chapter
4 Pages

Intersubjectivity today

The orientation and the concept
WithSeligman Stephen

Around the turn of the twenty-first century, developmental ­psychoanalysts and neuroscientists argued that there is an “intersubjective motivation system,” as basic as the attachment or sexual motivations (Emde, 1988a; Stern, 2004; Tomasello, 1999; Trevarthen, 1993; among others): there are structures at every biopsychosocial level that prepare and organize human life in relationships with other people who recognize, respond, and communicate together—cells, brains, bodies, dyads, families, cultures. Emerging findings and concepts from apparently divergent fields began to move toward intersubjectivity theory, including approaching their empirical data from psychological, philosophical, and psychoanalytical perspectives. These include cognitive neuroscience, affect studies, developmental research, attachment theory, and ethology, as well as much of psychoanalysis.