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Fellenor, J. (2011). The unpredictability of metaphor: Ignacio Matte-Blanco's bi-logic and the nature of metaphoric processes. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 20(3):138-147.

(2011). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 20(3):138-147

The unpredictability of metaphor: Ignacio Matte-Blanco's bi-logic and the nature of metaphoric processes

John Fellenor


This paper represents an initial foray into opening up the way that we can use current ideas about metaphor, its centrality in mental development, and the bi-logic of Ignacio Matte-Blanco to develop a systematic way of thinking about the unconscious process and how we can work with it in terms of psychoanalytic practice. The paper initially describes how our use of metaphor develops, and is tied in with, neural development that occurs from before birth and continues from there on. The notion of the breast is then explored as a means to exemplify how the psychoanalytic primacy of the breast can be approached in line with sensorimotor experience and metaphor development. This is followed by a discussion of Ignacio Matte-Blanco's bi-logic and the nature of complex systems. Finally, I outline how, at the heart of metaphoric thinking, bi-logic and our ongoing phenomenological experience is the element of the unpredictable, and that it is this very notion that deserves our attention if we are to develop a more systematic and efficacious psychoanalytic framework.

[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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