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Discussion of the place of metapsychology in Winnicott’s work

The International journal of psycho-analysis | 18 Apr 2015

L Fulgencio
Abstract
Girard has recently shown how Winnicott supplies metapsychology with factual foundations. In this article, starting from an analysis of Winnicott’s assertion that metapsychological terms give the appearance of understanding whereas such understanding does not exist, the author upholds, on the one hand, the idea that metapsychological theorization corresponds to a speculative superstructure of psychoanalysis which is simply a set of auxiliary theoretical constructions aimed at describing the phenomena and their relations; and, on the other, that in psychoanalysis there is the proposition of a factual theorization comprised of concepts that are not proposed as being of a speculative nature, a theorization that claims to offer a succinct description of the phenomena and their relations. In a dialogue with Girard, Green, and Assoun, the author proposes that there is reason to distinguish two types of referents for the term metapsychology: one speculative and the other factual. That being so, it is possible to affirm that Winnicott rejected speculative metapsychological theorization, thereby indicating a distinction that can contribute to carrying out the task of integrating knowledge (factual) derived from several theoretical systems of psychoanalysis.
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Concepts
Cognition, Knowledge, Psychology, Proposal, Abstraction, Concept, Logic, Truth
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