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Kirsner, D. (2006). Guest Editorial. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 3(4):277-278.

(2006). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 3(4):277-278


Guest Editorial

Douglas Kirsner, Ph.D.

Like the first special issue on the work of Elliott Jaques (1917-1983) in the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, in December 2005, this second special issue on his work contains some rich and fascinating material. While the first issue focused on the work of Jaques' close and direct colleagues over his 60 years of investigations, this issue concentrates more on some of the derivatives of his work and where to go from here.

Professor Susan Long re-evaluates Jaques' classic 1955 paper on social systems as defenses against persecutory anxiety. This paper, which had enormous influence in the psychoanalytic group world, was rejected later by Jaques himself, but it remains influential even today and is the subject of critique and extension by Professor Long, who is in the forefront of such thinking.

The two pieces by Elliott Jaques, one co-authored by his wife and co-worker, Kathryn Cason, focus on the importance of a set of universal trust-inducing secular values in today's world that will contribute to our viably living together. Although concerned with these issues in his last few years, 9/11 made these issues still more urgent to him, and he and Kathryn Cason began a manuscript, A Scientific Foundation for Ethics, Economics, and Government, which was not completed because of his death. He developed an argument for the discovery and establishment of primary secular values that are based on the basic properties of human interaction, including, importantly, our need for connectedness as social animals, our basic need for social interaction with another human being and groups of human beings.

Kathryn Cason, Alison Brause, and Matthew Daude Laurents detail their important current research into the nature of high-level ordering of information complexity in managing commercial enterprises through to governing countries.

Australian academic Bruce Hearn Mackinnon explores the way in which Jaques' ideas have been misinterpreted by some managers to mean that his theories meant deunionization and decollectivization. Instead, Mackinnon argues that Jaques' basic interest was from early on in his work on the centrality of equity and fairness in the workplace.

Martyn Dyer-Smith investigates the importance of an unfortunately neglected but significant work of Jaques', The Form of Time. For Dyer-Smith, the psychoanalytic origins of his work helped Jaques in attempting to formulate objective measures of human intention.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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