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Markman, H.C. (2015). A Pragmatic Approach to Bion's Late Work: A Response to Soffer-Düdek. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 63(5):947-957.

(2015). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63(5):947-957

A Pragmatic Approach to Bion's Late Work: A Response to Soffer-Düdek

Henry C. Markman

Grant an idea or belief to be true, … what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone's actual life?

—William James (1907, p. 86)

Conceptions, theories and systems of thought… are tools. As in the case of all tools, their value resides not in themselves but in their capacity to work shown in the consequences of their use.

—John Dewey (1920, p. 163)

But it is equally important to note that the dark and twilight abound. For any object of primary experience there are always potentialities that are not explicit.

—John Dewey (1929a, p. 42)

In an original and intuitive pairing, Nir Soffer-Dudek uses tenets of pragmatism and John Dewey's aesthetic theories to enlighten the enigmatic aspects of Bion's late work. Soffer-Dudek concludes that Dewey's ideas, though congruent with much of Bion's thinking, bring us to a more positive state than Bion's position, and deflect us from or repudiate what is represented by Bion's O.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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