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Hewison, D. (2002). Internet Discussion Forum Summary. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(2):331-332.

(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(2):331-332

Internet Discussion Forum Summary

Summarized by David Hewison

‘Memories, fantasies, archetypes: an exploration of some connections between cognitive science and analytical psychology’ by Jean M. Knox

(J. Anal. Psychol., 2001, 46, 4, 613-35)

After an initial difficulty, the revised system for posting contributions to the Internet Discussion Forum has proved itself to work well. Despite the late start to the discussion itself there has been a regular stream of comments about Jean Knox's paper from the USA and from Europe. The paper seems to have inspired two particular kinds of comment: the first about the relationship between empirical science and the more qualitative approaches to meaning found in analytical psychology; the second about the relationship of the individual to others - not least important of which is the relationship between baby and mother. Mixed in with both of these is the vital question of how communication across differences is possible.

Angela Connolly from Italy began the discussion by welcoming the exciting possibilities for investigating the internal world of object relations and unconscious fantasy that attachment theory and cognitive science have to offer those who are prepared to undergo the painful process of reviewing and, if necessary, abandoning some of their cherished theories and preconceptions. She pointed out, however, that there may also be limitations in what these scientific approaches themselves can offer. She asked, ‘Can we simply limit the formation of the child's inner world to the internalization of real experiences and real relationships or is there something else, something much more intangible but nevertheless effective?’ She felt that the ‘something else’ was the contact between the unconscious of baby and mother (and father), indicating that this realm was not simply one for investigation by either the rational or the humanistic sciences but was also the realm of the irrational and the unknown.

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