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Remarks On The Theory And Treatment Of (Pathological) Administration's of Enjoyment

The Letter, Issue 25, Summer 2002, Pages 17 - 20



Paul Verhaeghe

Addiction, like prostitution, is a phenomenon as old as the human race. Evidently they have something in common - their relationship to desire and enjoyment - and both pose a problem for the society in which they occur. It is not too difficult to find a reason for this. A society is a perfect example of an institution consisting of a collection of people held together by a number of commonly shared rules and conventions. This applies to every institution, be this a family, a school, an association, or a psychiatric institution. The rules and conventions that we find in these institutions, no matter how private they may be, always have the same aim: the regulation of enjoyment on the basis of a number of collectively developed and often legally binding agreements. Hence, every institution also presents an ideal, precisely through which that regulation is articulated.

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