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Tip: To review the bibliography…

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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Peskin, M.M. (2000). Through the Looking Glass: Psychoanalysis, Conceptual Integration, and the Problem of the Innate. Changing Ideas In A Changing World: The Revolution in Psychoanalysis. Essays in Honour of Arnold Cooper, 229-236.

Peskin, M.M. (2000). Through the Looking Glass. Changing Ideas In A Changing World: The Revolution in Psychoanalysis. Essays in Honour of Arnold Cooper, 229-236

Part IV Setting the Frame for the Future

Through the Looking Glass: Psychoanalysis, Conceptual Integration, and the Problem of the Innate Book Information Previous Up Next

Mervyn M. Peskin, M.D.

Psychoanalysis is in a period of punctuated equilibrium, a time of change. Energetic subspecies have developed within the psychoanalytic niche, once dominated by classical ego psychology. Of even greater import, the allopatric evolution of psychoanalysis is undergoing transformation due to the encroachment of neighbouring scientific elaborations of the functioning of the mind. Noting that “it is inherent in the nature of science to be refreshed by discourse in other disciplines” (Cooper, 1997, p. 9), Cooper has persuasively argued (1990a; 1991a; 1997) that psychoanalysis cannot remain isolated from these elaborations and still maintain its scientific status. I agree, and read him to be arguing not only for the inspirational but for the constraining effect of neighbouring ideas — for the powerful heuristic guidance and, if necessary, reorientation brought about by conceptual integration, or at least conceptual compatibility, with neighbouring scientific endeavours. In this chapter, part of my ongoing dialogue with him, I will focus on the implications of the curious fact that moving toward conceptual integration leads us back into the theoretical wilderness of mirrors surrounding the innate and instinctual dispositions, which so many advances and revisions of psychoanalytic theory have recently led us out of.

The issue of conceptual integration has grown both more realistic and more pressing in the recent past with the rise of cognitivism and the demise of behaviourism in scientific psychology. For cognitivism, unlike behaviourism, accepts that there are hidden causes of behaviour located in the mind/brain (Plotkin, 1998).

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