Click here to download

Indice, icona, simbolo? Può la classificazione di Peirce essere utile in psicoanalisi?
Journal Title: PSICOANALISI 
Author/s: Riccardo Steiner 
Year:  2008 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  50 Pg. 61-110 FullText PDF:  331 KB

Index, Icon, Symbol? Can Peirce’s Descriptive Classification be of any Use to Psychoanalysis? The author of this paper describes and explains from the clinical and theoretical viewpoint the existence of an intermediate state between what the Kleinians call symbolic equation, and true symbolization. To support this initial hypothesis, he presents some emblematic clinical vignettes regarding the oscillation between quasi or absolute de-symbolization represented by the symbolic equation in psychotic disorders, and symbolization. The author maintains that all borderline syndromes could be seen in this way, and he emphasizes the need to interpret this oscillation to the patient in order not to incur a confusional generalization. Following a theoretical examination of the origin of the notion of symbolic equation, and by means of a few Kleinian observations - although limited to the first years of life - the author suggests the theory of symbolization of the American philosopher and semiologist W. Peirce as a valuable instrument for reflection; in particular, the use of Peirce’s notion about semiotic tripartition as it was interpreted and developed by the great linguist and communications theorist R. Jakobson. Particularly important is the notion of iconicity that the author attempts to link to certain observations of Bion. The last part of the paper regards a suggestion to re-consider, on the basis of semiotic teachings, Bion’s alfa function as a kind of semiotic function potentially active since birth that would help the infant to gradually organize all the various signs and signals of preand non-verbal communication (perceptive, acoustic, olfactory, etc.).

Riccardo Steiner, in "PSICOANALISI" 1/2008, pp. 61-110, DOI:


FrancoAngeli is a member of Publishers International Linking Association a not for profit orgasnization wich runs the CrossRef service, enabing links to and from online scholarly content