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Wilson, A. Weinstein, L. (1992). An Investigation Into Some Implications of a Vygotskian Perspective on the Origins of Mind: Psychoanalysis and Vygotskian Psychology, Part I. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 40:349-379.

(1992). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 40:349-379

An Investigation Into Some Implications of a Vygotskian Perspective on the Origins of Mind: Psychoanalysis and Vygotskian Psychology, Part I

Arnold Wilson, Ph.D. and Lissa Weinstein, Ph.D.

ABSTRACT

The Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky proposed an analysis of language, thought, and internalization that has direct relevance to the current concerns of psychoanalysts. Striking methodological and conceptual similarities and useful complementarities with psychoanalysis are discovered when one peers beneath the surface of Vygotskian psychology. Our adaptation of Vygotsky's views expands upon Freud's assigned role to language in the topographic model. We suggest that the analysand's speech offers several windows into the history of the individual, through prosody, tropes, word meaning, and word sense. We particularly emphasize Vygotsky's views on the genesis and utilization of word meanings. The acquisition of word meanings will contain key elements of the internal climate present when the word meaning was forged. Bearing this in mind, crucial theoretical questions follow, such as how psychoanalysis is to understand the unconscious fantasies, identifications, anxieties, and defenses associated with the psychodynamics of language acquisition and later language usage. We propose that the clinical situation is an ideal place to test these hypotheses.

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