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Zuriff, G.E. (1994). In Defense of the Continuity Assumption in Clinical Psychoanalytic Theory. Psychoanal. Contemp. Thought, 17(1):83-106.

(1994). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 17(1):83-106

In Defense of the Continuity Assumption in Clinical Psychoanalytic Theory

G. E. Zuriff, Ph.D.

The continuity assumption states that the motivational explanatory schema used for everyday conscious action can be transferred to the psychoanalytic domain of the unconscious. This assumption has been attacked because in most cases of unconscious motivation, the actor does not believe that the behavior is a means to the desired goal. This attack assumes that motivational explanation must fit the practical syllogism. However, there is a class of action, “adjunctive behavior,” not covered by the practical syllogism, which can serve as the paradigm for unconscious motivation thereby saving the continuity assumption.

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