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Zac, J. (1974). Thinking as the Goal of Intrapsychic Adequacy. Contemp. Psychoanal., 10:57-69.

(1974). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 10:57-69

Thinking as the Goal of Intrapsychic Adequacy

Joel Zac, M.D.

FROM A PHYLOGENETIC VIEWPOINT, thinking can be said to have historically emerged out of the necessity that man must understand and solve his problems; that is, from the necessity to interact with the elements around him: other men and nature. Once thinking has been acquired and instrumentalized, it acts upon external reality, thus initiating a dialectical process in which the organization of facts and the resolution of tasks are indispensable for survival. Afterward man develops a need to solve problems reaching a higher level. Furthermore, in the elaborating process which ushers in the appearance of the concept, that is, the specific content of human thought, there is a last step consisting in the return to, an action of thought (through human action) upon the same reality that bred it so as to transform it. New motivations leading to the further development of thought will result from this interpenetrating activity.

The most important characteristic of the thinking process is that it leads to the solution of tasks which are immediately related to the requirements of human survival. Its content is the generalized reflection of reality which may reach different levels of abstraction and generalization.

Thinking is mainly determined by a dynamic interrelation with an object, in which the object, acting upon the individual's conscience by means of those laws governing thought, initiates a series of cognitive operations leading to the disclosure of the relationship with the object. Thus, a concept is achieved (Rubenstein, 1960).

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