Commentary on Alireza Taheri's Review

  • Donald Carveth


Dr. Taheri has provided a comprehensive positive review of Sergio Benvenuto’s (2016) illuminating psychoanalytic study, What Are Perversions? Sexuality, Ethics, Psychoanalysis. Although I am in entire agreement with Taheri’s positive assessment of Benvenuto’s synthesis and transcendence of the contributions of Robert Stoller, Masud Khan and Jacques Lacan in this field, I would like to register a few points of contention for our consideration.

I have argued (Carveth 2013, 2018) that, far from being a “value-free” theory and practice, psychoanalysis is and always has been a value-infused, ethical enterprise from beginning to end. Despite Freud’s own and his followers’ attempts to disguise the fact, Benvenuto asserts that “Neurosis itself is an ethical illness” and “Analysis is above all an ethical cure that aims at caring for the other.”