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Duncan, D. (1981). A Thought on the Nature of Psychoanalytic Theory. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 62:339-349.

(1981). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 62:339-349

A Thought on the Nature of Psychoanalytic Theory

Dennis Duncan


In this paper I suggest that much of recent experiment in analytic theory, even widely diverse approaches, has as a common denominator the problem of the conceptual vacuum created by the shift away from a central creative position of the idea of psychic mechanisms. I try to illustrate, by comparing theories of Bion and George Klein, that this movement seems to point in the direction of considering now what is uniquely psychoanalytic about our theories.

I contend that what is unique about psychoanalytic

theories is that they are involved in the experiential core-function of the applied science by becoming internalized and used symbolically to aid the analyst inwardly to endure persecutory anxiety and loss of the sense of objective reality, and so maintain the analytic position.

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