As part of the LSE’s Literary Festival 2014, the LSE Review of Books hosted Sex and Psychopaths: Celebrating 100 Years of Freud’s On Narcissism. This packed-out event looked at how we can understand the apparent growth in narcissism and withdrawals from intimacy in a digital age. From the impact of Facebook and online porn on sex, to whether we’re losing the capacity to be close to the people we work with, are we all turning into narcissists or can we do something to salvage intimacy with other people? Watch the video lecture, download the podcast, and read the accompanying ebook below.
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Marianna Fotaki is Professor of Business Ethics at Warwick Business School, and holds a visiting professorship at The University of Manchester.
Yiannis Gabriel is Professor of Organizational Theory at the University of Bath. He has a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Steve Fuller is Auguste Comte Professor of Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick.
David Morgan is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, senior member of the British Psychoanalytic Association, and has been consultant psychotherapist at the Portman Clinic for 20 years.
Elizabeth Cotton blogs as Surviving Work and is an academic at Middlesex University Business School. Her academic background is in political philosophy and current writing includes precarious work and employment relations, activism and mental health at work. She is founding director of The Resilience Space and runs the Surviving Work Library.
To accompany our LSE Literary Festival event Sex and Psychopaths: celebrating 100 years of Freud’s On Narcissism, which took place in February 2014, we have published a free e-book featuring contributions from some of the most exciting thinkers in the field.
This e-book looks at how we can understand the apparent growth in narcissism and withdrawals from intimacy in a digital age. From the impact of Facebook and online porn on sex, to whether we’re losing the capacity to be close to the people we work with. Download to explore whether we’re all turning into narcissists or whether we can do something to salvage intimacy with other people. Click the front cover to download as a PDF.
Narcissism and perversion in public policy, by Marianna Fotaki, Professor of Business Ethics at Warwick Business School
‘Even productive narcissists are often dangerous as they are divorced from the consequences of their judgements and actions.’
We live in a narcissistic society where random acts of intimacy with real people are pointless and romance is dead, by Elizabeth Cotton, founding director of The Resilience Space and the Surviving Work Library
‘Online technologies can indeed get us into bad narcissistic habits by helping us withdraw from the troublesome activity of having to rub along other separate and independent human beings.’
Has Freud got it all wrong about narcissism? by Milena Stateva, Senior Researcher and Consultant at the Tavistock Institute
‘Narcissism as a clinical category is no longer a tragic condition of Greek mythology but characterised as a pathetic social state pathologising life in an individualistic society.’
Digitalia, by Ross A. Lazar, a founding member and chairman of The Wilfred R. Bion Forum for the Advancement of Psycho-Analysis
‘Who amongst our leaders would have been able to win a place in history without having lived, perhaps even having “acted out” a substantial portion of the narcissistic drive inherent in his or her own personality?’
Destroying the knowledge of love, by David Morgan, consultant psychotherapist at the Portman Clinic
‘In a digital age there are so many distractions from our internal or emotional world, that turning away from deep involvement has reached epidemic proportions.’
The tale of Narcissus as a lesson in the definition of personhood, by Steve Fuller, Auguste Comte Professor of Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick
‘Neither the value of humanity as such nor our own personal sense of humanity is diminished by recognising humanity in other beings.’
Narcissus and the tragic plight of Echoes, by Yiannis Gabriel, Professor of Organizational Theory at the University of Bath
‘Narcissism’s success is due to its ability to match nearly anything we like or dislike about ourselves and our culture.’
You and me, by David Bell, President of the British Psychoanalytic Society
‘The welfare state and other forms of public provision, over and above their economic and political significance, have very profound psychological meaning.’
Political Selfies: Narcissism and Political Culture, by Candida Yates, Reader in Psychosocial Studies at the University of East London
‘The branding of politicians through the politics of personality and celebrity has become significant as a means of marking out and promoting political parties to voters, whose loyalties and political identifications have also become more fluid.’