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Silber, A. (1960). Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Psychoanal Q., 29:610-611.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:610-611

Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York

Austin Silber

DISCUSSION: Dr. Nathaniel Ross opened the discussion by asserting that Dr. Peto's concept of 'fragmentizing' might be considered a special aspect of a more inclusive concept, differentiation. In the process of ego development, differentiation and synthesis are both essential features of the movement toward mastery of the instinctual drives, of reality, and of the achievement of satisfactory object relationships. The influence of aggression in initiating the forward movement and elaboration of the fragmentizing function was implied, but it is often not clear in Dr. Peto's paper what is 'fragmentizing' and what is simply the eruption of infantile aggressive impulses. Just as displacement is a prime characteristic of the primary process and yet is subsequently elaborated by the ego into a defensive function, so the differentiating process, of which splitting seems to be one aspect, precedes the formation of ego functions proper, and later also becomes elaborated by the ego into a defensive function. Dr. Ross would prefer to think of fragmentizing as one particular aspect of differentiation. When it reaches the extreme degree seen in the patient described by Dr. Peto, it seems difficult to conceive of it any longer as a normal manifestation of ego functioning.

Dr. Otto Sperling noted that in its generality, Dr. Peto's idea reminded him of Otto Rank's concept of partialization. It also seemed similar to the ego's ability to subdivide affects, and experience the parts at different times.

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