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Canestri, J. (2000). Notes on Linguistic Activity and Psychoanalysis. Changing Ideas In A Changing World: The Revolution in Psychoanalysis. Essays in Honour of Arnold Cooper, 197-205.

Canestri, J. (2000). Notes on Linguistic Activity and Psychoanalysis. Changing Ideas In A Changing World: The Revolution in Psychoanalysis. Essays in Honour of Arnold Cooper, 197-205

Notes on Linguistic Activity and Psychoanalysis Book Information Previous Up Next

Jorge Canestri, M.D.

In a book with the impressive title Psychoanalysis: Toward the Second Century, Arnold M. Cooper (1989c) wrote: Psychoanalysis may be characterized as an attempt to decode, that is, interpret, a patient's communications according to a loosely drawn set of transformational rules concerning underlying meanings, motivations, and unities of thought (p. 202). Further on he stated: it is important that analytic theories not be out of touch with developing new knowledge in areas adjoining our area of interest, lest they become idiosyncratic and isolated from the mainstreams of science and the humanities (p. 203).

Both these statements merit reflection. In these brief notes, it is my intention to mention certain ideas that maybe of interest in psychoanalytic theory and that come from a field adjoining ours — the study of the linguistic activity of individuals. The area implied in this title is very wide, but also fairly well circumscribed. Although it borrows concepts from the disciplines of linguistics and the philosophy of language, it is limited to a specific object intimately linked to the activity of the analyst — the linguistic activity of individuals — and not to the somewhat ideal and idealized realm of language. I am sure the reader will understand that in the space allowed me here I can only make a brief summary of themes without being able to discuss them in detail or illustrate them.

The philosopher Karl Otto Apel (1994), at the beginning of his book Le Logos Propre au Langage Humain, recalls that his reflections were suggested to him by a comment of Karl Popper.

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