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December 2006

Some Thoughts on Mental Organization, the Word and the Leap of Faith from Clinic to Culture

The arrival of neuroscience, evolutionary and developmental sciences on the psychoanalytic scene has livened things up a bit. Just as Albert Szent-Gyorgyi played with edges of physical and biological sciences, analysts have new edges between biological science and the psyche to explore. We have additional levels of organization on which we can focus--neurotransmitters, neural networks, affective systems or neural correlates of consciousness itself--if we think that study will yield the greatest understanding of mental and emotional suffering. Can we welcome all disciplines to the psychoanalytic hunt yet stay alert to the evils of reification, deification, oversimplification or reduction? I think so, if we can trust our psychoanalytic process and keep our noses to the trail...

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