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Shane, M. Shane, E. (1994). Chapter 19 Discussion of “The Myth of the Isolated Mind”. Progress in Self Psychology, 10:257-262.

(1994). Progress in Self Psychology, 10:257-262

Chapter 19 Discussion of “The Myth of the Isolated Mind”

Morton Shane, M.D. and Estelle Shane, Ph.D.

The chapter by Robert Stolorow and George Atwood represents a continuation and elaboration of the creative efforts of these authors, along with other colleagues, most notably, Frank Lachmann, Daphne Stolorow, and Bernard Brandchaft. That is, while the emphasis here is on an entirely new conception, the myth of the isolated mind, the language and associated ideas are familiar to anyone who has followed the innovative and often persuasive formulations of these authors. The theme of self psychology reflecting on itself is certainly not new to them, particularly to Robert Stolorow, who earlier (1986) wrote a cogent paper designed as a criticism of self psychology from an insider's view. Their chapter in this volume extends and deepens Stolorow's earlier criticisms, and, more importantly, puts forward alternative perspectives directed at correcting the same conceptual flaws, flaws to be found not only in self psychology but, more obviously, in psychoanalysis in general and even in science as a whole. The insidious, pervasive, and disabling myth of the isolated mind as articulated by Stolorow and Atwood is indeed a new discovery of theirs, and in the context of their complaint they offer us new ways to understand old dilemmas about how to conceptualize the human psyche.

Yet this current work is not a radical departure from the ideas they have been elaborating for over a decade, and we hope we do not disappoint them when we say that nothing articulated here truly surprises us, that, in fact, they have prepared us well for this precise and logical extension of their overall theory.

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