IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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and self from self-representations, which, while instrumental in further conceptual developments, at the same time may have complicated conceptualizing the relations between the impersonal ego functions on one hand and subjectivity on another. In opinion of Otto Kernberg (1982, p. 898), such a strict delineation may have contributed to the removal of the self from metapsychology, therefore impoverishing it and making it almost a “common-sense concept” (Moore and Fine 1968, p. 88). In spite of this trend, some Post Freudian North American authors strove to elaborate the dual character of “Ich” (‘I”) ”Ego” (Jacobson 1964, Mahler 1979, Kernberg 1982). Similarly, Jean Laplanche (Laplanche and Pontalis 1973, p. 131) laments the loss of ‘real Freudian contribution’ of ambiguity and complexity of Freud’s usage of Ich, which Freud uses to effect the inter-play on many levels of juxtaposing organism and environment, subject and object, internal and external, etc. From somewhat related yet different angle, Bruno Bettelheim (1984) criticizes Strachey translation for abstract, exacting-scientific and Latinized terminology replacing soulful, humanistic and metaphoric connotation of Freud’s “psychische Behandlung (Seelenbehandlung)” or ‘treatment of the psyche (soul)’ by [“psychical (or mental) treatment” in Strachey’s English] (Freud, 1890a, p. 289; Freud, 1890b, p.283). Overall, Bettleheim decries how the word “soul” ( Seele ), with its attendant notions of a spiritual life and all-too-human struggle, seems to have been written out of Freud’s work in translation, often replaced with “mind” ( Geist ) (Bettleheim 984, p. 70-71). While the French translation of Freud’s opus “Oeuvres Complètes de Freud/Psychanalyse – OCF/P” (1989-2015) retains the ambiguity of Ich, translating it mostly as ‘le moi’ (tonic form of ‘I’), that is subjective, more a self than the defensive ego creature of Ego psychology to begin with, it has its own problems when it comes to translating ‘self’ into French; i.e. Without ‘Je’ (for ‘I’) being brought into play, Winnicott’s translator pronounced ‘self’ essentially untranslatable into French. Overall, in differing ways, neither ‘ego’ nor ‘le moi’ are equivalent to German ‘Ich’. While in English-speaking psychoanalysis, there is an increased need for development of the concept of ‘self’, to account for, and theorize, the subjectivity lacking in the ‘ego’, in French psychoanalysis there is a diminished need for comparable development of the self, as ‘le moi’ is already ‘self-saturated’. II. C. Etymological, Terminological and Translational Considerations: Latin American Perspective As the English term “Self” (suggesting an illusory substantiveness) is essentially untranslatable into Spanish or Portuguese with a single word, frequently, the term Self is translated as “Sí mismo”. For instance, the references to Heinz Kohut’s Self Psychology are sometimes translated as “Psicología del Sí mismo”, or directly mentioned as Self Psychology.


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