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Stensson, J. (1995). Editorial: How do we know about an inner world?. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 4(2):73-75.

(1995). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 4(2):73-75

Editorial: How do we know about an inner world?

Jan Stensson, Ph.D.

The concept ‘inner world’ has grown in popularity among psychoanalysts in rate with the dissemination of object relations thinking. Terms such as ‘introspection’ and ‘an observing ego’ as well as the notion of ‘inner objects’ imply that one part of the person (the observing ego) may look into (introspect) another part, an experiencing ego, which has relations to ‘inner objects’. Although seemingly handy at times, these ways of formulating inner processes have often awakened feelings of uneasiness and dissatisfaction in me. So, when some weeks ago in a bookstore I stumbled upon a book with a table of contents comprising such section titles as ‘Myths of the inner’, ‘Concepts of the inner’, ‘Aspects and the inner’ and ‘Blind to the inner’, I could not resist buying it. The book I had found was On Being in the World. Wittgenstein and Heidegger on Seeing Aspects by Stephen Mulhall (1). In preparing this Editorial I have also used a treatise by Gunnar Svensson on Wittgenstein on Knowledge and Certainty (2) and Wittgenstein's On Certainty (3). In order not to make this text unduly long, I will not give detailed references to the different authors mentioned above. The basic ideas originate from Wittgenstein. I am of course responsible for the way those ideas are rendered here (in a sketchy form) and for some short hints at possible implications for psychoanalytic thinking. This presentation is not to be seen as a well thought out position, but rather as expressive of my view that we psychoanalysts should take notice in a positive vein of what people outside our discipline think about phenomena that we may consider to be exclusively our concern.

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