have seriously explored the philosophical and psychological meaning of erotic love. This reflects a bias and a problem in contemporary culture: the misunderstanding of eros out of a theory of physiological drive-reduction (ignoring the countervailing motivation toward intensification rather than reduction of conscious feeling) has led to an egocentric view of human nature, which in turn motivates a simplistic hedonism in value thinking and an atomistic-individualist conception of society. The ultra-competitive nature of this kind of culture leads to overconcern with masks of invulnerability - i.e., narcissism - which prevents the dropping of superficial defenses necessary for deep and authentic love relationships to mature. But the intense, direct experience of the intrinsic value of another being embodied in authentic love experiences is needed to combat the existential threats to the meaningfulness of life (alienation, powerlessness, relative insignificance in the ultimate scheme, and death). This experience is motivated by the need to be pulled out of oneself into a non-egocentric way of experiencing which cares as much about expressing value feelings, in order to deepen and intensify them, as it does about reducing egocentric drives. The misunderstanding, neglect, and dysfunction of this basic human need thus reflects a serious problem in the psychology of the self and the structure of the community, whose study requires a phenomenological rather than a merely empirical-scientific approach, since the latter approach alone leads almost inevitably to the very reductionism at issue.

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