Triangulation, one's own mind and objectivity.Int J Psychoanal. 1998 Jun; 79 (Pt 3):449-67.IJ
Some psychoanalysts now hold that an intersubjective model of the mind and of the analytic situation renders the ideas of truth, reality and objectivity obsolete. Arguing from a position of sympathy with this model, the author contends that nevertheless both a real, shared, external world and the concept of such a world are indispensable to propositional thought, and to the capacity to know one's own thoughts as thoughts, as a subjective perspective on the world. Without the idea of an objective world with which we are in touch and which we attempt to be more-or-less objective about, any so-called intersubjectivist model collapses into the one-person paradigm. The author traces a certain developmental line in twentieth-century philosophy that supports an intersubjective view, a line that shows the place of the normative ideas of truth and falsity, right and wrong, in the advent of mind; it attempts to disentangle the concept of truth from an authoritarian view that was implicit in Descartes; it points out connections, and a difference, between the view of triangulation that it argues for and the views espoused by a number of psychoanalysts. Some implications of this intersubjectivist position for psychoanalytic practice are considered; for instance: the interrelations between the analyst's third-person knowledge of her patient, and the patient's developing understanding of himself; and what the concept of unconscious fantasy presupposes.