1 The Given and the Made

A Constructivist View

The great challenge for psychoanalysis has always been the problem of the given and the made. Somehow we must negotiate the dual claims that experience is discovered, that it is structural and preexists our knowing of it, and that it is entirely understandable in phenomenological terms, by means of grasping the process of understanding itself. At issue in psychoanalysis are nothing less than our conceptions of mind and experiencing: consciousness, the unconscious, the defenses, the nature of representation and interpretation, and the kind of significance we attribute to language. The concept of unformulated experience, which takes center stage in chapter 2 and holds it throughout the book, is the ...

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