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Meltzer, D. (1981). The Kleinian Expansion of Freud's Metapsychology. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 62:177-185.

(1981). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 62:177-185

The Kleinian Expansion of Freud's Metapsychology

Donald Meltzer


This lecture, delivered extemporaneously, recorded and edited, is a précis of the book, The Kleinian Development(1979) which consists of three sets of lectures, delivered over a period of years at the Tavistock Clinic. These were devoted to the clinical aspects of the work of Freud, Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion. Although this lecture has been oriented towards the philosophical problem of meaning, to meet the requirements of the audience at University College, London, its basic undertaking is to trace the implicit and explicit models of the mind utilized in clinical work by these three masters. The central thesis is that the three models of the mind, the neurophysiological one of Freud, the quasi-theological one of Melanie Klein and the epistemological one of Bion, can be superimposed upon one another to form a continuous line of development. This line develops an apparatus for mental life which embraces meaning and emotion within the framework of a structural concept of the mental apparatus, allowing for a limitless area of discourse concerning an infinitely variable non-causal system with a capability for growth beyond the scope of Darwinian evolutionary modes.

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