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Jacoby, M. (1983). Comment On ‘Ego and Self: Terminology’ BY J. W. T. Redfearn. J. Anal. Psychol., 28(2):107-109.

(1983). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 28(2):107-109

Comment On ‘Ego and Self: Terminology’ BY J. W. T. Redfearn Related Papers

Mario Jacoby

For J. Redfearn to set himself the arduous task of attempting to clarify, both for himself and for the reader, the present confusion regarding the differing ways in which the concepts of ego and self are understood is an undertaking of great merit. In many ways, I feel, he has succeeded admirably—so far as any success in such an attempt is feasible at all; and I am in agreement with most of the differentiations he makes and in particular with his suggestion that the ‘self’ in the Jungian sense should be distinguished from all other senses by writing it with a capital ‘S’, a distinction already made by Nathan Schwartz (SCHWARTZ 2). German-speaking writers would, however, have to make the distinction in another way as Selbst (self), being a noun in German always requires a capital letter.

Redfearn's paper is a stimulus to further thoughts and intuitions. However, as one of the principal motives which led him to write his paper seems to stem from the fact that the popularity of Kohut's work on narcissism and the self makes it particularly urgent for Jungians to clarify their use of the terms ‘ego’ and ‘self’, I want, in this comment, to focus on arguing against his idea that Kohut's concept of the self is more or less identical with the ego as used in a Jungian sense. In doing this we are bound to be led again into confusion, much as I hate to spoil the relative clarity of Redfearn's distinctions.

I do not think though that Redfearn could have made so clear-cut a distinction if he had taken into account Kohut's last book, The Restoration of the Self (KOHUT 1).

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