I want to begin by saying that the terms of reference of this series of lectures grated on me, in particular, the word ‘power’. One thing it conjured up was the criticism made by people who say we use our power over our patients to brainwash them, that the psychotherapeutic relationship is inescapably authoritarian, domineering, coercive. This was widely said in the sixties by leftist and feminists and others who sought a therapeutic relationship that was more equal, co-counselling, for example, (...) where the client and the therapist took turns exposing their problems. In my experience, most people who took up that position eventually saw the merits of relatively orthodox psychotherapy, and many have trained in conventional psychodynamic psychotherapy. I asked my partner, who is also a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, what the term power conjured up for her and got an uncharacteristically sharp response. She said, ‘I hate that word. It’s used by humanistic therapists who are afraid of authority, difference and knowledge and want us all to be the same. It’s like saying colour doesn’t matter. They confuse the abuse of power with the use of power. They assume that all exercise of power is abusive.’. (shrink)
In this Critical Notice of Emily Jackson and John Keown’s Debating Euthanasia , the respective lines of argument put forward by each contributor are set out and the key debating points identified. Particular consideration is given to the points each contributor makes concerning the sanctity of human life and whether slippery slopes leading from voluntary medically assisted dying to non-voluntary euthanasia would be established if voluntary medically assisted dying were to be legalised. Finally, consideration is given to the positions adopted (...) by the contributors in relation to the legalisation of voluntary medically assisted dying. (shrink)
In the first edition of White Mythologies (1990) Robert Young challenged the status of history, asking whether in this postmodern era we should consider it a Western myth, with an uncertain status. Is it, he asked, possible to write history that avoids the trap of Eurocentrism? Investigating the history of History, from Hegel to Foucault, White Mythologies calls into question traditional accounts of a single 'World History' which leaves aside the 'Third World' as surplus to the narrative of the West. (...) Young goes on to consider questionings of the limits of Western knowledge in the work of Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Homi Bhabha. For Young, these thinkers have been involved in a project to decolonize History and to deconstruct 'the West'. In exploring these issues, he shows us the relation of history to theory and of politics to knowledge. White Mythologies has proved to be one of the most important critical works in post-colonial theory of the last two decades. It has engendered much debate and inspired countless critical responses. Twelve years after publication, Robert Young returns to the issues raised in this book to offer fresh perspectives and to reflect upon developments in the post-colonial debate since White Mythologies was first published. (shrink)
Recent developments in literary theory, such as structuralism and deconstruction, have come under attack for neglecting history, while historically-based approaches have been criticized for failing to take account of the problems inherent in their methodological foundations. This collection of essays is unique in that it focuses on the relation between post-structuralism and historical (especially Marxist) literary theory and criticism. The volume includes a deconstructive reading of Marx, essays that relate history to the philosophical and institutional context, and a number of (...) studies of particular texts, literary and non-literary, which pose the question of history and literary theory with particular force. (shrink)
IN THIS PAPER I RESPOND TO SEVERAL OBJECTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN MOUNTED TO MY THEORY OF THE MIRACULOUS. IN PARTICULAR I ARGUE THAT ON MY THEORY A MIRACLE IS DECIDEDLY NOT AN EVENT WHICH IS NATURALLY EXPLICABLE FOR "QUA" MIRACLE AN EVENT IS ONLY EXPLICABLE BY REFERENCE TO THE ACTIVITY OF A NON-NATURAL AGENT’S ALTERING THE SURROUNDING CONDITIONS IN VIRTUE OF HIS ACTIVITY IN THE WORLD.