Individuality, deliberation and welfare in Donald Winnicott

History of the Human Sciences 18 (1):107-126 (2005)
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This paper expands on the political vision embedded in Donald Winnicott’s psychoanalytic work. It comments on Winnicott’s notion that individuality is produced by society, and adds that such production inevitably involves power asymmetry. It is argued that Winnicott values rights and property as communicative devices rather than as private enclosures held against society. However, it is also maintained that Winnicott thinks that social deliberation itself depends on a preceding objective instance that may be referred to as justice. Lastly, aspects of Winnicott’s outlook that touch on ideas of welfare and distribution are examined, especially those concerning the relationships between the market and social agencies, and between the household and the state. It is suggested that these attributes point to an affinity Winnicott has with a progressive liberal trend dating back to Mill, the later manifestation of this liberalism being evident in the design of the 20th-century welfare state. It is concluded that it is for this polity that Winnicott wrote his psychological theory



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References found in this work

The psychic life of power: theories in subjection.Judith Butler - 1997 - Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
Justice, Gender and the Family.Susan Moller Okin - 1989 - Hypatia 8 (1):209-214.
Justice, Gender, and the Family.Martha L. Fineman - 1991 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 20 (1):77-97.
The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection.J. Butler - 1997 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 46 (6):1016.

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