Journal title PSICOANALISI
Author/s Riccardo Steiner
Publishing Year 2008 Issue 2008/1 Language Italian
Pages 50 P. 61-110 File size 331 KB
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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, Indice, icona, simbolo? Può la classificazione di Peirce essere utile in psicoanalisi? in "PSICOANALISI" 1/2008, pp 61-110, DOI: