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작성자  simonshin 작성일  2017.01.12 11:25 조회수 1173 추천 0
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 신현근 박사: 사고에 대한 급진적 수정 이론  
첨부파일 : f1_20170112112530.pdf
 

과목: 무의식적 환상의 역할

주제: 사고에 대한 급진적 수정 이론

강사: 신현근 박사

내용: 강의안

교재: Ogden, T.H. (2011). Reading Susan Isaacs: Toward a Radically Revised Theory of Thinking. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 92:925-942.

Reading Susan Issacs: Toward a Radically Revised Thoeory of Thinking


1.      Abstract

1.1.   The author views Isaacss (1952) paper, The nature and function of phantasy, as making an important contribution to the development of a radically revised psychoanalytic theory of thinking. Perhaps Isaacss most important contribution is the notion that phantasy is the process that creates meaning, and that phantasy is the form in which all meanings - including feelings, defense ‘mechanisms,’ impulses, bodily experiences, and so on - exist in unconscious mental life. The author discusses both explicit formulations offered by Isaacs as well as his own extensions of her ideas. The latter include (1) the idea that phantasying generates not only unconscious psychic content, but also constitutes the entirety of unconsciousthinking; (2) the notion that transference is a form of phantasying that serves as a way of thinking for the first time (in relation to the analyst) emotional events that occurred in the past, but were too disturbing to be experienced at the time they occurred and (3) a principal aim and function of phantasy is that of fulfilling the human need to get to know and understand the truth of ones experience.

1.2.   The author concludes by discussing the relationship between Isaacss concept of phantasy and Bions concepts of alpha function and the human need for the truth, as well as the differences between Fairbairns and Isaacss conceptions of the nature of unconscious internal object relationships.

 

2.      Overview<a name="p0926"></a>

2.1.   A good deal of the importance of Isaacss (1952) contribution lies in her groundbreaking conception of the work of phantasy, which she clearly and systematically presents. And yet, I find that much of what makes Isaacss contribution pivotal to the development of psychoanalytic theory in the 20th and 21st centuries resides in what is only implicit in her paper. Specifically, it seems to me that Isaacs does not fully recognize that her paper is not a paper about the nature and function of phantasy, but a paper about the nature and function of phantasying, that is, it is a paper primarily about thinking as opposed to a paper about thoughts. I attempt in my discussion of Isaacss paper to extend ideas that she introduces in light of subsequent contributions to analytic thinking.

2.2.   It seems to me that Isaacss conception of the role of phantasy in the internal world contributes to a profound revision of the central psycho-analytic metaphors for the workings of the mind, that is, the replacement of Freuds structural model with a model of an inner world structured by phantasied internal object relationships. Moreover, I view Isaacss contribution as anticipating aspects of Bions (1962a1962b) theory of thinking. What I attempt to do in this paper is to explicate the radical nature of Isaacss revision of analytic theory, and, at the same time, to articulate what Isaacs knew, but did not know that she knew. What makes for a timeless paper in any discipline is the way in which it is not only an original statement of present understandings, but also constitutes a memoir of the future. Isaacss paper, to my mind, is such a paper.<a name="ijp.092.0925a.h00001"></a><a name="h00001"></a>

 

3.      Isaacss Aims and Methodology

3.1.   Isaacs (1952) indicates at the outset that she “is mostly concerned with the definition of ‘phastasy’” (p. 67), and “is not primarily concerned to establish any particular content of phantasy” (p. 68); instead, she will address “the nature and function of phantasy as a whole, and its place in the mental life” (p. 68). While she intends to demonstrate that “the activity of phantasy [occurs] from the beginning of life” (p. 69), she recognizes that this “does not automatically imply accepting any particular phantasy content at any given age” (p. 69). Thus, Isaacs refuses to get mired in the controversy concerning what the infant is thinking or when a particular phantasy first occurs, but instead to focus on “the activity of phantasy,” an activity that I believe is more accurately expressed in the verbal form – phantasying.

3.2.   Isaacss (1952) inferences are made on the basis of three principles that she articulates: (1) “the need to attend to the precise details of a childs behaviour” (p. 70); (2) “the principle of noting and recording the context of observed data … the whole immediate setting of the behaviour being studied, in its social and emotional situation” (p. 71), e.g. the external reality with which the infant is interacting; and (3) the principle of “genetic continuity” (p. 74).

3.3.   The third of these principles holds a place of special importance in the construction of Isaacss argument. She demonstrates that the development of a childs physical capacities and mental functions (for example, learning to speak and to walk) can be observed to have their origins in earliest infancy. Speech development begins with the earliest sounds the infant makes (for instance, when he is hungry or feeding) and develops by means of a combination of continuous growth and by means of “crises” (p. 74) such as the childs achieving the capacity to speak its first words.

3.4.   The principle of genetic continuity is critical to Isaacss argument that the infant begins to generate unconscious phantasies from the earliest days of life.

3.4.1.      The established principle of genetic continuity is a concrete instrument of knowledge. It enjoins upon us to accept no particular facts of behaviour or mental processes as sui generis, ready-made, or suddenly emerging, but to regard them as items in a developing series. We seek to trace them backwards through earlier and more rudimentary stages to their most germinal forms …(Isaacs, 1952, p. 75)

 

4.      Phantasy as Unconscious Thinking

4.1.   Isaacs (1952) then turns her attention to her greatly expanded conception of unconscious phantasy. I speak of Isaacss conception of phantasy, as opposed to Kleins conception, because I believe that Isaacs was, in ways, a better analytic theorist than was Klein. (Klein [19461955], for example, was never able to offer a definition of projective identification with the clarity and detail that Isaacs brings to her definition of phantasy.) Rivière (1952), in countering the idea that Isaacss understanding of phantasy was, to a large extent, her own original contribution, stated that Isaacss conception of phantasy “was consistently taken for granted by Klein throughout her work” (p. 16, fn 1). I find this a telling comment. There is a vast difference between taking an idea “for granted,” and carefully, systematically explicating and developing an idea, garnering evidence for it, and spelling out its implications for other aspects of analytic theory, all of which Isaacs does in her paper.

 

5.      Phantasy as Unconscious Psychic Reality

5.1.   To this point in Isaacss paper, the meaning of the term phantasy has (largely implicitly) been extended to include both unconscious psychic content and unconscious thinking. But this is just one aspect of Isaacss expansion of the meaning of the term phantasy. She now goes on to say that Klein (and Freud) used the word phantasy to refer to unconscious mental activity (a fact that Strachey underscored by using the ph spelling of phantasy in the English translation). The reality of unconscious experience has “its own objectivity as a mental fact” (Isaacs, 1952, p. 81). In other words, psychic ‘reality’ (the reality of unconscious phantasy) is no less real than external reality. Isaacs offers here a brilliantly lucid explanation of the emphasis that Kleinians place on the reality of unconscious phantasy - it is not “‘merely’ or ‘only’ imagined, as something unreal, in contrast with what is actual” (p. 81).

 

6.      Phantasy, Symbolic Meaning and Unconscious Self-Reflection

6.1.   Isaacs, in the 1943 version of her paper, quotes and endorses Rivières (1936) definition of phantasy as “the subjective interpretation of experience” (Isaacs, 1943a, p. 41). This conception of phantasy holds profound significance with regard to the way one understands unconscious mental life. If phantasying (unconscious thinking) is the “subjective interpretation of experience” in both the internal and external object worlds, phantasying necessarily involves both a perceiving aspect of self and an aspect of self that interprets (is capable of rendering symbolically meaningful) what one is experiencing. Rendering ones experience symbolically meaningful is entirely different from responding (e.g. fearfully or boldly) to an experience. For example, ethologists have demonstrated that chicks only a few days old - that have never seen any other species of animal - are capable of differentiating between the wing patterns of predatory birds and those of non-predators. On sighting a real or simulated predatory wing pattern, the chicks scurry for cover (Lorenz, 1937Tinbergen, 1957). This constitutes an instinctual recognition of, and response to, ‘a sign’ in that the wing pattern holds a one-to-one correspondence to the predatory bird. The response to a sign constitutes an altogether different form of thinking from that involved in interpreting symbols and attributing personal meanings to them (for example, attributing personal meaning to the sight of a child waiting at a street corner). Phantasying, for Isaacs (and, for Rivière), is an interpretive act and, as such, involves an interpreting subject who mediates between what one is perceiving (for example, a real child on a street corner or the image of a child in a dream) and the (unconscious) personal symbolic meanings (i.e. the phantasies) one creates from ones perception.

 

7.      Phantasy and Psychic Development

7.1.   Another of the original contributions Isaacs makes in her discussion of phantasy is in the area of the relationship of phantasy to the development of the mind as a whole. As discussed earlier, Isaacs believes that phantasy is not simply the ‘mental expression’ of instinct. In addition, “All impulses, all feelings, all modes of defence [much of which presents itself in sensory/ bodily form] are experienced in phantasies which give them mental life and show their direction and purpose” (Isaacs, 1952, p. 83). It seems to me that this aspect of Isaacss conception of the role of phantasy - that of transforming sensory/bodily experience into elements of ‘mental life’ - anticipates Bions (1962b) concept of alpha function. Alpha function is an as yet unknown set of mental operations (a form of thinking) that transforms raw sense impressions into elements of experience (alpha-elements) that can be linked in the process of dreaming, which, for Bion (1962a), is synonymous with unconscious thinking. For Isaacs (1952), instinct - a bodily event that is experienced at first in sensory form - must undergo a transformation before being “experienced as phantasies which give them mental life” (p. 83). While Isaacs does not name that transformative function, her concept of phantasy activity is, I believe, akin to Bions alpha function, i.e. phantasying is a mental function (a form of thinking) that transforms sense impressions associated with instinct into a mental form that can be linked to create personal, psychological meaning. An important difference between Isaacss concept of phantasying and Bions alpha function lies in the fact that, for Isaacs, the raw sense impressions that are transformed derive largely from instinct, while, for Bion (1962a), the raw sense impressions derive from lived emotional experience in the internal and external world.

 

8.      Phantasy and Knowledge of Reality

8.1.   Having discussed Isaacss conception of the interplay of subjective and objective reality, there remains a major theoretical problem that Isaacs must address which has to do with the source of knowledge inherent in the content of the phantasies she is attributing to the infant. Isaacs is well aware of the problem and addresses it directly:

8.1.1.      It has sometimes been suggested that unconscious phantasies such as that of ‘tearing to bits’ would not arise in the childs mind before he had gained the conscious knowledge that tearing a person to bits [by biting and tearing] would mean killing him or her. Such a view does not meet the case. It overlooks the fact that such knowledge is inherent in bodily impulses as a vehicle of instinct, in the aim of instinct, in the excitation of the organ, i.e. in this case, the mouth.(1952, pp. 93-4)

8.2.   Isaacs is not proposing that knowledge of the workings of the external world is present at birth (the Lamarckian fallacy), rather, that: “Knowledge is inherent in bodily impulses” (1952, p. 94). I would suggest that Isaacs is here adumbrating developments in linguistics, most prominently, Chomskys (19571968) notion of the deep structure of language. Chomsky proposes that we do not inherit the capacity for speech, but we do inherit, in biological form, the deep structure of language which serves to organize sensory experience (the perception of the sounds of speech) into a language that has a grammatical structure and the potential to be used to create verbally symbolic speech as well as the capacity for reading and writing. Freud (1916-17), like Isaacs, proposes that there is a set of universal “primal phantasies” (pp. <a href="http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=se.016.0241a#p0370" target="_blank">370-71</a>) (for example, the threat of castration and the seduction of children). But neither Freud nor Isaacs could account for the way in which the knowledge of external reality that is inherent in “primal phantasies” and “bodily impulses” is acquired in the absence of experience in the real world.

 

9.      Phantasy and the Need to Know

9.1.   Isaacss conception of phantasying is deeply rooted in Kleins (1930) concept of the epistemophilic instinct and in the relation of that impulse to symbol formation. (Isaacs makes specific reference to “the epistemophilic impulse” [p. 304] in the 1943 version of her paper, but, puzzlingly, does not do so in the 1952 version.) In the final portion of her 1952 paper, Isaacs develops the idea that the symbolic function of phantasy “builds a bridge from the inner world to interest in the outer world and knowledge of physical objects and events” (1952, p. 110). Phantasying promotes and sustains “the development of interest in the external world and the process of learning about it” (p. 110). “The power to seek out and organize knowledge [of the external world] is drawn” (p. 110) from phantasy activity. So, it could be said that, for Isaacs, a major force driving phantasy activity (unconscious thinking) is the need to get to know the real world, both external and internal, and ones relation to it. Phantasy is a principal vehicle for what Saul Bellow (2000) calls that “deep human need … for reading reality - the impulse to put your loving face to it and press your hands against it” (p. 203).

9.2.   Bion (1962a1962b1970) develops Kleins idea of the epistemophilic impulse and Isaacss idea that phantasy (unconscious thinking) is inherently knowledge-seeking into an idea that the human need to know the truth of ones experience is the primary impetus for thinking. A “sense of reality matters to the individual in the way that food, drink, air and excretion of waste products matter” (Bion, 1962a, p. 42). Unconscious thinking (‘phantasy activity,’ in Isaacss terms; ‘dreaming,’ in Bions terms) is inherently directed toward bringing reality to bear on the process of coming to terms with ones emotional problems: “without [unconscious] phantasies and without dreams, you have not the means with which to think out your problems” (Bion, 1967, p. 25). Here, Bion makes explicit the idea that phantasying (unconscious thinking) underlies the psychological capacity to cope with ones emotional problems.

<a name="p0938"></a>9.3.   In sum, phantasying - from the vantage point of human psychology colored by epistemophilic (truth-seeking) needs - is not simply an effort to manage the tension of excess sexual and destructive impulses; in addition, phantasying is a form of thinking aimed at coming to understandings necessary for solving the emotional problems generated in response to lived emotional experience. This conception of unconscious phantasy activity is a highly ‘personal’ theory of psychological development in that phantasying is seen as an attempt to get to know the truth of ones experience, an activity that involves developing personal, idiosyncratic ways of being curious, different sorts of getting to know, forms of doing something with what one is learning, and individual ways of using what one is coming to understand in the process of becoming who one is.

 

10.  Isaacss and Fairbairns Differing Conceptions of Phantasy

10.1.                    I find that Isaacss conception of phantasy is clarified by comparing it with Fairbairns. The term ‘object relations theory’ is commonly used in a way that encompasses both Kleins and Fairbairns work. It seems to me that to do so conflates radically different conceptions of the internal object world and of the role of phantasy in that ‘inner world.’ Fairbairn (1943) responded to Isaacss 1943 paper in a letter read at the Second Discussion Meeting:

10.1.1.  I cannot refrain from voicing the opinion that the explanatory concept of ‘phantasy’ has now been rendered obsolete by the concepts of ‘psychical reality’ and ‘internal objects’, which the work of Mrs Klein and her followers has done so much to develop; and in my opinion the time is now ripe for us to replace the concept of ‘phantasy’ by a concept of ‘inner reality’ peopled by the ego and its internal objects. These internal objects should be regarded as having an organized structure, an identity of their own, an endopsychic existence, and an activity [a capacity for thinking and feeling] as real within the inner world as those of any objects in the outer world. To attribute such features to internal objects may at first seem startling to some; but, after all, they are only features which Freud has already attributed to the superego [in Mourning and melancholiaFreud, 1917]. What has now emerged is simply that the superego is not the only internal object [i.e. split-off portion of the ego]. (pp. 359-60)

10.2.                    For Fairbairn, the internal object world is not a world constituted by phantasy (“which is an ideational process” [Fairbairn, 1943, p. 359]). Internal objects are not ideas - they are split-off parts of the ego with which the internal world is “peopled” (a striking word choice on Fairbairns part). Internal object relationships are actual interpersonal relationships between split-off and repressed sub-organizations of the self (ego) (Fairbairn, 1944) (see Ogden, 19832010a, for discussions of Fairbairns conception of internal object relationships). These relationships are not phantasied relationships, they are “as real within the inner world as those of any objects in the outer world” (Fairbairn, 1943, p. 359). Fairbairn, I believe, would say that people in “the outer world” do not phantasize their object relationships, they engage in them and experience them - which is also the case for the objects that “people” the unconscious inner world. “The concept of<a name="p0939"></a> ‘phantasy’ is purely functional” (Fairbairn, 1943, p. 360), that is, phantasying is an ego function: an activity of the main body of the ego/self (which Fairbairn [1944] calls the central ego) and its split-off and repressed sub-organizations. I would put the central difference between Isaacs and Fairbairn regarding phantasy and internal objects in the following terms. For Isaacs, internal objects are the product of phantasying; for Fairbairn, phantasying is the product of internal objects (i.e. internal objects are the thinkers doing the unconscious thinking).

10.3.                    Fairbairn and Isaacs differ in their understanding of phantasy in another important respect. Though Isaacs broadens the concept of phantasy to include not simply giving mental representation to instinctual impulses, but also to giving mental representation to other types of experience, there remains in her work a strong emphasis on instinct as the principal source (beginning in earliest infancy) of unconscious desires, impulses, feeling states, and ways of organizing and understanding ones experience in the internal and external world. By contrast, for Fairbairn (1944), instinct-driven phantasying is not the principal source of the infants response to lived experience with the mother (and the rest of external reality); rather, the infants first encounter with the world is his response to the real mother (who is inevitably both a satisfactory and an unsatisfactory object). The infants experience of emotional deprivation is a real experience, not a phantasy (for even the best of mothers sometimes misreads her infant, at other times withdraws emotionally, and at still other times exhausts her capacity to meet her infants needs).

 

11.  Concluding Comments

11.1.                    Isaacss conception of phantasy served, and still serves, as a transition from the ‘Freud-Klein era’ of psychoanalysis in which emphasis is placed on the meaning of thoughts (what we think) to the ‘Winnicott-Bion era’ in which emphasis is placed on the way we think. Isaacs had one foot in each of these eras.

11.2.                    The principal importance of Isaacss paper, it seems to me, is to be found in her idea that phantasy is the process that creates meaning, and is the form in which all meanings - including feelings, defense ‘mechanisms,’ impulses, bodily experiences, and so on - exist in unconscious mental life. In addition to this fundamental way of reconceiving human ‘inner life,’

11.3.                    I find that there are in Isaacss work other important implications for a revised theory of thinking that are left to the reader to develop.

11.4.                    My own extensions of Isaacss ideas include (1) the idea that phantasying generates not only unconscious psychic content, but also constitutes the entirety of unconscious thinking; (2) the notion that transference is a form of phantasying that serves as a way of thinking for the first time (in relation to the analyst) emotional events that occurred in the past but were too disturbing to be experienced at the time they occurred; and (3) the idea that a principal aim and function of phantasy is that of fulfilling the human need to understand the truth of ones experience.


 
 
 
 
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