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Lake, D.A. (1987). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVIII, 1983: Freud's Use of Metaphor. Jonathan T. Edelson. Pp. 17-59. Psychoanal Q., 56:409-410.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVIII, 1983: Freud's Use of Metaphor. Jonathan T. Edelson. Pp. 17-59

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:409-410

Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVIII, 1983: Freud's Use of Metaphor. Jonathan T. Edelson. Pp. 17-59

David A. Lake

Edelson addresses Freud's scientific use of metaphor, studying his writings in the light of modern philosophical reflections on the structure of metaphor. Metaphor is the essence of scientific theory, an approximate representation of the unknowable structure of reality, an approximation to the reality of mind. A metaphor expresses an interactive analogy, a structural correspondence between two subjects. The primary subject and the ideas evoked by it (its implicative complex) contribute to our sense of the meaning of the secondary subject, which in turn enhances the meaning of the primary subject. Edelson traces the role of metaphor in unifying and differentiating the central theories of psychoanalysis, themselves metaphors. Metaphor is uniquely related to the dream: condensation, displacement, and considerations of representability create "fresh parallels," acceptable to censorship. Edelson discerns three central types of metaphor in The Interpretation of Dreams: language and textual, weaving and tapestry, and pathway, each an aspect of the central metaphor of mind as a woven network of thought. In analyzing a dream, we progressively replace inadequate metaphors, those that are highly disguised and condensed, with a series of less disguised and, temporarily at least, more adequate metaphors as we proceed toward the dream's latent content. This dynamic use of metaphor can be characterized as syntonic if each succeeding metaphor adds to the previous body of metaphor without replacing it, and as diachronic where the new metaphor is discontinuous with the old, subsuming or replacing it. In psychoanalytic theory-building, the

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structural model diachronically supersedes the topographical model, while syntonically coexisting with it over different domains of mental life.

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Article Citation

Lake, D.A. (1987). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVIII, 1983. Psychoanal. Q., 56:409-410

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