20 Pages


Recognition, intersubjectivity and the Third

This book develops the basic ideas of an intersubjective psycho -analysis organized around the idea of recognition. In contrast to the time when I first strove to formulate a theory of intersubjectivity—that wide-angle perspective that describes psychic processes and the growth of minds in terms of their reciprocally knowing interaction—it is now a dominant rather than marginal view in psychoanalysis (see Benjamin, 2016a). Intrapsychic theory, focused on the properties of one mind, has been modified and reoriented in light of the notion of intersubjectivity. We now think in terms of the interpenetration of minds, conscious and unconscious, even mirror neuron to mirror neuron. The implications of an intersubjective psycho analysis have been revolutionary. They extend not only to clinical process, where the awareness of the analyst’s participation and use of her own subjectivity has reorganized our practice, but more broadly to our entire view of human development and social bonds.