IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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Husserl, Heidegger, Marx, James, Sartre, Dickinson, Saussure, Brentano, Bakhtin, Foucault, Adorno, and Taylor, just to name a few.

II. A. Philosophical Underpinnings All major psychoanalytic orientations with their often contrasting positions on the concept of self reflect traditional philosophic questions, notably of a ‘homuncular self’ internal to consciousness, the isolation of the subject from other selves, and intersubjective origins of the self. An example is a conceptual line of ‘self’, starting from Plato’s (and Socrates’) “Dialogues”, Aristotle’s Treaties on Psychology, Politics and Poetics, Augustine’s “Confessions” with his Neoplatonist thesis of humans’ childlike dependence on the transcendental omnipotent Being/God, Hegel’s “Lordship and Bondage”, forming the basis of the Scottish-English empirist philosophy of Bacon, Hume, Locke, and others, of the person- self existing in varying relationships within the broad context of culture and nature, to Fairbairn’s primacy of object relations in development and pathology, and Winnicott’s self’s use of the object, and intersubjective roots of structure formation, with links to Lacan's ‘silence in the encounter’, and, differently conceptualized Kohut’s ‘self-object’ and self-object transference, and a spectrum of intersubjective and relational psychoanalytic theories across all psychoanalytic continents (see the separate entry INTERSUBJECTIVITY), all variably compatible with modern philosophers Marcuse, Foucault, Heidegger and MacIntyre, who rely on theories of relativity and interpersonal relationships. Bakhtin’s (1929/1984) attempt to reconcile the autonomous ‘unfinilized’ and ‘unfinilizable’ self’ and ‘self in relation to other(s) through his ‘polyphony’ and ‘carnival’, resulting in a genuine internal and external dialogue, Ricoeur’s (1986/1990/1992) stages of selfhood in “Oneself as Another”, and Said’s (1978) projection of stereotypical otherness by one culture (our selves) onto another (them) in the “Orientalism” belong to this fruitful line of philosophical thought, applicable to literature, arts, and large societal-cultural contexts. In another example, Plato’s Cave allegory of objectifying reason versus incompleteness of knowledge via senses, continues with Descartes’ Rationalism of self-reflective core of a unified self, “a substance … an ‘I’ … the soul by which I am what I am” (Cottingham, 1986, p. 115); Metaphysics of Berkley’s inner principle of unity, “imposed by the mind on the senses” (Kirshner, 1991, p. 162); Kant’s correspondence theory of truth and his subjectivist theory of knowledge, where the reality of things in themselves cannot be known directly, but only as they are constituted, correctly or less so, in our mind (circling back to Plato’s Theory of Forms), referred to by Freud in the context of the inability of the conscious mind to know its own reality, extended into the Ego Psychology’s theories of self and object representational world. Acknowledgement of the crucial function of memory in constituting the identity of the ‘self’ starts with Aristotle, continues with Hume, anticipating, in different ways, both Freud as well as Kohut. Hume, unable to find a single conception of self, points instead to emotional, sensorial and perceptual “perpetual flux and movement” (Hume 1787, p. 252) and posits that


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