Psychoanalysis and the Body–Mind Problem

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Abstract:

In this paper I have tried to clarify some of the differences between on the one hand ordinary doubts and uncertainties that are part and parcel of the psychoanalytic process, and on the other hand the sort of doubt that Socrates called ‘aporia’, that is, philosophical and conceptual. I have described one point at which philosophical doubt may creep into psychoanalytic thinking on body/mind issues. I presented a psychoanalytical model of the mind, based largely on Bion and Anzieu, in which mind is seen to be emergent from a body–mind nexus, to which we may, under pressure, regress. I elaborated this by reference to an example of my own somatisation, and to Anzieu's theory of a skin ego. Finally I made some comparisons between philosophical solutions to anxieties arising both in the mind/body area and in general epistemology, and psychoanalytic approaches to similar anxieties in life.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9329.00201

Affiliations: brearley@globalnet.co.uk

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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