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Vermote, R. (2011). Rudi Vermote's Response to David Taylor. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 92(5):1113-1116.

(2011). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 92(5):1113-1116

Rudi Vermote's Response to David Taylor Language Translation

Rudi Vermote

I thank David Taylor for his delicate and thoughtful discussion. In it he explains his preference for the so called ‘mid-Bion’ who studied the thinking or psychic processing of experiences, combining sharp clinical observation with the application of scientific models. One of the geometrical models that Bion relied on, is Poincaré's theory. The way in which Taylor illustrates how Bion used this theory for his own theory of transformations makes his commentary an outstanding contribution to the study of Bion's work.

Taylor further discusses how the ‘late-Bion’ changed his focus to O and he rephrases this shift in order to keep it clear of the jargon which it has generated over the years. He talks of knowing versus being and of O as the ontological power. Taylor's change of metaphors is enlivening but it runs the risk that we get a false sense of being on more familiar grounds and it may load Bion's theory with philosophical connotations to being that Bion did not himself refer to. As I understand Bion and as I experience it, O is a zone that we can consciously and unconsciously be in contact with.

Taylor's main criticism of the ‘late-Bion’ is that he saw being, as unknowable and that he became less sharp in his clinical observations and had less scientific rigor when apprehending being. In this Taylor seems to represent the opinion of many colleagues (O'Shaugnessy, 2005).

I enjoyed Taylor's comment but from his response, I get the impression that the most important point that I tried to convey about the late-Bion did not come through in my text.

[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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