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Scott, W.M. (1948). A Problem of Ego Structure. Psychoanal Q., 17:71-83.

(1948). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 17:71-83

A Problem of Ego Structure

W. Clifford M. Scott, M.D.

The problem of the nature of the 'reality ego' in contrast to the 'pleasure ego' is of interest chiefly for three reasons: first, it is related to attempts to clarify our conception of early development and the implications of early development on all stages of later life; second, such a problem furnishes, I think, a fruitful field for coöperative research among embryologists, neurologists, psychiatrists and psychoanalysts; third, and most important reason for discussing this problem, is my increasing conviction that a new orientation to what has been previously formulated as the relation between the bodily and psychic egos is necessary. No attempt is made to discuss id or superego problems in any way. There has been a gradual enlargement of the psychoanalytic views of the importance of what is unconscious and of what can become conscious. We have created difficulties for ourselves by trying to clarify a relationship between the psyche and the soma, between the body and the mind, between the psychic ego and the bodily ego almost as if this relationship is real in the same sense that the relationship between one ego and any other ego is real. I have come to the conclusion gradually that more progress may be made if psychoanalysts attempt to view this division between the psychic ego and the body ego as symptomatic of a splitting which may not necessarily be egosyntonic.

During our lifetime the conceptions which determine our view of the world and what happens in it have altered markedly.

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