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Kavka, J. (1974). A Discussion of the Paper by M. A. Dupont: 'A Provisional Contribution to the Psychoanalytical Study of Time'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:485-490.

(1974). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 55:485-490

A Discussion of the Paper by M. A. Dupont: 'A Provisional Contribution to the Psychoanalytical Study of Time' Related Papers

Jerome Kavka

Even a casual survey of philosophical, scientific and other literature dealing with time concepts reveals what a fascinating, yet mystifying, subject time is (Auger, 1957); (Bridgman, 1961); (Fraser, 1966); (Hofstadter, 1970); (Mach, 1902); (Pearlman, 1969); (Platt, 1968); (Spencer, 1971); (Toulmin & Goodfield, 1965). Our credulity is strained by the 'elastic nature of time as expressed by relativity theory' ('Travellers in Space-time', in The Sciences, New York Academy of Sciences, 1966) and by recent theories of a terminus to space (referred to in the New York Times, 1973), so inextricably linked to time. Closer to our own area of interest, many aspects of human phylogenesis and ontogenesis are as enigmatic to the psychological investigator as are the origins and boundaries of the universe to the physical scientist.

Dr Dupont (this issue) attempts a metapsychology of time based on Melanie Klein's theory of mental development. His conclusions achieve consistency within that frame of reference and, in addition, I believe he forms a bridge with other psychoanalytic theories of mental development. In this sense, his efforts are most welcome. However, since the metapsychology of the psychoanalyst can be distinguished from the philosopher's metaphysics by virtue of being grounded in clinical observation rather than in pure introspection (Brenner, 1970), he needs to enrich his compressed theoretical statement with clinical material from the psychoanalysis of patients. In that case he would have synthesized a metapsychology of time derived from the reciprocal interaction of theory and practice.

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