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Leuschner, W. (1999). Die Emotionalen Grundlagen Des Denkens: Entwurf Einer Fraktalen Affektlogik: Luc Ciompi. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1997.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(3):973-977.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(3):973-977

Die Emotionalen Grundlagen Des Denkens: Entwurf Einer Fraktalen Affektlogik: Luc Ciompi. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1997.

Review by:
Wolfgang Leuschner

In recent years a number of authors have expressed their regret that Freud's concept of affect has not been further developed. I'm not sure it hasn't been. But it is certainly true that the meaning and breadth of the term objects has become increasingly limited. For many analysts, affect is either a purely somatic occurrence, a genetically programmed mode of expression, and/or a cerebral activity. In order to satisfy natural science criteria, singular aspects of affects are often isolated and then presented as representations of the larger phenomenon. This misrepresentation transforms affects into a clearly identifiable, exceptional occurrence that can be treated as analogous to a symptom.

Luc Ciompi's conception of affect makes a radical break with this tradition. Starting with research on schizophrenia fairly early in his career, Ciompi, a Swiss psychiatrist, developed his conception of affect logic, rejecting approaches to affect that lend themselves to integration with the “microcosmic tradition.” This rejection serves as the starting point for Ciompi's new book, whose title translates into English as The Emotional Basis of Thinking: Project for a Fractal Affect Logic. In developing the idea of “affect-universality,” Ciompi argues that affects are conscious or unconscious psychosomatic constructs comprising bodily and psychological functions of human beings.

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