IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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Reminiscent of Plato, Husserl sought to find awareness of the world as it truly is. He postulated that the awareness of other subjects emerges out of empathy with them. Paradoxically, (as much later pointed out by Stolorow about Husserl, but also about Heinz Kohut), such an intersubjectivity is decidedly a one-sided affair, occurring only in the mind of one person – the one who empathizes. However, it provides for presence of others as subjective entities like oneself and it achieves such awareness of others as subjective entities as oneself through empathy, without Hegel’s struggle for recognition. For Martin Heidegger (1889- 1976), intersubjectivity is the basic human condition. His Dasein is a ‘being in the world’, whom it is impossible to conceive independently of the other. Dasein is defined by its questioning of its being, truth of which is impossible to know and which depends of an awareness of the end of being, i.e. death, temporality. One development rooted here leads to existential analysis of Ludwig Binswanger , the other to Jacques Lacan , and still another to Hans Loewald, who is often cited by US intersubjectivits as an important progenitor. For both, Heidegger and Lacan, language is the medium of unknowingness, structuring thought as much as making it invisible. Structuralist philosophy of the 20 th century – Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005)’s studies of metapsychological structure of Freud’s work and Hans Georg Gadamer (1900-2002)’s exploration of subtleties of intersubjective communication – were both also relevant to clinical encounter in psychoanalysis. Merleau Ponty (1918-1961), influenced by Gestalt psychology of Kurt Lewin (as was Henry Murray’s ‘personology’ school, which was deeply impressive to Stolorow), based his philosophy on the unity of subject and object. His concept of unconscious, located between the subject and object, is at the center of one’s life in the world. His Post Heideggerian hermeneutics assertion that the self-knowledge derives from the process of involvement in the world influenced Madeleine and Willy Barangers and George Klein ’s psychoanalytic conceptualization, related to intersubjectivity. Merleau-Ponty’s notion of embodied subject , provides a specific medium for intersubjective relatedness: the body as the site where being and the world are manifest as one. It brings Freud’s undertheorizied notion of ‘ego being first and foremost a body ego’ (Freud, 1923) into the intersubjective realm.

II. B. Socio-Historical Context in North America

II. Ba. Terminology While intersubjectivity may be seen by some (Schwartz, 2012; Kirshner 2009) as implicitly present in the Freudian model of treatment (Freud 1915, 1923), it remained ‘undertheorized’ and it did not enter psychoanalytic terminology until Jacques Lacan introduced it in 1953. It may be a paradox that the first North American writer who mentioned the term in a psychoanalytic literature was quintessential Ego psychologist Heinz Hartmann in 1956, where he drew attention to intersubjective validation in the context of scientific discourse in his paper “Notes on the Reality Principle”. The first writers in the USA who


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