Event Theory: A Piaget-Freud Integration

Event Theory: A Piaget-Freud Integration

Event Theory: A Piaget-Freud Integration

Event Theory: A Piaget-Freud Integration

Excerpt

Integrations of Piagetian and psychoanalytic psychology have tended to view Piaget as providing a theory of cognitive development which usefully contributes to the understanding of phenomena formulated in psychoanalytic terms. Rapaport set the stage for such integrations when he included papers by both Hartmann and Piaget in his Organization and Pathology of Thought (1951) and, in his extensive notes, suggested areas of congruence between them.

Hartmann's style of presenting his model of ego psychology (1958) invites a particular way of integrating the two theories. He urges that psychoanalytic theory focus not only on the conflict between structures (id, ego, and superego), but also on the ways in which individuals come to terms with their environment. It should attend not only to conflict but to conflict-free spheres of the ego which serve reality adaptation. These conflict-free spheres include ego apparatuses which serve perception, memory, motility, and so forth. They do not develop, initially, in infants unaware of their surround, but, from birth, guarantee the relation of human beings to their environment. Conflict-free spheres originate not in the drives, but in inborn mechanisms autonomous of the drives, and develop by maturation and experience rather than by conflict and defense.

Hartmann, consequently, proposes two lines of development. One concerns affective and interpersonal growth and consists in the development of drives by conflict and defense originating in an infantile period of narcissistic unawareness of the environment. The other line of development concerns such functions as perception, memory and motor skills. It originates in inborn mechanisms other . . .

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