Insight: Seeing or Telling?
DOI link for Insight: Seeing or Telling?
Insight: Seeing or Telling? book
This chapter lays out some theoretical implications of our using the term insight to refer to psychoanalytic understanding of our "inner" and "deeper" selves and those of other human beings. Our everyday language and our psychological and philosophical language are saturated with visual-spatial metaphors for thinking, rethinking, understanding, and sometimes even communicating. Psychoanalysts often formulate the way they work and their "findings" on the untenable basis of unqualified positivism—the "seeing is believing" orientation to truth and fact. In their clinical work, however, analysts typically do not function as philosophical realists, though they may talk as though they do, as by preferring "it is" over "it seems" and "it must" over "I believe". That way the analysand is not implicitly encouraged to ignore the interpreting analyst's orientation to the seemingly tangible internal world of unconscious mentation, which is the world of things that we believe plays so large a part in all our lives.