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Adair, M.J. (2000). A Response to Drs. Dorpat, Rangell, and Margolis. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 9(2):243-253.

(2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9(2):243-253

A Response to Drs. Dorpat, Rangell, and Margolis Related Papers

Dr. Mark J. Adair, Ph.D.

By Homer's time, Western man had already partitioned the psyche from the soma and had begun, moreover, to invest this psyche with autonomy. A body-mind duality, in other words, had infected ancient psychology. Homer's psyches were, admittedly, poor things. Stripped by death of their mortal frames, the souls of heroes wandered the House of Hades as weak, passive, squeaking shades. Inevitably, however, the psyche grew stronger. The passage of three hundred years made it positively robust, and in the form of Plato's vó0σ (nous) the mind then possessed such independence from the body as to be able by its own philosophical exertions to become divine. The next twenty-four hundred years of Western contemplation, Whitehead's “series of footnotes to Plato,” preserved this vexatious duality. So even today, despite our best efforts, we are helplessly dualist and chase the right answers to the wrong questions.

The scholarly responses to my paper have sharpened my thinking, and in that process exposed my collusion in this search. Bewitched by dualism I too have asked, What is the “puzzling leap” between the mental and the physical? The question so phrased evokes images of a gap, a dark area, or a synapse between two disparate systems. These are metaphors, I know; but they are treacherous metaphors which mislead us into thinking there is a body separate from mind even when we know there is only a unitary, continuous bodymind.

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