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Vergopoulo, T. (1996). Panel Report: Bion's Contribution To Psychoanalytic Theory And Technique: Chaired By León Grinberg. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:575-577.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:575-577

Panel Report: Bion's Contribution To Psychoanalytic Theory And Technique: Chaired By León Grinberg

Thalia Vergopoulo

In his introduction the Chairman, León Grinberg, underlined the new dimension in which Bion placed psychoanalytic theory and technique. Among other things, he mentioned that Bion ‘in observing the patient, believed that the analyst must combine the disciplined curiosity of the scientist, the warmth of the humanist, the wisdom of the philosopher and the sensitivity of the artist’. Grinberg is also well placed to say that the difficulty that some people experience in reading Bion is caused by the novelty of the ideas introduced rather than by obscurity of expression.

The first panellist, Elizabeth Tabak de Bianchedi, whose paper was entitled ‘From objects to links: discovering relatedness’, described the significance of the ‘linking function’, or the ‘link’. According to her, the linking word is more important in Bion's theory than the ‘objects’ linked. The ‘mind’ may be understood by examining the various disturbances in linking. Quoting Frege (1848-1925), the founder of modern logic who has most contributed to this century's philosophy through his influence on Russell, Carnap, Wittgenstein and Husserl, she set out the distinction between ‘objects and functions’. Everything we talk about is either an object or a function, and all linguistic expressions are either names or functional expressions. Names are complete or saturated, and design an object; functional expressions are incomplete, or unsaturated, and design a function.

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