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The Private Self

by Arnold H. Modell

  • ISBN: 9780674707528
  • ISBN10: 0674707524

The Private Self

by Arnold H. Modell

  • List Price: $57.50
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/1993
  • ISBN: 9780674707528
  • ISBN10: 0674707524
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Description: The concept of the self is the subject of intense debate in psychoanalysis - as it is in neuro-science, cognitive science, and philosophy. In The Private Self Arnold Modell, a leading thinker in American psychoanalysis, studies selfhood from the inside by examining variations on the theme of the self in Freud and in the work of object relations theorists, self psychologists, and neuro-scientists. His significant contribution is an interdisciplinary perspective in formulating a theory of the private self. Modell contends that the self is fundamentally paradoxical in that it is both dependent and autonomous - dependent upon social affirmation, but autonomous in generating itself from within: we create ourselves by selecting values that are endowed with private meanings. (Modell presents an extensive view of these self-generative and self-creative aspects.) The private self is an embodied self: the psychology of the self is rooted in biology. By thinking of the unconscious as a neurophysiological process and the self as the subject and object of its own experience, Modell is able to explain how identity can persist in the flux of consciousness. In arriving at his unique synthesis of psychoanalytic observations and neurobiological theory, Modell draws on the contributions of Donald Winnicott in psychoanalysis, William James in philosophy, and Gerald Edelman in neurobiology. The Private Self boldly explores the frontier between psychoanalysis and biology. In replacing the "instinct-driven" self and the "attachment-oriented" self with the "self-generating" self, the author offers an exciting and original perspective for our understanding of the mind and the brain.
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