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Reis, B.E. (1999). Adventures of the Dialectic: Reply to Commentaries. Psychoanal. Dial., 9(3):407-414.

(1999). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 9(3):407-414

Adventures of the Dialectic: Reply to Commentaries Related Papers

Bruce E. Reis, Ph.D.

Stolorow, Orange, and Atwood criticize me in their commentary for having suggested a connection between their work and self psychology. I quote from Atwood (1989):

In speaking of psychoanalytic phenomenology I shall be referring to the framework of psychoanalytic ideas elaborated by Atwood and Stolorow (1984) and Stolorow, Brandchaft and Atwood (1987). This framework, emphasizing the perspective of intersubjectivity, was profoundly influenced by Kohut's works (1971, 1977, 1984) and embraces his most central ideas [p. 194n].

More to the point of my piece, I think it's really unfortunate that Stolorow and his colleagues did not directly comment on Merleau-Ponty's ideas in their reply and that he is nowhere mentioned in their works because I think these ideas, which I attempted to explicate in my piece, could ground the post-Cartesian vision of analytic intersubjectivity toward which these authors seem to be striving.

But to respond to Stolorow et al.'s version of my reading of their work would, I think, bring me into a discussion of the multiple and shifting influences on their intellectual development and how those foundations have or have not lead them to realize the goals of their intersubjective conception. As my citation of Stolorow and his colleagues' work was peripheral to my piece on Ogden, I will take up their commentary vis-à-vis the latter's work.

One of the features I most appreciate about Ogden's intersubjective model is its ability to protect the area of privacy for both analyst and analysand. Ogden (1994) has extended and elaborated on Winnicott's paradox that there is no such thing as an infant (apart from maternal provision) by reincluding the other pole of the paradox: “There is obviously an infant and a mother who constitute separate physical and psychological entities.

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