chapter
9 Pages

Forms of vitality and other integrations

Daniel Stern’s contribution to the psychoanalytic core 1
WithSeligman Stephen

From its beginnings, psychoanalysis has located itself in relation to the broadest array of sources, ranging from the fine arts, through politics, culture, and history, to the natural and social sciences. Shifts in scientific paradigms, especially in physics and neurobiology, have undercut some of the assumptions on which the original Freudian metapsychology was based, and philosophical and political currents, from hermeneutics and feminism, for example, have dislocated some of the original methodological certainties. Not surprisingly, Freud was explicit about the value of consilience with other fields, especially the natural and physical science. Two developmentalists tackling broader questions, Erikson and Winnicott, have been among the handful of Freud’s most eloquent successors in this regard: as I have said, developmental thinking lends itself to such applications to basic questions, since it looks at whole persons and also at very young ones, who are often thought of as offering clues to the question of what is most fundamental in human motivation and organization.