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Peto, A. (1977). A Model of Archaic Thinking Based on Two Formulations of Freud. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 58:333-344.

(1977). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 58:333-344

A Model of Archaic Thinking Based on Two Formulations of Freud

Andrew Peto


I have endeavoured to demonstrate in this paper that the synthetic function of the ego as conceived by Nunberg, who included the concept of a variety of defence mechanisms, consists in two basic autonomous ego functions: fragmenting negative hallucination and fusing positive hallucination. Under normal conditions they operate silently; however, under pathological conditions in severe borderlines and in psychotics and deep regressions in the transference, they may become manifest. I have suggested a completed primary model of thinking, combining Freud's model of 1900 with his suggestion in 1915. This model consists in the harmonious or disharmonious oscillations of the two above quoted operations. Beyond the thought model I have attempted to relate them to clinical phenomena in general. Positive hallucination causes the fusing and merging of images and mental representations in general. Negative hallucination, through manifesting itself in the clinical phenomena of fragmentation, relates to the clinically observable signs of hiatuses and disintegrations in thinking and the haphazard disconnexions in the emergence of mental representations and of the accompanying affects and feeling moods.

Finally, I have referred briefly to the significance of these assumptions for transference and countertransference in the therapeutic situation.

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