Harm as a Psychological Concept
Some Fragmentary Reflections
Keywords:concept, kin-concept, category, self-harm, polyvalence, ambivalence, overdetermination
This paper outlines the not-so-sharp contours of the concept of harm. It sees harm as largely a psychological concept and argues for the need of a third concept — harm, in addition to the two incumbents upon us — violence and trauma. It also argues that it is the relative blur in the use of the concept of harm that makes it fecund in terms of its capacity to unveil multiple forms and facets of human experience, including the process of self-harm.