Psychologisation and Critique in Modern-day Western Culture

The paper reflects on the advancement of the psychologisation of Western society through the notion of «the therapeutic ethos» and discusses political and moral implications of its “triumph”.


It is argued that the attempt to exorcise a “therapeutic Zeitgeist” showcases the problems of critique of contemporary culture. The Zeitgeist reveals itself as much in the tools of critique as the objective of critique. I therefore conclude that popular critical methods like discourse analysis have itself become a hegemonic discourse, which rarely equals its philosophical originator Michel Foucault's imaginative radical ambition.

Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2014, 8 (5),193–200

Published May 19, 2014 8:30 AM