The Work of Alfred Lorenzer

An Introduction

AutorIn: Tobias Schaffrik
Themenbereiche: Theoretische Grundlagen
Textsorte: Artikel
Releaseinfo: Course: MSc 'Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies' 30.08.2001 (revised for publication 11.10.02)
Copyright: © Tobias Vollstedt, geb. Schaffrik 2002

1 Introduction

Lorenzer, the man with the Interpretation of Dreams in the one hand and the Capital in the other hand, has not yet found his way to Britain. Although he has left an enormous oeuvre (König 1987), his work is not discussed in the English speaking world. It is the aim of this essay to give an introduction to the main parts of his work in order to show that a translation of his work is needed. It will be argued that his theory may serve as a frame of reference in overcoming the split into groups of contemporary Freudians, Independents and Kleinians.

Stemming from the philosophical tradition of the Frankfurt School (Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse, and, partly, Fromm) Lorenzer's contributions can be situated in the context of the dispute on neo-positivism, a discussion that affected all human sciences in former West-Germany during the late 1950ties and 1960ties (Adorno et al. 1969, Habermas 1968). His concept of 'scenical comprehension' was meant to overcome the dichotomy of explaining and understanding (Wright 1971) and to develop a third epistemological position in-between these two poles. His view on psychoanalysis was heavily informed by the central question the Frankfurt School discussed: How does the structure of society interact with the structure of personality and vice versa? Besides this theoretical orientation, Lorenzer referred for instance to Erikson and his study on the Sioux Indians in order to illustrate his theoretical claims (Erikson 1950; Lorenzer 1972a, 33-34). The reader will discover that Lorenzer's view goes beyond the so-called 'culturalists' like Fromm, for example.

Part two of this essay aims at a reconstruction of Lorenzer's line of argument: In trying to formulate an answer to the question 'What is the analyst doing during the session?' (ch. 2.1), Lorenzer discusses Loch's contributions and concludes that neither logical comprehension, i.e. explaining (ch. 2.2), nor empathy, i.e. understanding (ch. 2.3) can reach the unconscious. An examination of the psychoanalytic concept of 'symbol' (ch. 2.4) leads to a reformulation of the freudian concept of drives, i.e. to the theory of interactionforms (ch. 2.5). Linking his insights, Lorenzer gives an account of repression (ch. 2.6). With this conceptual foundation, it is possible to formulate an answer: the analyst applies 'scenical comprehension' (ch. 2.7). In chapter 3, it is argued that Lorenzer's meta-theory might serve as a tool for interpreting the clinical theory of the kleinian school. A draft is laid out on how to reformulate the theory of positions, (pre-) conceptions, confusional states in schizophrenia and, finally, projective identification in lorenzerian terms. A thorough mediation would go beyond the scope of this work. Nevertheless, it is argued that Lorenzer's meta-theory might serve as a shared frame of reference for different schools of thought.

It must be stressed again that this essay is meant to be an introduction. Lorenzer argues in favour of the hermeneutic aspects of psychoanalysis, which suggests a link to the US-Intersubjectivist-tradition. This trace is not followed in this essay, which does neither cover Lorenzer's foundation of applied psychoanalysis, his works on the history of psychoanalysis, his theory of architecture, nor his discussion of the truth of psychoanalytic knowledge.

The term 'interactionform' is a one-to-one translation of the German 'Interaktionsform'. The translation 'forms of interaction' (Hoppe 1977, Dreher 2000, 89) is not used here because it has a slightly idealistic connotation: what is meant is not the pure form of an interaction. In fact, Lorenzer always stressed the fact that the interactionform as well as the connected symbol have a neurological precipitate in the human organism: memory traces of sense-impressions and motoric actions, the so-called engramms (Lorenzer 1972a, 106-108).

2 The Analytic Process

The aim Lorenzer set himself was to overcome the scientific isolation psychoanalysis found itself and still finds itself in. In his view, an interdisciplinary approach depends on a shared frame of reference and therefore psychoanalysis can not confine itself to circular argumentations, for example by explaining 'repression' by means of the term 'unconscious' and vice versa. (Lorenzer 1970a, 45). Such a 'closed frame of reference' simply does not allow for an interdisciplinary exchange. What is needed, according to Lorenzer, is a dialectical negotiation (Hegel) of the central concepts. Obviously, such a discussion has to go beyond pure psychoanalytic theory, thence the subtitle Preparations for a Metatheory of Psychoanalysis (13-14). Such an endeavour, the building up of a psychoanalytic metatheory that reflects on the scientific status of psychoanalysis, can only be tackled by psychoanalysts themselves due to the specific relation between theory and practice, that characterises psychoanalysis (47). A criterion for the appropriateness of a metatheory can be seen in the extend to which it is coherent with the theory itself and in its extend to which it allows for an understanding in colloquial terms (48).

Due to the specific relation between theory and practice in Psychoanalysis, a metatheory can not merely focus on pure theory. It is a striking phenomenon that psychoanalysts work within the same setting, i.e. the couch, but nevertheless come to contradictory conclusions regarding the scientific status. Thence, a metatheory has to begin with the question: what happens in the consulting room?

2.1 Competing Theories and Criteria to be met

To begin with, the most prominent concepts in discussions on the scientific status of psychoanalysis are maybe the notions of understanding and explaining. According to Thorner and Kuiper, psychoanalysis is a psychology based on understanding in the sense of Dilthey (51, c. Thorner 1963, 685), while for Loch, following Loewenstein and Hartmann, psychoanalytic interpretations are of an explaining character (Loch 1965, p. 37). Despite these differences, both parties define a supplementary role for the opposing term (Lorenzer 1970a, 51).

Following Loch, for instance, 'understanding' is applied, firstly, in following the patient's verbal communications and, secondly, when an interpretation is given in the words of the patient. The heart of psychoanalytic technique, the interpretation itself, is nevertheless based on explanations. The development of an interpretation rests on explanatory functions within the analyst. From this follows that in its essence, psychoanalytic interpretations are explanations, i.e. that psychoanalysis is a natural science (51-52). Lorenzer summarises Loch's view as follows:

"A mother reports that she is alarmed by the condition of her child's health. She worries and sees herself being forced to reduce the child's play-activity and its striving for independence. ... The doctor refers to this as an 'overprotection' (semantic interpretation - Loch). The process of translation consists of two steps - given we respect the introduced rules without exception:

The analyst understands the verbal communication of the patient due to a shared language.

He names the understood with a name stemming from his scientific language.

Loch goes on and elaborates on the propositional part of the interpretation, aiming at an explanatory concept for the behaviour captured in the first part of the process. ... In the propositional part of the interpretation it is stated that 'basically the mother rejects her child'. The propositional part of the interpretation contains a 'motive', a 'law-like statement' as Loch puts it in using G. Ryle's words." (55-56*)

Looking closer at Loch's solution of the dichotomy of understanding and explaining, this conclusion might appear invalid. Lorenzer examines the role of hypotheses and follows Binswanger:

"Paying tribute to the 'experienced contextual connections', one has to take into consideration Binswanger's words: 'while a psychology that starts from an understanding of the unmediated experiences of a context ends with a hypothesis, a psychology following the model of natural sciences begins with a hypothesis.' " (Lorenzer 1970a, 53-54*)

Attention is drawn to the fact that normally, the 'relevant data' that is translated into the scientific language is not found in one sentence. Normally, the 'relevant data' has to be extracted from several comments of the patient. If this is the case, how does the analyst spot this data? The possible answer would be that he has got already a hypothesis in mind that allows him to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant 'data'. Obviously, the term 'overprotection' already includes a specific hypothesis that is applied in the step of translating the behaviour of the mother into a scientific language. From this would follow that the first step is not a proper understanding anymore. Rather, in terms of Binswanger, this first step would be an explanatory one because there is a hypothesis involved (Lorenzer 1970a, 57).

Examining the explanatory 'propositional' aspect, Lorenzer comes to the conclusion that what Loch describes as an operating with theoretical hypotheses can be applied to an 'unscientific understanding' of the emotional state of another person as well. Here then, no scientific hypotheses are involved and one ends up in describing the same process Loch investigates as a kind of 'understanding'. Lorenzer summarises that Loch's approach is full of hidden questions. Still, the question 'How do we understand another's psyche?' remains unanswered.

Further problems do arise: There seems to be evidence that a great deal of the process of forming an interpretation happens preconsciously. Lorenzer quotes form a case-presentation at the Sigmund-Freud-Institut where the consensus was formed that in the presented case, the hypothesis was wrong but the given interpretation was correct (63). He links this insight to Isaacs' statement:

"We perceive the unconscious meaning of the patient's words and conduct as an objective process. Our ability to see it depends, as I have said, on a wealth of processes in ourselves, partly conscious and partly unconscious." (Isaacs 1939, 150)

A theory of interpretation that is based on hypothesising cannot account for this circumstance. Following the psychoanalytic consensus, the process always starts with a certain kind of 'understanding' (Lorenzer 1970a, 68). Explanations only serve as a substitute for a proper understanding (77). Putting it this way then, at least one problem has to be solved: according to Hartmann,

"understanding (in the sense of sympathetic experience of actual mental events) encounters its necessary limits ... in the unconscious life of the mind" (Hartmann 1927, 389)

A theory based on 'understanding' has to give a precise account of how 'understanding' evolves and of how the Unconscious can be reached by 'understanding'.

2.2 Logical Comprehension and the Experience of sudden Evidence

If one looks at the classic setting (couch) it strikes one that it is the worst possible set up for observations of behaviour. Rapaport's statement that the object of psychoanalysis is behaviour (Rapaport 1959, p. 39) therefore cannot be interpreted in 'behaviourist terms'. The only behaviour that can be observed is verbal communication (Lorenzer 1970a, 80-81). Furthermore, 'objective external observations' are considered to be a distraction from the psychoanalytic stance. Contrary to every other science, there is no way of gathering 'objective data' that could be applied for validating hypotheses. Since Freud had abandoned the theory of seduction and began to focus on the psychic reality of the patient, the question of factual truth ('did it really happen that way?') was somehow suspended. Lorenzer draws attention to Wittgenstein's early theory of language and demonstrates a parallel (Wittgenstein 1921, 4.021, 4.022, 4.024, 4.026).

During the session, the analyst focuses on the verbal communications of the patient in order to understand what the patient is saying. This logical comprehension is based on a formation of a Gestalt. The first prove of reliability can be called an 'experience of sudden evidence'. Anni Reich has described this phenomenon already:

"Frequently the analyst can observe that insight into the material comes suddenly as if from somewhere within his own mind. Suddenly the confusing incomprehensible presentations make sense; suddenly the disconnected elements become a Gestalt. Equally suddenly, the analyst gets inner evidence as to what his interpretations should be and how it should be given." (Reich 1951, p.25)

It has to be stated that this process of validation happens within the analyst who becomes aware of this process and its sudden result (Lorenzer 1970a, 87). Lorenzer summarises a first thesis:

"The content of the other mind is experienced as a fabric of sense. The experience happens within the analyst as an 'experience of sudden evidence' of a logical comprehension. The experienced reality is the reality of the presented symbols forming the verbal communications." (89*)

Obviously, this depends on a shared language of analysand and analyst. Lorenzer states that the understanding does not happen by means of shared meanings. In a first step, a sentence is understood. Yet, the precise meaning of each word still has to be found out. While the language is shared, the meanings of words still are somehow 'private' phenomena (93):

"Its element, the word ... does not, like a substance, purvey something already produced, nor does it contain an already closed concept; it merely provokes the user to form such a concept under his own power, albeit in a particular way. ... The idea evoked by the word in different people bears the stamp of each one's individuality, but is designated by all of them with the same sound." (Humboldt 1836, 151-152)

An example can illuminate this. A patient says to his analyst "Yesterday, I had an argument with my boss!" This sentence is understood, but the precise meanings of the word 'boss', for example, are not shared. The analyst applies his own meanings on a trial-basis (Lorenzer 1970a, 91). The concept 'boss' is understood by remembering own scenes and experiences with one's own (maybe even former) 'boss'. This, of course, defines the over all task: the analyst has to find out about the patient's own meanings.

The only way to do this is to conclude the specific meanings from the whole of the patient's symbolic system, his whole language forming an overall fabric of sense (92). The whole language of a person is an articulation of this person's experience (95). In a single session, the analyst listens with a free-floating attention and tries to get the Gestalt of the whole communication. He does not follow each single sentence but looks for the underlying Gestalt that is expressed by means of several different communications. In listening to the patient, the analyst, step by step, builds up a picture of the whole symbolic system of the patient and its individuality. Slowly, he grasps the specific meanings of the patient's words. This method, concluding the single meaning form the overall context, is the classic hermeneutic circle (95).

Lorenzer summarises that due to the essential connection of a sentence to the state of affairs (Wittgenstein 1921, 4.03), the inter-subjective character of sentences is at the same time an inter-subjectivity of 'experiences of world' (Lorenzer 1970a, 98).

"As we are already understood by means of sharing sentences about the logical structure of the world, with each single spoken sentence the understanding about the meanings is widened. With each further step, meaning is circled in closer and closer. This opens up a road towards building up a stable system of symbols that captures the specificities of this patient by means of general concepts - and finally, although it appears to be a very long but nevertheless possible way, there seems to be a way to include the factual reality of this patient as well, a reality Wittgenstein's remarks aim at." (99*)

Although it seems indisputable that psychoanalysis rests on hermeneutics, we can now formulate the problem already addressed by Hartmann more precisely: Reliable knowledge about the content of another's mind can only be achieved by means of logical comprehension to the extend the community of speech is defined. The Unconscious, per definition, is excluded from this community; it lies outside the borders of language (100). The way psychoanalysis reaches unconscious content still lacks explanation

2.3 Empathy and the Experience of Sudden Evidence

Can empathy cross the border to the Unconscious? A clinical example might shed light on this problem:

"The patient makes the verbal communication: 'I am sad'. We are not yet sure whether he really is sad. Accompanying the verbal communication, we hear a sound that can be understood as either maybe a strangled sob or maybe a suppressed laughing. We see that he wipes off some tears and, in turning his head, maybe we get a short glance of a facial expression that, in the context of all the other perceptions, we can only interpret to our selves as a sad one. We are sure that the patient is sad - or that he has got a convincing talent for acting." (101*)

Several aspects of the role of empathy in the clinical situation can be seen in action here: the emotional state of the patient is communicated by means of gestures. Their specific meaning is left open as it is in the case of logical comprehension. The question of truth is suspended here as well. We get a first glimpse of the specific meaning because it is embedded in a 'dramatic plot'. After several hundreds of sessions, we then know enough about the biography to confirm specific meanings (101).

Nevertheless, even in the case of empathy in a single session, we do have moments of 'sudden evidence'. They relate to the gestures. We understand their sense without knowing whether the expressed emotional state is 'true'. Acting rests on this differentiation: actors can communicate emotions by means of gestures without necessarily experiencing them as their own. Nevertheless, the depth of emotions displayed on stage thrills the audience (102). Lorenzer links his view with aspects put forward by G. H. Mead on the role of gestures (Mead 1934). Although Mead's theory could be challenged in several views, it is this aspect that Lorenzer picks up to support his argument: even in the case of gestures, and that is the case of empathy as argued above, we do not go beyond the boundaries of 'being understood', of successful communication. Empathy does not enable us to reach unconscious content, excluded form communication. Again, we are facing the same situation encountered in the realm of logical comprehension:

"In the case of empathy, we face a disjunction of the question of sense and factual truth, too. Similar to the (formal) correspondence of a proposition, communication takes place by applying stencils of action; the experience of sudden evidence is rooted in anticipations. The meaning of the single gesture is not validated. Empathy, too, is not able to cross the border to the Unconscious. ... In order to enable our investigation to proceed, an additional investigation has to be inserted: a critical investigation of the psychoanalytic concept of 'symbol' explaining the relation between language and unconscious content." (Lorenzer 1970a, 105*)

2.4 Critic of the Psychoanalytic Concept of 'Symbol'

Throughout the history of psychoanalysis, the different concepts of symbolism have lead to splits and gave rise to several 'dissenting' movements, as can be seen for instance in Silberer's, Maeder's, Steckel's or Jung's case (Lorenzer 1972b, 50). At the same time, the concept of symbol played a major role outside psychoanalytic circles, most prominently maybe in the works of Cassirer or Langer (Cassirer 1944, Langer 1942). Ignoring these developments, psychoanalysis entrenches itself. Marion Milner has stressed this already in the context of this discussion (Milner 1955, 105-106). Psychoanalysis, of course, would not be well advised to give up central claims just to be able to communicate with other scientific disciplines:

"And indeed, one has good reasons to ask for intra-psychoanalytic evidence that a concept, of the centrality and well-introduced status as the notion of 'Symbol' is, does not any longer serve its purpose and that a revision of this concept is unavoidable. Only when it can be demonstrated that the conceptual revision is useful for psychoanalytic thinking itself, that it is useful not only for purposes of communication, the revision is well justified." (Lorenzer 1972b, 51*)

In the work of Freud, Lorenzer detects three different concepts of 'symbol'. In the early writings, a symbol was a mere indication of an incident that was repressed. The focus was on the temporal indication and not on the meaning of it (Freud 1895, 348-350; Lorenzer 1970b, 13-14). The second concept focused on a kind of internal similarity between what is reported and what is acted out. Freud reports from a lunch with a colleague, who, while talking about a missed job opportunity, let a piece of cake drop from his knife (Freud 1901, 201). The third concept of 'symbol' can already be found in the Interpretation of Dreams (Freud 1899, 354-357). The symbol proper is characterised by a constant, universal meaning (Lorenzer 1970b, 20-21). It represents unconscious content, is based on the early development and phylogenetic parallels can be found, as Freud later stated. (Freud 1916-17, 149-169).

The idea of a 'trans-individual language of the unconscious' became more and more important. Jung picked up this motive and, following Silberer, developed this idea further (Lorenzer 1970b, 21). The ontological orientation led back to the myth-like ideas prominent during romanticism (23). The implicit 'danger' can be described like this: a) symbols have got a constant and trans-individual meaning; b) symbols are manifestations of the unconscious. From a) and b) follows that the unconscious is independent from the subject and that one might perceive the unconscious as an essence that reveals itself in symbols (25). It was Ferenczi who criticised this and put forward a functional concept of the unconscious (Ferenczi 1912, 277-8; 1913, 393-4). Jones' paper (Jones 1916) settled the discussion to a certain degree (Lorenzer 1970b, 30).

"All psycho-analytical experience goes to shew that the primary ideas of life, the only ones that can be symbolised - those, namely, concerning the bodily self, the relation to the family, birth, love, and death - retain in the unconscious throughout life their original importance, and that from them is derived a large part of the more secondary interests of the conscious mind. As energy flows from them, and never to them, and as they constitute the most repressed part of the mind, it is comprehensible that symbolism should take place in one direction only. Only what is repressed is symbolised; only what is repressed needs to be symbolised. This conclusion is the touchstone of the psycho-analytical theory of symbolism." (Jones 1916, 158)

Obviously, symbolisation was back in the realm of the subject again. The ontological view was dismissed and symbolism was connected to the primary process. This was an attempt to solve the problem posed by a functional concept of the unconscious, namely the distinction between unconscious, preconscious and conscious (Lorenzer 1970b, 34).

However, this lead to severe difficulties in communicating with other disciplines. For Ernst Cassirer, a neo-kantian philosopher, a mathematical equation was the most sophisticated symbol. Myths, symphonies (music) or just normal language were interpreted as 'symbolic forms' (Cassirer 1944).

"Language has often been identified with reason. ... side by side with logical or scientific language there is a language of poetic imagination. ... Reason is a very inadequate term with which to comprehend the forms of man's cultural life in all their richness and variety. But all these forms are symbolic forms. Hence, instead of defining man as an animal rationale, we should define him as an animal symbolicum." (28)

By means of a symbol, things can be imagined and a response to a stimulus can be delayed, a development beautifully described in case studies on Laura Bridgeman and Helen Keller (36-37). Langer develops this theory of culture (or anthropology) further and picks up the concept of presentative and discursive symbolism, both forming a continuum of symbolic expressions (Langer 1942). A similar trend took place in other disciplines as well, e.g. in developmental psychology, semantics or logics (Lorenzer 1970b, 41). These evolving views were strictly opposed to Jones' theory of 'true symbolism', in so far as they suggested different levels of symbolformation instead of narrowing down the notion to unconscious processes.

While Jones, coming from a drive-theory informed background, stressed the influence of the id, especially within ego psychology, new developments took place. Anna Freud perceived the ego as a structuring agency and the id as an energetic potential (Freud, A. 1936); Kris developed the concept of 'regression in the service of the ego' (Kris 1953) and Melanie Klein already put forward the view that symbolism was the origin of sublimation (Klein 1923, 1930). Although most of these authors more or less tried to avoid an open conflict with Jones' view, they implicitly departed from it (c. Lorenzer 1970b, 56). It was only in the 1960ties that opposing views were explicitly formulated:

"The assumption of Jones that only what is repressed needs to be symbolized is clearly erroneous." (Hacker 1965, 78)
"Symbolism is a basic attribute of human behaviour and not an archaic, frustrated, repressed, regressive, primitive, or defective form of expression." (Hacker 1965, 92)

Lorenzer summarises the new concept as being based upon an internal perception of content stemming from the unconscious. He compares this process of internal perception with studies from Ploetzel on subliminal influences, which proved that the stimuli were internally processed but still different from the ego' s capacity to perceive (Lorenzer 1970b, 66-67; Freud 1899, 181).

How can this new view be integrated without threatening the central concept of the Unconscious? Following Arlow (1958), Lorenzer states that 'primary process' refers to thought processes as well as to energetic processes. The primary process as a lower level of 'thought-organisation' refers to free, mobile energy, while secondary process as a higher level of 'thought-organisation' (intentional thinking) refers to stable cathexis and neutralised energy. Applying Arlow's differentiation to the problem at hand, it becomes obvious that the theory of a two-fold thought-organisation (Jones) is due to a methodological mistake. If one examines symbolisation form an energetic point of view, one comes to the conclusion that it is linked to the Id. If one examines symbolism from the functional point of view (where does symbolism take place?), one comes to the conclusion that it is linked to the ego. To solve this dichotomy, Lorenzer suggests the term 'primary organisation', that is not defined through an agency (Lorenzer 1970b, 70):

"Basically, for symbolformation we have to assume two centres at the same time. Depending on the type of question, one or the other centre is focused. If the processes of symbolformation are discussed the ego necessarily becomes the centre of the investigation even within Psychoanalysis. If the dynamic-energetic concept is stressed in the course of the investigation, eo ipso the Id is focussed. While to an epistemo-psychological consideration the ego appears to be the central agency of the psychological subject, the id-contents being (beneath others) the objects of perception, a dynamic psychology turns around and in its dynamic-energetic frame of reference the Id is perceived as an energetic centre from which the cathexis reaches out for the representations." (Lorenzer 1970b, 70-71*)

In dreams, for instance, several dynamic influences can be identified: external or bodily processes, day-residues, recalled content, and, last but not least, the Unconscious. Symbolisation takes place in the Ego under specific influence of the Unconscious (Lorenzer 1970b, 71). Otherwise, inventory dreams like those of Descartes or Kekulé would lack explanation (73-77).

2.5 Interactionforms as Representations

The discussion of the psychoanalytic concept of symbolism has demonstrated the need to discuss the theory of representations, a concept belonging to the dynamic-energetic frame of reference of 'classical' metapsychology. Lorenzer examines the view of Beres (1965), who more or less identifies symbols with representations (Lorenzer 1970b, 90). In so far as unconscious symbols are, according to Beres, a contradiction in itself, unconscious representations are dismissed as well. Lorenzer points out that this claim does not fit to psychoanalytic experience, namely because it is a consensus that in the course of an analysis, repressed representations are worked through and become conscious (93). Although unconscious representations lack the characteristics of symbols, they can still be cathected.

To solve this problem, Lorenzer differentiates between symbols and interactionforms. Reformulating drive-theory in terms of interactionforms, Lorenzer goes beyond the so-called Freudo-Marxists like Reich, Bernfeld and others in stressing the practical dialectics in nature as opposed to human beings and at the same time in stressing the dialectics of nature human beings themselves are (10). Focussing on primary socialisation, Lorenzer states that emotional processes are to be dealt with first, before 'higher' functions like thinking can be conceptualised (24). These emotional, affective processes hint towards vicissitudes of drives, i.e. object-relations. Following the psychoanalytic consensus, Lorenzer examines the role of the mother-child-dyad (m-ch-d), which is the abbreviation of 'relationship of the infant with its primary object in a specific culture at a specific time' (26). In the m-ch-d, the first need-regulation takes place in the form of an intimate co-operation. Its precursors are organismic intrauterine stimulus-reaction patterns that are formed long before any kind of infantile capacity to experience can be detected. These early stimulus-reaction-patterns are the first structures that are built up and everything new has to be adopted to the already existing structures, how ever undifferentiated or purely organismic they may be (27, 28).

The post-natal drive-regulation can be characterised as an interaction between two opposing organisms. A successful physiological agreement on a need-satisfaction must be understood as a specific interaction between the two poles of the conflictual relationship. The resulting successful interactional agreement is meant to be a sublation that preserves the original tensions (Hegel). From this point of view, the m-ch-d is best understood as a dialectic relationship in which both organisms have to adjust to each other. To illustrate an unsuccessful agreement, Lorenzer refers to the work of R. Spitz (34-36; Spitz 1951). The developing drive-regulation unfolds in a scenical interplay and leads to an individual profile, laid down in the infantile organism as interaction-engramms. Future satisfactions have to meet these existing interactional structures of drive-regulation. Form and content of the drive-regulation determine future experiencing.

If the preceding stimulus-reaction-patterns formed during pregnancy are understood to be a kind of continuum, how can a dialectic relationship evolve from this continuum? A temporal structuring happens already in the womb, due to periods of stimuli (e.g. sounds etc.) and undisturbed satisfaction. The spatial differentiation takes place in birth. Due to physiological maturation, the continuum slowly develops into a relationship between two organisms (Lorenzer 1972a, 41-46). Yet it must be kept in mind that, although the mother-embryo-unity has ceased, the m-ch-d still is a rather undifferentiated process from the perspective of the infantile organism. Mother and infant form an interacting couple. For each type of need-satisfaction, a specific form of the interaction is developed in a dialectical process. The resulting 'scenes' are internalised as interactionforms. In the course of later development, these scenes will be differentiated into self- and object-representations. At this stage, subject and object form an undifferentiated scene, a point that cannot be stressed too much!

So far, only the natural aspect of bodily needs of the infantile organism have been considered. How does the social impact come into play? First of all, the maternal interaction is determined by the mother's own primary socialisation and therefore links the m-ch-d to the preceding generation, to the internalised social norms. The class-position of the mother is another main factor. Furthermore, the interaction in the m-ch-d can be interpreted as a form of practice. Lorenzer compares the maternal practice with the practice of a worker. In the case of a farmer, for instance, the form of production and the form of the product result from labour. Both are a struggle with nature. Applied to the m-ch-d, the infantile bodily needs represent nature. The mother's actions to meet these bodily needs are of a physical character and are therefore practice, a form of labour, the only difference being a living object in the former and an inanimate object in the latter case (49-52). In referring to Freud, Lorenzer summarises:

"The phrase, coined by altering a statement of Freud, 'the subject is the precipitate of its interactionforms' took for granted that the course of development laid out here is a distinct feature of human socialisation. Our comparison of the mother-child-dyad with the work of a farmer raising an animal could have caused irritations already. Considering the following report, our basic assumption must definetly be regarded as invalid." (53-54*)

Lorenzer quotes a passage from Lévi-Strauss (Lévi-Strauss 1955, 342-43): The description of the interaction between him and a monkey matches with Lorenzer's description of the m-ch-d as a dialectic relationship, as a mutual and practical 'agreement' on a specific interaction. Again, Cassirer's anthropology (human being as animal symbolicum) lends itself to a solution. According to Langer and Cassirer, symbols can be contrasted to signals. Language as a symbolic system allows not only for a specific type of communication, it allows for a communication about meanings themselves as well. Language as a symbolic system has its own syntax, a set of rules how words can and cannot form a sentence (Lorenzer 1972a, 56). This distinguishes language from other 'symbolic forms' like art or music. Lorenzer examines theories of meaning and formulates an underlying consensus that words and language serve several ends: 1) 'meaning' is connected to actions; not only is the word 'hammer' the name for a distinct set of shape and colour, it also implies several potential practices, for instance hitting a nail; these actions are part of the meaning of the concept 'hammer' (57); 2) words are verbal representations of emotions; 3) language is a medium in which groups are formed.

If one looks at the way a child learns language, a link to interactionforms comes into sight. A new word is learned in a specific situation: an adult hints towards a thing and utters the name of it. The child learns to pronounce the name and realises that this name only applies to a specific thing. This linguistic view can be reformulated if one equates the 'thing' that is named with an interactionform, with a distinct scene of interaction (77):

"The situation of agreement on a specific interactionform is transformed into a situation of introduction to language by means of linking an interactionform with a sound, with a phonetic complex. ... The interactionform realised in the present interaction is named. ...

  1. The mother says a word, e.g. 'Mum';

  2. With an implicit gesture, the mother therefore hints towards the interaction acquired by the child as a specific interactionform.;

  3. The child hears the word as part of the present interaction, i.e. as a designation of this interactionform;

  4. The child speaks a word - e.g. 'mum' - as part of the interaction. It is listener to its own utterance and thereby the senso-motoric circuit of speaking is formed. This mutual aspect of the experience [speaking and hearing], in the child forms the basic unity of activity and passivity from which the capacity of independent action evolves." (66-67*).

In this step, the specific interactionform is transformed into a symbolic interactionform. Only when this step has taken place, the level of 'eternal presence' of interacting is transformed into a temporal order. Scenes can be remembered or imagined because the symbol stands for the scene and the interaction itself does not necessarily have to take place. Due to the fact that a symbol is shared by others, subjects can communicate with each other by means of shared symbols. 'Things', i.e. scenes of interaction, become permanently linked to symbols and symbols have a distinct position in the overall system of language. 'Rose' has a different relation the word 'lilly' compared to its relation to the concept 'plant' (75).

How do subject and object of a scene develop from the undifferentiated continuum? Only by means of predication, i.e. the development of symbolic interactionforms, scenes can be compared with each other and slowly the child realises one more or less constant pole in the different interactionforms, namely what is later called 'Me' (80). Here, the interactional continuum is differentiated into me and not-me, into subject and object. A precursory differentiation has been formulated by Piaget: different sense-data are connected, e.g. the visual images of a bottle and the motoric activities of grabbing it. This leads towards a first differentiation of me and not-me within a specific scene and is the foundation of comparing the different poles of different interactional scenes once they are symbolised (92). Although Piaget falls prey to an implicit subjectivism (83-94), his concept of generalisation is of high importance. In the course of biological maturation, the needs of the infantile organism change. The agreements on specific interactionforms have to be renewed in each developmental stage, i.e. the meaning of words change in the course of development: 'mum' has a differnt meaning in the oral and the anal stage, because the interactionform that is symbolised is an altered one (97). The interactionforms of mastered developmental stages do not disappear but form a pool of emotional processes underlying the present symbolic interactionforms (118-119). In fact, it is not only the biological maturation that enhances development. Frustration plays a major role in differentiating interactionforms, too (97). Lorenzer summarises his approach in three drawings shown below:

Paradigm 1: warming -satisfying situation

Paradigm 2: cold-frustrating situation

Paradigm 3: warming and cold-frustrating situations

2.6 The Unconscious and Desymbolisation

Lorenzer links his view on the unconscious with Freud's concept of thing-presentation and word-presentation. The thing-presentation is interpreted as a presentation of a specific interactionform (Lorenzer 1981). In his view, the unconscious is built from interactionforms that have not been symbolised, i.e. that have not been linked to a word-presentation, and from interactionforms that have lost their connection to a word-presentation. The latter are called de-symbolised interactionforms and are an outcome of repression. The advantage of symbolised interactionforms is the fact that they can be imagined. Experiencing them is not any longer dependent on the presence of the real interaction. In the case of repression, this advantage has turned into a disadvantage. Given coherent interactionforms have been developed in the m-ch-d, there will come a time, e.g. in the genital phase, when interactionforms that will never occur at the same time can be linked to each other by means of imagination and thereby cause conflict (the classic oedipal situation). Getting rid of one of the conflicting interactionforms can only solve the conflict. A step in this direction is to cut the thing-representation from the word-representation again. This is the process of repression (118). The outcome can be described like this: the desymbolised interactionform loses its symbolic features and falls back into a stimulus-reaction-pattern. Whenever a situation occurs that triggers this interactionform, either in imagination or in external reality, the interaction follows the unconscious 'script'. This process often described as 'compulsion to repeat' takes place in the back of the subject, because the 'script' has been excluded form language, the link to language being a prerequisite for conscious perception. Furthermore, the interactionform loses its differentiation into subject and object as well. It becomes a fixed stencil of interaction, for which Lorenzer coins the term cliché (Lorenzer 1970a, 115-116; for summary of Lorenzer's view on little Hans see Hoppe 1977).

2.7 Scenical Comprehension

If repressed or unconscious material is excluded from language, why does psychoanalysis claim to be capable of making the unconscious conscious again by means of a 'talking cure'? How can the unconscious be reached and re-integrated into language if it cannot, by definition, be communicated verbally?

Before an answer can be formulated, it is necessary to further illuminate the relation between clichés and symbolic interactionforms. Lorenzer points out that cliché-dominated actions never occur unmediated. Like in dreams or slips of the tongue, a secondary revision always comes into play. In the case of actions, this can be seen for instance in rationalisations (Lorenzer 1970a, 124). He gives the following example: a patient has a got a row with his boss. He behaves kindly, i.e. in accordance to the role of 'boss'. Nevertheless, the patient has got outbreaks of rage, in which he reproduces infantile behaviour. Rationalisations ('he really is despotic'), reactions (the boss allows the authoritative father figure to evolve) and defences altogether form a scene. The patient can describe this scene; i.e. it can be symbolised. Yet it is obvious that this symbolising does not really work out (the scene happens over and over again). Why? In the scene, the patient reacts to his boss as if is he was his father. Indeed, in the description of the patient, the father does not turn up, only the boss is mentioned. In terms of representations, on might put it this way: 'boss' = boss (+ father). The name 'boss' is linked to the representation of the head of the company and, unconsciously, the representation boss is linked to the representation of the patient's father. The patient's meaning of 'boss' therefore has been changed. 'Boss' has become a 'pseudo-communicative private language' (Wittgenstein), as Lorenzer puts it, because the additional father-representation is not commonly shared as a meaning of the word 'boss' (125-126).

So far, it was argued that both, logical comprehension and empathy come into play but are not sufficient for reaching the unconscious. The former aims at understanding of what is said, the latter aims at an understanding of the speaker himself (Lorenzer 1970a, 138). The psychoanalytic stance goes beyond both modes and can be characterised as an attempt to understand the patient's utterances as comments on experiences. The patient's utterances present the experience without being a statement about the presented processes of experience. As has been argued above, experiences always take place in a kind of scenical arrangement. A very simple example from the couch could be 'I have fallen in love' vs. 'I associate Romeo, that's it' (139). While the former statement is part of a symbolic interactionform, the later presents the scene in a distorted form. In analysis, it is tried to spot the underlying situational pattern presented in the communications of the patient. Lorenzer conceptualises this stance as 'scenical comprehension'. Throughout the psychoanalytic process, scenical arrangements in the form of situations are focussed and are worked through.

Three different kinds of situations, i.e. realised scenes, can be differentiated: 1) actual situations; 2) infantile situations; 3) transference and counter-transference situations (141). In order to illustrate this classification, it is referred to the example of the patient reporting a row with his boss (actual situation). The analyst remembers a recent discussion with the analysand about the amount of sessions they have had (transference situation). The patient later on associates an argument with his father (infantile situation) (145).

"It is the interactional patterns that allow for tracing back in the most diverse experiences one and the same scenical arrangement underlying all of them." (144*)

The interactional pattern is the red thread in the fabric of scences that is spotted. The diverse situations are thread onto this string in the mind of the analyst. This process is experienced as a moment of sudden 'scenical evidence', as described in the case of logical comprehension and empathy already. Again, the scenical Gestalt is a complex and the meaning of its single constituents are still unknown (146). The analyst applies his own scenes, i.e. meanings stemming from his own biography, for an intial understanding. In an hermeneutic circle, the specific meanings, i.e. the situations stemming from the biography of the analysand, come to the fore.

Looking at the psychoanalytic technique of clarifications and interpretations, this process can be further illuminated. In the example of the patient associating 'Romeo' the presented scene is distorted by defence-mechanisms ('Juliet' is left out). The scene is an unfinished Gestalt, a fact Devereux, Kris and Lewin have pointed out already in stating that successfull interpretations complete the scene presented (168, 170). Completing the scene means:

"Uncovering the aspects of the scene that have so far been hidden. It is these aspects that hint towards those parts of the situational structures that have been warded off and have been distorted by means of defence-mechanisms ...

1) The completion aims at the restoration of the full cognitive and emotional spectrum of the psyche. It is an 'actual completion'.

2) It is accompanied by another completion with a different perspective. This one could be called 'historical completion'. Its aim is to restore along the chain of symbols the mutilated aspects of meaning stemming from the individual's biography.

Of course, both kinds of completion go hand in hand - the complete affective content of meaning of a scene can not be grasped without uncovering and working-through the historical dimension. The depth of the historical dimension can not be sounded of without unrestricted restoration of the affective content." (171*)

The analytic process sets in with the analyst trying to grasp the presented scenes. Clarifications serve the purpose to let the Gestalt of the situation evolve more clearly. This actual completion does not lift the repression: it leads the patient to provide more scenical material, some of it stemming from infancy. Here, the historical completion sets in until the original incident can be identified and interpreted (172). Only when this level is reached, the desymbolised interactionform can be linked to the correct symbol again. The compulsion to repeat comes to a halt and the specific way of relating can be integrated into the conscious self- and object-representations.

In order to conceptualise the role of countertransference Lorenzer refers back to the late Wittgenstein. A symbolised interactionform can be understood as a language game. It is a unit of life practice, usage of language and comprehension of world:

"19. ... And to imagine a language means to imagine a form of life. ...

23. Here the term 'language game' is meant to bring into prominence the fact that the speaking of language is part of an activity, or of a form of life. ...

241. ... It is what human beings say that is true or false; and they agree in the language they use. That is not agreement in opinions but in form of life." (Wittgenstein 1953)

In the case of repression, the rules of practice lose their symbolic character but nevertheless are still active. Is there a way to participate in the repressed practice directly in order to understand the rules? So far, the psychoanalytic process only focused on the psychic reality of the patient, on his system of symbols. Due to the fact that analyst and analysand do interact in the session, focussing on the 'here and now' of the transference can be understood as an unmediated participation in the language games of the patient (Lorenzer 1970b, 204-205). This unmediated participation has been discussed in psychoanalysis under the heading of countertransference:

"The comprehension of the scenes of the patient as individually structured situations, i.e. scenical comprehension, allows to perceive that part of the dramatic plot in oneself as a participant in the language game the other has lost access to. ... Vice versa, the necessary presupposition for scenical comprehension is the capacity to participate in the situation by means of an identification with either the patient himself or with a person he is in relation to." (212*)

Lorenzer links his view with statements of Anni Reich, Helene Deutsch, René Spitz, H. Racker, R. Greenson, P. Heimann etc. The analyst becomes object of the instinctual drives of the patient. He temporarily identifies with a role in the patient's situation and thereby participates in the emotions present in that scene. He understands his emotional reactions as belonging to the patient and thereby solves the identification again. His knowledge about the patient derives from a process that takes place within himself (212).

"scenical comprehension is rooted in an identification, it is based on the analyst's process of participation (via identification) in the scene of the patient, and that means: the analyst adapts to the interactional structure of the patient in order to overcome the transference position by pushing forward the process of resolution and enlightenment, by bringing his participation back to language." (213*)

":... the 'flexible emotional sense' (c. Heimann 1956) of the analyst rest on an interwovenness into the situation of the patient. The analyst participates in the scenes of the patient. He is able to understand, because he is included into the dramatic conceptions of the patient either concordantly or complementary." (215*)

This process of scenical participation and its transformation into verbalised and understood participation is a constant one through out the analysis. It may come to a halt when either there is a lack of identification or if the identification cannot be put into words, cannot be verbalised. It must be kept in mind that the whole process rests on anticipations of meaning, i.e. the analyst has to use the according part of his own personality in order to identify with the patient.

3 Critic of Lorenzer's Meta-Theory

This essay is meant to provide an introduction to Lorenzer's theories. A critic would call for a more detailed account that cannot be given here. Nevertheless, it might appear to be a valid criticism that his theories do not provide new clinical insights. In order to defend Lorenzer's position, one might stress that clinical insights were not the aim of his work, in so far as his theories were meant to be a meta-theory and not a clinical one. Following this line of argument, the reader coming from a kleinian background might question the validity of Lorenzer's meta-theory. Indeed, throughout his writings, Lorenzer hardly refers to kleinian theory, although hidden links can be detected. Even in his paper on unconscious phantasy (Lorenzer 1981), Kleinians like S. Isaacs or H. Segal are not mentioned.

3.1 Hidden Links to Kleinian Thoughts

Before implicit parallels can be formulated, it is necessary to understand the reasons for the absence of kleinian theory in the work of Lorenzer. It was his outspoken aim to give an account of the formation of subjectivity formulated in materialistic terms. A theory that appears to stress the early mental life of the infant and thereby assumes an early form of subjectivity is strictly opposed to such an approach. Due to the fact that Lorenzer does quote Melanie Klein (Lorenzer 1970b, 61), Susan Isaacs (1970a, 31, 71, 143) and Paula Heimann (143, 206, 208, 215) it must be assumed that he was familiar with kleinian theory.

Although Lorenzer's 'paradigms 1 & 2' (pp. 24-25) mention an UN-splitted continuum, they can be read as a formulation of the schizoid-paranoid position and the formation of the good and bad breast. Paradigm 3 (p. 25) could be interpreted as a formulation of the depressive position. Such an interpretation is supported by Lorenzer's concept of interactionforms as drive-representations and Isaacs view on unconscious phantasy as drive-representations (Lorenzer 1981). Unconscious phantasies are specific interactionforms, imagined or realized, following their scenical character. They can either be symbolised (as presentational or discursive symbol), de-symbolised (repressed) or not yet been symbolised. Here, the role of aggression and of the death drive would need further elaboration, as Lorenzer heavily criticsed the 'Thanatos'-concept (Lorenzer 1981).

Bion's notion of (pre-) conception (Hinshelwood 1989a/b/c) has been applied by Lorenzer as well (Lorenzer 1970a, 215, s.a.), although the reference is not made. The specific interactionforms are the conceptions that come into being by realization of pre-conceptions. In lorenzerian terms: the bodily needs of the infant are 'socialised' into specific interactionforms in the m-ch-d. Here, the notion of pre-conception appears to have a slightly different meaning, in so far as the bodily needs are stressed and not parts of the body (nipple and mouth). Furthermore, a critique of Bion's interpretation of Kant (thing-in-itself, a-priori knowledge; Bion 1962, 100-1) calls for a deeper analysis that cannot be performed here.

Another implicit link to kleinian theory comes into sight in comparing Rosenfeld's view on confusional states (Rosenfeld 1949) and Lorenzer's paper on antagonistic interactionforms in double-bind-situations (Lorenzer 1975). Rosenfeld concludes that the confusional states represent a failed differentiation between good and bad objects. Although Lorenzer's critique of the double-bind-theory stemming from communications-theory cannot be discussed here, the parallels to Rosenfeld are obvious. Referring to Spitz (1951), Lorenzer puts forward the thesis that the situation of agreement in the m-ch-d has failed, due to contradicting actions (and phantasies) of the mother. While trying to give the breast, the mother unconsciously withdraws the nipple from the infant's mouth. This interaction results in a withdrawal of the infant. The interactionforms 'good-mum' and 'bad-mum' are not formed seperately, due to the incoherent interaction.

Looking at psychosis, the defence-mechanism of projective identifcation calls for a reformulation in lorenzerian terms as well. In brief, Bion's notion of container and contained in the context of projective identification hints at a possible solution (Hinshelwood 1989b). In normal development, projective identification serves as a means of communication in early infancy. The infant communicates its emotional state in this way. The primary object contains this state and gives it back to the infant in a modified form. In lorenzerian terms, this would be part of the formation of an interactionform in the m-ch-d. As this defence-mechanism plays a major role in psychosis, it hints towards a failed practical agreement in the m-ch-d. It is not only a successful agreement that leaves a memory trace in the infant. Linking projective identification with an undifferentiated scene (no subject-object splitting), as Orban does (Orban 1976, 103), cannot serve as an explanation, given that neurotically repressed interactionforms lose their subject-object-differentiation as well.

The four examples (positions & unconscious phantasy, conception, confusional states, projective identification) demonstrate that Lorenzer's meta-theory might be able to serve as a frame of reference for kleinian thinking as well, albeit theoretical differences are obvious. It is argued here that a mediation of kleinian theory and Lorenzer's meta-theory promises to be a fruitfull endeavour.

4 Conclusion

As demonstrated above, neither logical comprehension nor empathy can explain how to reach the unconscious, for both stances rely on a state of successful communication, on a community of speech (language or gestures). The psychoanalytic notion of symbol was criticised and the concept of interactionforms was introduced in order to explain the meaning of de-symbolisation. With this conceptual foundation, the psychoanalytic stance was described as scenical comprehension, counter-transference as scenical participation leading the way to interpretations that aim at a reconstruction of language. In the last part, a draft was laid out on how to reconcile kleinian theory with Lorenzer's meta-theory.

Can this meta-theory be described as constructivist approach (Bohleber 2002)? Comparing it to the French tradition of structuralism would suggest parallels to Lacan, although Lorenzer was utterly opposed to this tradition (Lorenzer 1977). He described psychoanalysis as a critical hermeneutic approach and a method that causes practical change and therefore goes beyond the classic hermeneutic method (Lorenzer 1974, 10). Obviously, Lorenzer's metatheory has got a philosophical aspect: Not only does it provide a materialistic interpretation of Wittgenstein's concept of language game, it still is a unique analysis of the epistemological status of psychoanalysis. What else does Lorenzer's theory provide? The theory of interactionforms gives an account of the social aspect of nature and of the natural aspect of the social (Lorenzer 1988). Drive-representations are not misperceived anymore as 'pure nature': The society's influence on the individual is not merely a matter of super-ego content but also of id-content. Furthermore, the conceptual problems concerning 'symbol/symbolismen' are solved by a reformulation of the primary/secondary process. 'Compulsion to repeat' and the oedipal situation can be explained in terms of symbol-theory.

The author hopes it has become obvious in the course of this essay how deeply rooted Lorenzer's theory is in Freud. Discussing parallels to contemporary theories of mentalisation (Fonagy & Target 2002) would need a critic of Daniel Sterns contributions first. The role of memory (Fonagy 1999) and the lack of a conceptual equivalent to interactionforms in Stern's work would need further discussion. Independent theoreticians will have recognised the stress on the undifferentiated m-ch-d. For a discussion of Winnicott's concept of transitional objects, the reader is referred to Lorenzer & Orban (1978). As suggested above, kleinian thoughts seem to fit into this frame of reference as well, although mediation would be a heavy task. It follows that Lorenzer's work might provide a frame of reference to overcome the splitting into psychoanalytic schools of thought. Albeit these fruitful aspects of Lorenzer's work, there are still questions to be solved: the role of the primal scene, the nature and function of aggression, the interplay of innate schemata and scenical realisations, to name but a few. For these questions, the reader is referred to a recent publication on the occult (Niedecken 2001).

Why did it take so long for his theories to be acknowledged as unique and outstanding contributions? One reason has been mentioned above: His theory does not provide new clinical insights. Secondly, as one might guess from the style of this essay, Lorenzer's style is not very popular in psychoanalytic thinking. Clinical insights are preferred to detailed hermeneutic and conceptional research. Thirdly, his plain historic-materialistic orientation might have to do with his hesitant reception as well. In the 1970ties in West-Germany, members of the communist party were forced out of office, e.g. teachers, professors, officers etc., due to their political orientation (the so-called 'Berufsverbote'). The last analyst who tried to reconcile Marxism and psychoanalysis was Wilhelm Reich. Looking at the dynamics of the so-called 'Wilhelm-Reich-affair', the role psychoanalysts played during the Third Reich comes into sight as well (Steiner 1989, 59-62, 72-78). It seems as if the working-through of the Nazi-past is somehow connected to the perception of Lorenzer's theory. How vivid this past was even 24 years ago can be seen in the rejection of the DPV-application to host the IPA-Congress at Berlin 1981, a discussion that took place at the Jerusalem Congress in 1977. It was this development that led to a discussion of the psychoanalytic Nazi-past on a national level in Germany (Bohleber 2001).

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5 Biography

Alfred Lorenzer, born on 8. April 1922 at Ulm, took up his studies in medicine and psychology during the Second World War (Lorenzer 1970b, i) and, due to the war and a war-injury, graduated as a M.D. in 1952 (Görlich 1996, 618). Under the supervision of Ernst Kretschmar, he did his PhD, submitted in 1954 at the medical department, university of Tübingen, on the interdependence of constitution and environmental influence. He became assistant medical doctor at the psychiatric department of the University Hospital Tübingen and parallel, trained as a psychoanalyst from 1954-60 at Stuttgart, Felix Schottlaender being his training-analyst (Belgrad et al 1989, 11). His first papers were published and after three years working at the Heidelberg clinic for psychosomatic medicine led by Alexander Mitscherlich, Lorenzer joined the Sigmund-Freud-Institut at Frankfurt in 1963 (Görlich 1996, 619). A problem already faced in the 1950ties attracted his further interest:

"Although several years of psychiatric work done, I finally left the psychiatric sector and underwent a psychoanalytic training for that science was so utterly at a loss when faced with the main traumata of our times. Eager to find the riddle of the 'traumatic neurosis' being solved in psychoanalysis, I soon encountered a border as well. Here, the insight dawned on me that a solution could only be found in an 'opening up' of psychoanalysis towards Critical Theory." (Lorenzer 1985, 53 [trans.])

This became his habilitation project supervised by Alexander Mitscherlich, who at that time had established psychoanalysis at the University of Frankfurt[1]. Finished in 1967 ('The Process of Understanding in Psychoanalytic Operations'), it was submitted during winter semester 1968/69 at the philosophy department of university Frankfurt (published in two parts Lorenzer 1970a, 1970b) (Lorenzer 1970a, 41-42). In cooperation with Heide Berndt and Klaus Horn, a book on psychoanalytic views on architecture and town planning had already been published in 1968 (Lorenzer 1968). From 1971-74 he became professor for social psychology at University Bremen and received a call to Frankfurt in 1974, where he was offered a chair in sociology and was given emeritus status in 1991 (Görlich 1996, 619). During this period, he further elaborated on the theory of socialisation (Lorenzer 1972a, 1973), the second big topic following his theory of symbol (1970b) and psychoanalytic process (1970a, 1974). In a third 'round', Lorenzer developed a methodology of non-medical application of psychoanalysis, beginning with his critic of the reform of the catholic liturgy put forward at the II. Council of the Vatican (Lorenzer 1981b) and leading to analysis of culture (Lorenzer 1986). Until the early 1980ties, Lorenzer worked as a training analyst for DPV. In 1984, his research on the pre-history of psychoanalysis, i.e. mesmerism, hypnotism, Janet, Bernheim, Bertha Pappenheim etc., was published (Lorenzer 1984). In 1991, Lorenzer's fruitful theoretical work came to a tragic end: a heart attack and an undetected accompanying stroke destroyed this unique mind and in total retreat, he lived at Marburg, Germany and later on near Perugia, (Umbria, Italy). Shortly after a conference in honour of his 80th birthday at Frankfurt a.M. in May 2002, Alfred Lorenzer died on 26.06.2002.

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[1] on this topic, compare Plänkers et al. (1996), chapter 'Psychoanalyse an der Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität', pp. 461-653.

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- (1981b). Das Konzil der Buchhalter. die Zerstörung der Sinnlichkeit. Eine Religionskritik. Frankfurt a.M.: Europäische Verlagsanstalt.

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ORBAN, Peter (1976). Subjektivität. Wiesbaden: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft.

PLÄNKERS, Thomas et al. (eds.) (1996). Psychoanalyse in Frankfurt am Main. Zerstörte Anfänge - Wiederannäherungen - Entwicklungen. Tübingen: Edition diskord.

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SPITZ, René A. (1951). The Psychogenetic Diseases in Infancy: An Attempt at Their Etiological Classification. In Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. 6: 255-275.

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7 Appendix

7.1 Alfred Lorenzer: 'What is an Unconscious Phantasy'?

Summary [2]

The author examines the different meanings of 'phantsy' in Freud's writings. Abondening the theory of seduction, it is argued, Freud still held the view that phantasy and bodily processes cannot be separated. The importance of both, the rootedness in bodily processes and the specific content of drives is stressed, as can be found in Freud's concept of unconscious phantasy. Furthermore, the speculative concepts of Eros and Thantos are criticised and it is argued that here, Freud went beyond the psychoanalytic subject matter, i.e. he encountered the objective social impact on the individual. The author interprets psychoanalysis as a social science that deals with profiles of experiences. Criticising the theory of phylogenetic inheritance, the view is put forward that the unconscious is created by early interactions, beginning already on a purely organismic level in utero and thus is structured under the influence of society and culture. The concepts of symbolisation, de-symbolisation, sensual-symbolic interactionform and (speech-) symbolic interactionform are introduced in order to illuminate three meanings of phantasy: organismic interactionforms, pictorial phantasies in (day-) dreams and verbal phantasies or concepts.

Alfred Lorenzer

What is an "Unconscious Phantasy"?

From its earliest days on, psychoanalysis has had an ambivalent attitude towards the problem of phantasy. Definitely, by the huge methodological shift of the new 'science of the soul' [Seelenkunde] (c. Lorenzer1973b, chapter II and Lorenzer 1974, chapter IV), namely the focus on the associations of the patient, phantasy was all of a sudden given access to the honourable business of science. The patients were given permission to say everything that came into their mind and, even more, they were expected to do so: the approach was titled 'basic rule'. Nevertheless, permission and expectation originally were introduced under a premise that was explicitly aimed against 'phantasy'. The communications were carefully checked to what degree they were reliable witnesses to the factual state of affairs, to what degree they were correct recollections of the past. Accordingly, Freud writes in 1896:

"Doubts about the genuineness of the infantile sexual scenes can, however, be deprived of their force here and now by more than one argument. In the first place, the behaviour of patients while they are reproducing these infantile experiences is in every respect incompatible with the assumption that the scenes are anything else than a reality which is being felt with distress and reproduced with the greatest reluctance. Before they come for analysis the patients know nothing about these scenes. They are indignant to as a rule if we warn them that such scenes are going to emerge. Only the strongest compulsion of the treatment can induce them to embark on a reproduction of them. While they are recalling these infantile experiences to consciousness, they suffer under the most violent sensations, of which they are ashamed and which they try to conceal; and, even after they have gone through them once more in such a convincing manner, they still attempt to withhold belief from them, by emphasising the fact that, unlike what happens in the case of other forgotten material, they have no feeling of remembering the scenes.

This latter piece of behaviour seems to provide conclusive proof. Why should patients assure me so emphatically of their unbelief, if what they want to discredit is something which - from whatever motive - they themselves have invented?" (Freud 1896, 204)

Looking back in 1924, Freud himself evaluated his former statement as follows:

"(Footnote added 1924:) All this is true; but it must be remembered that at that time I wrote it I had not yet freed myself from my overvaluation of reality and my low valuation of phantasy." (204, original emphasis).

The reason for the original reservations against phantasy is easy to detect: Freud, the scientist who unwillingly enough had to depart from the mode of natural-scientific research at his time dominating medicine as a discipline, was eager to apply (and could not apply anything else but) those scientific rules of how to derive at knowledge [Erkenntnis] to the encounter in the consulting room. Diagnosis was meant to be a search for the cause of a suffering, the aim was a science-based therapy. However, this clear bias of a natural-scientific qualified researcher prepared the road of triumph for phantasy. Due to the fact that Freud did not give up his search for a unambivalent 'factual link' [Faktenzusammenhang] between symptom and causal event, not giving in to the first resistances he faced in dealing with this somewhat 'unhandy' subject matter, his failure gave way to a new insight: a causal connection not under the reign of crude facticity, i.e. the determination of reality by phantasy. For the unforgiving rigour that characterised Freud's attempt to build up a psychology on physiological grounds included the respect towards the uniqueness of the subject matter. The researcher was willing to stand the pain-staking contradiction between the urge for knowledge on the one hand, described 1938 by an elderly Freud looking back:

"Whereas the psychology of consciousness never went beyond the broken sequences which were obviously dependent on something else, the other view, which held that the psychical is unconscious in itself, enabled psychology to take its place as a natural science like any other. The processes with which it is concerned are in themselves just as unknowable as those dealt with by other sciences, by chemistry of physics, for example; but it is possible to establish the laws which they obey (...) This cannot be effected without framing fresh hypotheses and creating new concepts (...). They can lay claim to the same value as approximations that belongs to the corresponding intellectual scaffoldings found in other natural sciences, (...) So too it will be entirely in accordance with our expectations if the basic concepts and principles of the new science (instincts, nervous energy, etc.) remain for a considerable time no less indeterminate than those of the older sciences (force, mass, attraction, etc.)."(Freud 1940, 158-159)

and the uniqueness of the subject matter on the other hand, of which Freud from early onwards said:

"I was not always a psychotherapist, but was trained in local and electrical diagnosis like other neuropathologists, and I still find it a very strange thing that the case histories read like short stories and lack, so to speak, the serious imprint of science. I must console myself with the thought that it is obviously the nature of the material itself that is responsible for this rather than my own choice. In the study of hysteria local diagnosis and electrical reactions do not come into picture, while an exhaustive account of mental processes, of the kind we are accustomed to having from imaginative writers, enables me, by the application of a few psychological formulas, to obtain a new kind of insight into the origin of hysteria." (Freud 1950, 14-15)[3]

This contradiction is the base line all the following developments in psychoanalysis set forth by Freud himself were aimed at. It is vivid even in the myth-like fundamental notions of Eros and Deathdrive (c. Lorenzer 1973, chapter II), it can be found in Freud's correct although wrong insights in 'Totem and Taboo' (c. Lorenzer 1979) and in the dreamlike hidden allegory in his 'Moses'. Last but not least, the tension between the suffered and the experienced, within the experienced, the tension between recollection and imagination; they are all fuelled by this contradiction. We should let Freud speak for himself in detail:

"If the infantile experiences brought to light by analysis were invariably real, we should feel that we are standing on firm ground; if they were regularly falsified and revealed as inventions, as phantasies of the patient, we should be obliged to abandon this shaky ground and look for salvation elsewhere. But neither of these things is the case: the position can be shown to be that the childhood experiences constructed or remembered in analysis are sometimes indisputably false and sometimes equally certainly correct, and in the most cases compounded of truth and falsehood. Sometimes, then, symptoms represent events which really took place and to which we may attribute an influence on the fixation of the libido, and sometimes they represent phantasies of the patient's which are not, of course, suited to playing an etiological role. It is difficult to find one's way about in this. (...)

After a little reflection we shall easily understand what it is about this state of things that perplexes us so much. It is the low valuation of reality, the neglect of the distinction between it and phantasy. We are tempted to feel offended at the patient's having taken up our time with invented stories. Reality seems to us something worlds apart from invention, and we set a very different value on it. Moreover the patient, too, looks at things in this light in his normal thinking. When he brings up the material that leads from behind his symptoms to the wishful situations modelled on his infantile experiences, we are in doubt to begin with whether we are dealing with reality or phantasies. ... It will be a long time before he can take in our proposal that we should equate phantasy and reality and not bother to begin with whether the childhood experiences under examination are the one or the other. Yet this is clearly the only correct attitude to adopt towards these mental productions. They too possess a reality of a sort. It remains a fact the patient has created these phantasies for himself, and this fact is of scarcely less importance for his neurosis than if he had really experienced what the phantasies contain. The phantasies possess psychical as contrasted with material reality, and we gradually learn to understand that in the world of the neuroses it is psychical reality which is the decisive kind." (Freud 1917a, 367-368)

As we can see, Freud openly admitted to the ambiguity of his subject. On the one hand, experiences are imaginations, hallucinations, fictitious templates for reality. On the other hand, they are mimeographic copies of reality as well. After the abandonment of the theory of sexual trauma[4], i.e. after the discovery that psychoanalysis focuses on the analysis of modes of experiences rather than on events, Freud still considered these modes to have a foundation in reality. "For a child, like an adult, can produce phantasies only from material which has been acquired from one source or other" (Freud 1918, 55). Experiencing is a 'writing-down', is a registration [Niederschrift] of the real "scenes" Freud mentioned in his early paper in 1896 quoted above. Experiences are registrations that reach back into the realm of family and, even further back, into the mother-child-dyad. This 'social-psychological' perspective on the psychoanalytic subject matter did certainly not interpret the infantile process of development in sociological naive terms of a taking over of roles but rather, from the beginning on, as an 'inscription' into the body. The energetic-dynamic character of this almaganation of an external stimulus and a bodily process was described by Freud as follows.

"For we long ago traced the causal chain back through the repressions to the instinctual dispositions, their relative intensities in the constitution and the deviations in the course of their development. Supposing, now, that it was possible, by some chemical means, perhaps, to interfere in this mechanism, to increase or to diminish the quantity of libido present at a given time or to strengthen one instinct at the cost of another - this then would be a causal therapy in the true sense of the word, for which our analysis would have carried out the indispensable preliminary work of reconnaissance." (Freud 1917b, 436)

The antagonism between reality and fiction is sharpened by this stress put on the body. The fictitious phantasy like is contrasted to the concatenation of reality-influence and bodily functioning. The knowledge of "mental processes such as we are accustomed to find in the works of imaginative writers" (Freud, Breuer 1893-95, 160) contrasts to the 'natural science of the soul'. Nevertheless, at the same time, the unity of the subject matter is claimed for the analysis of nature and the interpretation of sense are not clearly separated as it is for instance according to the neo-kantian separation of natural science and cultural science[5]. Whether we see Freud's perseverance for unity as focussed on 'Instincts and their Vicissitudes' or on the meaning of the clamping together of the early infantile developmental achievements with the 'erotogenous zones' - the point of unification is always the bodily inscription of sense. The bodily transmission is understood as a fabric of meaningful situational traces. Energy and contents, instinct and idea already form a unity making up for the kernel of the personality, the Unconscious:

"An instinct can never become an object of consciousness - only the idea that represents the instinct can. Even in the unconscious, moreover, an instinct cannot be represented otherwise than by an idea. If the instinct did not attach itself to an idea or manifest itself as an affective state, we could know nothing about it. When we nevertheless speak of an unconscious instinctual impulse or of a repressed instinctual impulse, the looseness of phraseology is a harmless one. We can only mean an instinctual impulse the ideational representative of which is unconscious, for nothing else comes into consideration." (Freud 1915b, 177)

In his paper on "Hysterical Phantasies and their relation to Bisexuality" (Freud 1908), Freud introduces the unity of meaning-texture and bodily dynamics in respect to 'unconscious phantasy' in the following way:

"Now an unconscious phantasy has a very important connection with the subject's sexual life; for it is identical with the phantasy which served to give him sexual satisfaction during a period of masturbation. At that time the masturbatory act (in the widest sense of the term) was compounded of two parts. One was the evocation of a phantasy and the other some active behaviour for obtaining self-gratification at the height of the phantasy. This compound, as we know, was itself merely soldered together. Originally the action was a purely autoerotic procedure for the purpose of obtaining pleasure form from some particular part of the body, which could be described as erotogenic. Later, this action became merged with a wishful idea from the sphere of object-love and served as a partial realisation of the situation in which the phantasy culminated. [...] Hysterical symptoms are nothing other than unconscious phantasies brought into view through 'conversion';" (Freud 1908, 161-162)

Without effort, a compilation of quotes from Freud's writings could be formed, illuminating from different perspectives the interwoven identity of phantasy and bodily functions. It is noteworthy that this connection is never conducted on the cost of neither the one nor the other side or by means of a reduction of the problem, nowadays characteristic for the 'modern' psychoanalytic positivism. Phantasy is always:

- determined by contents

- scene-like unfolded into 'life-practical' dramatic figures

- part of a bodily process and

- referring to real practice in every-day life

Not only the clamping together of bodily functioning and the "psyche" according to the precise and yet vague definition of the instinct as the "concept on the frontier between the psychic and the somatic" (Freud 1915a, pp. 121-122) is put forward here. Psychoanalysis does not only present itself as natural science and hermeneutically interpreting 'science of the soul'. Instead, its subject matter is in a precise and strict sense a "social" configuration. The growing of "psychic reality" out of the practice of everyday-life, the regulative influence of phantasies, their "scenical" unfolding of experiences [Erlebnisse], in which "...someone else is invariably involved, as a model, as an object, as a helper, as an opponent;" (Freud 1921, 69)" - all these motives demonstrate that Freud's 'natural science of the soul' is at the same time in its essence a social science. "Individual psychology, in this extended but entirely justifiable sense of the words, is at the same time social psychology as well." (Freud 1921, 69).

On the other hand, we should not loose sight of the basic tenet of all psychoanalytic knowledge [Erkenntnis] (of disturbed and healthy people): the bodily 'inscription', the inscription of sense - of a social sense - into the body. The relatedness of the contents of experiences [Erlebnisinhalte] to the body [Leib] is the distinctive feature of the Freudian psychology: psychoanalysis as a science deals with the social imprint on nature and the natural imprint on the social.

Certainly for Freud, this unity of contents [Erlebnisinhalt] and life-activity [Lebenstätigkeit], of the scenical template for living and drive, of phantasising and handling is a result of a "soldering", a unification of originally separate entities. This is the inner rift present in Freud's endeavour; an unavoidable rift as it might appear on first sight, for both poles - "nature" and "culture", this pair of irreconcilable oppositions Freud never got tired to allude to from 1908 onwards - have to be seen in their interrelation without depreciating one in favour of the other or dissolving one into the other. By no means is our stress put on the instinctual nature and the content of experiences to neutralise the opposing poles, neither by interpreting instincts as content-free pure energy, nor, on the other hand, reducing the contents of experience [Inhaltlichkeit des Erlebens] to a superficial cultural-environmetalistic theory of family. Both positions have to be acknowledged in their fullest depth, a depth Freud could only beseech in mystical terms: the life-determining dialectic of nature, Eros and Thanatos (Freud 1930, 145) on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the "... the uncontrolled and indestructible forces in the human mind, ... the ‚demoniac' power ..." (Freud 1900, 614) active in the foundation of our experiencing, the Unconscious, and the "primal phantasies" (Freud 1917a, 371), according to Freud "... a phylogenetic endowment" (c. l.) stemming from the early days of man kind and therefore of archaic dignity:

"In them, the individual reaches beyond his own experience into primeval experience at points where his own experience has been too rudimentary. It seems to me quite possible that all the things that are told to us to-day in analysis as phantasy - the seduction of children, the inflaming of sexual excitement by observing parental intercourse, the threat of castration (or rather castration itself) - were once real occurrences in the primeval times of the human family, and that children in their phantasies are simply filling in the gaps in individual truth with prehistoric truth. I have repeatedly been led to suspect that psychology of the neuroses has stored up in it more of the antiquities of human development than any other source. "(Freud 1917a, 371)

Both positions, the extension of drive-theory, i.e. the opposition of Eros and Thanatos, and the appraisal of archaic inheritance, have been criticised elsewhere from different perspectives. Facing these criticisms one must nevertheless admit that the false conclusion still contains a fruitful irritation, a fact that still distinguishes Freud from the majority of his critics. In the end, the problem is the following: as psychoanalysis focuses on the analysis of experiences [Erlebnisanalyse ist], in the course of analysing it cannot go beyond the realm of these. In analysing experiences, the Freudian method reconstructs profiles of experiences and not events (although the former does hint at the latter). This matter of affairs characterises the psychoanalytic dilemma of knowledge:

- in tracing back the impairments of human beings, psychoanalysis should be able to spot the impairing social processes,

- being an analysis of experiences, psychoanalysis on its own cannot reach out for the social processes. The analysis of subjective structures has to be accompanied - externally - by an analysis of the objective structure of the over-all social context.

In an attempt to overcome this problem seemingly so easy to solve by an alliance of psychoanalytic and sociological findings, e.g. in respect to family, again the motive of the 'bodily inscription of social sense' does not allow for a superficial harmonisation. The mediation of social sense and structure of personality must not be allocated to the level of Ego- and Super-Ego contents. It must be found somewhere beyond the capacity to experience in the depth of the unity of bodily functioning and fabric of sense:

- in the unity of biology and culture in the drive, or better: as the drive,

- in the foundation of experiencing, hence before experiencing and therefore pre-individually "beyond the Pleasure Principle".

This depth is mirrored in the Freudian archaism. In taking refuge to mystical formulations, Freud paid tribute to the problem and conserved it in full width for later investigations.

If one dissolves the ontology inherent in Freud's dialectic of nature, if one dissolves the metaphysic of his "beyond the pleasure-principle" and the myth of phylogenetic inheritance, the justification of the Freudian speculations (as he referred to them) strikingly appears: the mystic speculative formulation gives an appropriate account of the fact that here states of affairs are concerned that go beyond the psychoanalytic frame of reference. In its foundation, the psychoanalytic subject matter, the practical directives of action and patterns of interpretation, of the individual reach down to a 'deep' level underneath 'subjectivity'. They are anchored in the pre-individual of the individuals, in the melting together of the 'biological' and the 'social' reality forming the 'basis' of the individual. Certainly the ontological distortion of the Eros-Thanatos-dialectic of nature has to be dissolved while, at the same time, the insight must be kept that here the frontier to the 'cross-individual hereafter' [überindividuellem Jenseits] of subjectivity is trespassed towards the foundation of subjectivity in organic processes. Of course, the 'fundamental principles' underlying subjectivity, consciousness and experiencing are not metaphysical entities in the sense of an "eternal Eros" (Freud 1930, 145). Instead, they are basic structures of human practice, organised on a level beyond the individual and inscribed into the body in each single ontogenesis or, to be more precise, 'written down' as body. The primary forms of personality, categories in which "experiences" are organised (Freud 1926, 167), these schemata of life-practice [Lebenspraxis] are not handed over from generation to generation in a kind of hidden stream. They are not phylogenetic inheritance but are produced in each single ontogenesis as a precipitate of interactions (starting from the first prenatal organismic stimulus-reaction-patterns). Nevertheless, these primary formulas of experience are pre-subjective for they reach back beyond the first formations of consciousness and the capacity to experience subjectively [Ansätze des Erlebens]. Furthermore, they are a 'collective inheritance' in so far as it is indeed the collective, which, via one of its members - the mother - pre-establishes the foundation of the capacity to experience and determines the bodily formulas of action and reaction. This must not be compared to a die. It rather forms one element of the practical-dialectic, the to and fro in the mother-child-dyad, the complementary element being the capacities of the inner nature of the infant. This collective inheritance consists of the formulas of social practice and which have to be seen as being in interplay with historically developed cultural patterns. Therefore, they can be described as 'cultural inheritance'. This inheritance is passed on, one has to stress once more, by means of concrete actual forms of practice and concrete real interactions. Already from the first physical stage of development onwards, the fundamental structures of personality are a precipitate of real interaction, registrations of scenes, inscriptions of social sense [sozialer Sinn] into the body. They are directives to the functional patterns of the developing human being.

From this follows that these functional patterns are not only subjective but also pre-material in a sense that can be illuminated by means of a summary of our reformulation: never does the embryonic organism materialise itself purely biologically and set apart from history or society. It does not unfold itself in a monadic autonomy. From the beginning on, rather, its 'capacities' are step by step (to be) realised in a constant interplay. Consequently, one has to state: form follows function. The 'material Gestalt' of the developing human being results from concrete (already intrauterine) interplay with the maternal organism (i.e. the maternal practice). Society and its impact on the body do not approach it 'externally'. The body itself, this 'transmission' is a product of social practice via the interplay taking place in the mother-child-unit.

Once the Freudian myths of Eros and Thanatos and the myth of phylogenetic inheritance are dissolved in that way, the theory of a "soldering" of content and energy into the basic elements of personality, the unconscious phantasies as a soldering of "representation of instinctual wish and motor action", becomes superfluous. Indeed, first of all, the concept of "instinctual cathexis" becomes superfluous. This concept was to warrant the content-bound characteristic of instinctual processes and, vice versa, the roots of primary phantasies in the body without watering down the natural features of drives or disentangling social practice and the capacity to experience. The archaism was meant to express the pre-subjective determinism of the capacity to experience, which goes beyond the individual - we decipher it as the 'here after' [Jenseits] placed in the objective pre-history. We therefore should decisively state: the nucleus of the Unconscious does not lie before history, as Freud assumed.

"The content of the Ucs. may be compared with an aboriginal population in the mind. If inherited mental formations exist in the human being - something analogous to instinct [german Instinkt vs. Trieb] in animals - these constitute the nucleus of the Ucs." (Freud 1915b, 195)

Instead, it has its place in the actual historical situation. Primary phantasies are not a phylogenetic inheritance. They are a sediment of the first steps of development [Bildungsschritte] in the course of the ontogenetic formation of the human organism, way before the first rudimentary precursors of the capacity to experience or of an individuality rooted in this capacity to experience are found.

This applies to the evolving capacity to experience material objects [Gegenstandserfahrung] developing from the organismic interaction as well as it applies to the drive. "Drives" are the bodily processes that serve to satisfy those bodily needs in order to survive [Lebensbedarf] and that cannot be satisfied purely intra-organismically. In human beings, the meeting of these requirements is inevitably linked to specific forms of interaction being 'agreed on' by both organisms, namely the maternal and the infantile organism. The result of this 'agreement' is of an imperative character: the bodily requirement [Körperbedarf] has to be satisfied in exactly this particular socialised way; the organism is in its systemic balance tuned in to historic-cultural-social forms. In this way, bodily requirements [Körperbedarf] are shaped into bodily needs [Körperbedürfnisse] that are unique expectations of future satisfaction of drives. Bodily needs [Körperbedürfisse] and the profile of drives [Triebprofile] come into being in mutual correspondence. In terms of self-experience this means: the bodily urge is experienced in specific models of experience, in specific "unconscious phantasies". Both, the urge for nutrition and the urge for socialising, the hunger for love, are made up form socialised and internalised 'forms of interaction'. Formed in the depths underlying consciousness, these bodily templates of experience make up for the infinite roots of "phantasy" [den unauslotbaren Grund].

Such a conception of the primary unity of drive and phantasyrooted in bodily processes of course demands for a solution to the following riddle: how do these primary and purely organismic bodily experiences gradually gain the feature of mental experience and later on of consciousness? How does consciousness meet with these sensual unconscious complexes of experience, with these bodily templates of behaviour?

For a thorough discussion, it has to be referred to earlier publications (c. Lorenzer 1973). Here, in brief, only this can be said: consciousness evolves from a registration of word-representations, added to the registration of bodily experiences. In the process of learning language, being introduced into language, each interaction between mother and child (or a substitute of the mother and the child) is labelled with a 'name', conventionally with the name 'mum'. One and the same situation is registered twice, firstly as a bodily inscription of the interaction-form, which can also be called a "senso-motoric interaction-engram", and secondly as a sound-engram, registered in the system of aural perception and speaking. A sound-engram is formed and is linked to the interaction-engram. The registration of the situation is accompanied by the registration of the word. Together, both make up for the "symbol"[6] standing for the real situation. The bodily gestalt of an experience, called - in accordance with Freud - an "unconscious phantasy", becomes conscious. The formation of a symbolic interactionform allows for "experimental action" (Freud 1925, 238), a playful experimenting with behaviour taking place in body and mind.

Operating with these figures of speech (the speaking and hearing human being has under his command), "situational traces" are evoked independently from the factual matter of affairs. Complexes of completely different kind can be linked and in - now conscious - phantasy, scenes can be imitated [nachgebildet], pre-shaped [vorgebildet] or be formed completely originally [neu zusammengesetzt]. Nevertheless, the foundations of this new capacity are the "unconscious phantasies", from the beginnings of intrauterine life being bodily inscribed as traces of life [eingeschriebene Lebensspuren] and determining experience [erfahrungsbildend], body [leibbildend] and personality [persönlichkeitsbildend].

This model, which, in this context, can only be dealt with in its most basic terms (and without focussing on the specificities of symbol-formation in the case of neurosis), can be related to an old draft of Freud's, present in his (already quoted) paper on the Unconscious. In the course of his examination of psychosis, the following differentiation is established:

"What we have permissibly called the conscious presentation of the object can now be split up into the presentation of the word and the presentation of the thing; the latter consists in the cathexis, if not of the direct memory-images of the thing, at least of remoter memory-traces derived from these. We now seem to know all at once what the difference is between a conscious and an unconscious presentation. The two are not, as we supposed, different registrations of the same content in different psychical localities, nor different functional states of cathexis in the same locality; but the conscious presentation comprises the presentation of the thing plus the presentation of the word belonging to it, while the unconscious presentation is the presentation of the thing alone. The system Ucs. Contains the thing-cathexes; the system Pcs. comes about by this thing-presentation being hypercathected through being linked with the word-presentations corresponding to it. It is these hypercathexes, we may suppose, that bring about a higher psychical organisation and make it possible for the primary process to be succeeded by the secondary process which is dominant in the Pcs. " (Freud 1915b, 201-202)

In order to adopt the Freudian draft to the subject matter under discussion, some corrections have to be executed:

1. In respect to the already discussed problem of "cathexis", we do hold the opposing view that the drive is not external to the content of experience, that thing-presentations do not develop independently from instinctual impulses. Drive and object are a primary unit. Parallel to the shaping of bodily requirements into bodily needs, urging mankind in demanding a satisfaction in a distinct and specific way, another developmental differentiation takes place: out of the undifferentiated external the bodily requirement is addressed to, 'objects' are gradually evolving. The 'object' is already the concrete content of a drive and the drive is already the energetic potential of the wishful images, the unconscious phantasies.

2. The concept of "thing-presentation" is therefore subjected to a further criticism. It suggests a "thing-ness" [Gegenständigkeit] that is set apart from the ego and is opposed to it. Certainly, this is an adultomorphistic distortion of the original state of affairs. Me and not-me, self and object only differentiate from each other in the course of development. In the beginning, the capacity to experience (and, as has been demonstrated already, even before this, the basic "experiences" of the embryo) only consists of the entity of "interaction" in the form of the stimulus-reaction-pattern [Reiz-Reaktions-Bogen]. This unity the concept of interaction-form aims at, is linked with the "word-presentation"; the presentation of the word as a name is not linked to a separate THING-representation but to a non-splitted situational experience, i.e. to "interaction-forms".

3. Furthermore, a third aspect implicit in the concept of thing-presentation and word-presentation has to be criticised. For the sake of the multiplicity of experiential qualities, the term "presentation" has to be replaced by more appropriate term "memory-trace", already introduced by Freud. His model then, exemplified in the latter quotation, can be formulated like this: unconscious phantasies are situational traces, which, in the course of learning language, are connected to word-traces, both making up for the elementary units of conscious experiencing. "Conscious experience" therefore is submitted to two 'sets of rules' - to the imperative and activity-determining system of language and to the preverbally inscribed social system of situational traces (namely interaction-forms). Both systems build up a multilayered fabric of patterns of activity and interpretation, determining conscious experiencing from two sides. This double determination may lead to psychic conflict and conditions the consequences: in the course of "psychic conflict", this unity of the activity-compound can be dissolved again. The speech-symbolic, social and internalised pattern of behaviour, may loose its verbal part, the symbolic interactionform can be de-symbolised (Lorenzer 1972). Formulating it in varying Freud's model: a once verbalised situational trace may loose its linkage to the corresponding word-presentation, it becomes an unconscious phantasy again, a bodily inscription deprived of language.

How, then, is the desymbolised "unconscious phantasy" expressed? It finds expression in a 'symptom', in the 'acting-out' - and in dreams, daydreams. The latter are phantasies in the common sense of the term. In this case, the concept of 'phantasy' has a completely different meaning, compared to the one discussed above. Within psychoanalysis, speaking of "phantasising", this ambiguity is preserved.

The contents of this 'phantasising' is certainly related to these unconscious phantasies, but they are not identical with them. Unconscious phantasies, for instance seeking expression while asleep, have to undergo a certain 'course of perception' [Erkenntnisweg]. They have to be picked up by the ego, capable to reflect, and have to be processed, have to be prepared in order to be - in a first stage - transformed into pictorial symbols. These pictorial symbols evolving in dreaming mediate between the "unconscious phantasies", bodily situational traces on the one hand, and speech-symbolically developed experiences, "conscious phantasies" on the other hand. They share this intermediate position with those other direct-sensual symbols the objective representations of which we are used to speak of as pieces of art - including the poetic "phantasy".[7]

Each of these three aspects of phantasy - the unconscious phantasy, the pictorial phantasy (sensual-symbolic interactionforms) and the conscious phantasy and concepts (speech-symbolic interactionforms) - are rooted in bodily situational traces. Once a concept has lost its connection to this foundation in the depth of experience, it has been depleted to a depraved and empty sign.


FREUD, Sigmund & BREUER, Joseph (1893-95). Studies on Hysteria. SE II, pp. xxix-311.

FREUD, Sigmund (1896). The Aetiology of Hysteria. SE III, pp. 191-221.

- (1900). The Interpretation of Dreams. SE V.

- (1908). Hysterical Phantasies and their Relation to Bisexuality. SE IX, pp. 157-166.

- (1915a). Instincts and their Vicissitudes. SE XIV, pp.117-140.

- (1915b). The Unconscious. SE XIV, pp.166-215.

- (1917a). Introductory Lectures, Lecture XXIII: The Paths of the Formation of Symptoms. SE XVI, pp.358-377.

- (1917b). Introductory Lectures, Lecture XXVII: Transference. SE XVI, pp.431-447.

- (1918). From the History of an Infantile Neurosis. SE XVII, pp.7-122.

- (1921). Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego. SE XVIII, pp.69-143.

- (1925). Negation. SE XIX, pp. 235-239.

- (1926). Inhibition, Symptom and Anxiety. SE XX, pp. 75-176.

- (1930). Civilization and its Discontents. SE XXI, pp. 64-145.

- (1940). An Outline of Psycho-Analysis. SE XXIII, pp. 144-207.

- (1954). The Origins of Psycho-Analysis. eds. M. Bonaparte, A. Freud, E. Kris. London: Imago 1954.

LORENZER, Alfred (1972). Sprachzerstörung und Rekonstruktion. [Annhiliation of Language and its Reconstruction]. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp.

- (1973a). Zur Begründung einer materialistischen Sozialisationstheorie.[On the Foundation of a Materialistic Theory of Socialisation.] Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp.

- (1973b). Über den Gegenstand der Psychoanalyse oder: Sprache und Interaktion. [On the Subject Matter of Psycho-Analysis or: Language and Interaction.] Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp.

- (1974). Die Wahrheit psychoanalytischer Erkenntnis. [The Truth of Psychoanalytic Knowledge.] Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp.

- (1979). Kindheit [childhood]. in: Kindheit, Vol.1, pp.29 - 36.

- (1981). Das Konzil der Buchhalter. [The Council of the Book-keepers]. Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer.


originally published in:

Schöpf, A. (Hrsg.): Phantasie als anthropologisches Problem. (Studien zur Anthropologie; Bd. 1). Würzburg: Königshausen und Naumann 1981. pp. 213-224. ISBN: 3 - 88479 - 029 - 3

7.2. Bibliography of the Works of Alfred Lorenzer

The following bibliography is based on:

KÖNIG, Hans-Dieter (1987). Verzeichnis der Schriften von Alfred Lorenzer. In: Belgrad et al. (1987) Zur Idee einer psychoanalytischen Sozialforschung. Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer, pp. 398-407).

which covers the period till 31.12.1986. Some titles have been added, but probably the period from 1987 till 2002 is still incomplete.

1. Books

Lorenzer, A. (1970 a): Kritik des psychoanalytischen Symbolbegriffs. Frankfurt am Main. Transl.: Spanish, Japanese.

Lorenzer, A. (1970 b): Sprachzerstörung und Rekonstruktion. Vorarbeiten zu einer Metatheorie der Psychoanalyse. Frankfurt am Main. Transl.: Italian, Spanish, Japanese.

Lorenzer, A. (1972 a): Perspektiven einer kritischen Theorie des Subjekts. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A. (1972 b): Zur Begründung einer materialistischen Sozialisationstheorie. Frankfurt am Main. Transl.: Danish, Italian, Serbo-Croatia, Spanish, Japanese.

Lorenzer, A. (1973 a): Über den Gegenstand der Psychoanalyse oder: Sprache und Interaktion. Frankfurt am Main. Transl.: Spanish, Dutch.

Lorenzer, A. (1974 a): Die Wahrheit der psychoanalytischen Erkenntnis. Ein historisch-materialistischer Entwurf. Frankfurt am Main. Transl.: Japanese, Spanish.

Lorenzer, A. (1977 a): Sprachspiel und Interaktionsformen. Vorträge und Aufsätze zu Psychoanalyse, Sprache und Praxis. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A. (1981 a): Das Konzil der Buchhalter. Die Zerstörung der Sinnlichkeit. Eine Religionskritik. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A. (1984 a): Intimität und soziales Leid. Archäologie der Psychoanalyse. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A. (2002): Die Sprache, der Sinn, das Unbewusste. Stuttgart.

2. Essays and Reviews


Lorenzer, A. (1959 a): Die Verlustdepression. Verlust und existentielle Krise. Archiv für Psychiatrie und Zeitschrift f. d. ges. Neurologie, Bd. 198, 649-658.

Lorenzer, A. (1959 b): Eine psychotische Form der Schuldentlastung. Der Nervenarzt, 30. Jg., 2. Heft, 20. Februar, 85-87.

Lorenzer, A. (1959 c): Erlebnis und Reaktion in einer paranoischen Entwicklung. Ein Beitrag zur Paranoiafrage (I). Zeitschrift für Psychotherapie und medizinische Psychologie, 9. Jg., 23-34.

Lorenzer, A. (1959 d): Schuld und Gewissen in einer paranoischen Entwicklung. Ein Beitrag zur Paranoiafrage (11.). Zeitschrift für Psychotherapie und medizinische Psychologie, 9, Jg., 97-108.


Lorenzer, A., A. Roll, R. Schubert (1960 a): Beziehungen zwischen Biomorphose, Asthma bronchiale und Konstitution. Zeitschrift für Alternsforschung, Bd. 14, Heft 3-4, 334-341.

Lorenzer, A. (1960 b): Formungen der Neurose im >Psychologischen Feld< In: Neurose. Ein psychosoziales Problem. Aus Felix Schottländers Stuttgarter Kreis. Stuttgart, 110-120.


Lorenzer, A., A. Mitscherlich (1963): Das vegetative Nervensystem im psychosomatischen Konzept der Psychoanalyse. In: Physiologie und Pathophysiologie des vegetativen Nervensystems. Bd. II, Marcel Monnier (ed.). Stuttgart, 911-926.


Lorenzer, A. (1964): Planung - wofür? Sozialpsychologische Überlegungen zu Stadtplanung und Raumordnung. In: Bundesminister für Wohnungswesen, Städtebau und Raumordnung (ed.): Bundesbaublatt. Juni, 296-299.


Lorenzer, A., H. Thomä (1965 a): Über die zweiphasige Symptomentwicklung bei traumatischen Neurosen. Psyche, 18. Jg., 674-684.

Lorenzer, A. (1965 b): Zur Revision des Symbolbegriffs in der Psychoanalyse. Arbeitspapier für das Sigmund-Freud-Institut, Ffm. In: Lorenzer 1972 a, 50-63.


Lorenzer, A. (1966 a): Papier zum Vortrag über den >kleinen Hans<, angefertigt für ein philosophisches Seminar der Universität Frankfurt. In: Lorenzer 1972 a, 64-69.

Lorenzer, A. (1966b): Zum Begriff der >Traumatischen Neurose<. Psyche, 20.Jg., 481-492.


Lorenzer, A. (1967): Zum Problem der Symptomlatenz bei Verfolgungsschäden. Vortrag auf dem Internationalen Kongreß für Psychoanalyse in Kopenhagen. In: Lorenzer 1972 a, 17-21.


Lorenzer, A. (1968 a): Erweitertes Votum über das >szenische Verstehen<. Arbeitspapier für das Sigmund-Freud-Institut Frankfurt. In: Lorenzer 1972 a, 70-73.

Lorenzer, A. (1968 b): Für eine Architektur >von der Straße her<. Publik visuell 2. as well in Lorenzer 1972 a, 10f..

Lorenzer, A. (1968 c): Methodologische Probleme der Untersuchung traumatischer Neurosen. Psyche, 22. Jg., 861-874.

Lorenzer, A. (1968 d): Städtebau: Funktionalismus und Sozialmontage? Zur sozialpsychologischen Funktion der Architektur. In: H. Berndt, A. Lorenzer, K. Horn: Architektur als Ideologie. Frankfurt am Main, 51-104.


Lorenzer, A. (1969 a): Frantz Fanon: Die Verdammten der Erde. Review. Psyche, 23. Jg., 76f.

Lorenzer, A. (1969 b): H. Kraschutzki. Die Untaten der Gerechtigkeit. Review. Psyche, 23. Jg., 77-80.

Lorenzer, A. (1969 c): D. C. McClelland. Motivation und Kultur. Review. Psyche, 23 Jg., 556-558.

Lorenzer, A. (1969 d): J. R. Royce (Hg.). Psychology and the Symbol. Review. Psyche, 23.Jg., 392f..


Lorenzer, A. (1970 c): Grenzen und Möglichkeiten der psychoanalytischen Traumalehre. Antrittsvorlesung in der philosophischen Fakultät, Ffm. In: Lorenzer 1972 a, 44-49.

Lorenzer, A. (1970 d): Holzhausen-Papier. Vortrag auf der Frühjahrstagung der Deutschen Akademie für Städtebau und Landesplanung. In: Lorenzer 1972a, 12-16.

Lorenzer, A. (1970 e): Medizin, Psychosomatik. In: Design? Umwelt wird in Frage gestellt. (ed.?), Berlin, 83f..

Lorenzer, A. (1970 f): Symbol, Sprachverwirrung und Verstehen. Psyche, 24.Jg., 895-920.

Lorenzer, A. (1970 g): Symbol und Verstehen im psychoanalytischen Prozeß. Kurzfassung des gleichnamigen Manuskriptes der Habilitationsschrift, die später unter den Titeln >Sprachzerstörung und Rekonstruktion< und >Kritik des psychoanalytischen Symbolbegriffs< bei Suhrkamp (beide 1970) erschien. In: Lorenzer 1972 a, 74-81.

Lorenzer, A., A. Mitscherlich, K. Horn, H. Dahmer, E. Schwanenberg, K. Brede und. H. Berndt (1970 h): Über Psychoanalyse und Soziologie. Psyche, 24.Jg., 157-187.


Lorenzer, A. (1971 a): Drei Vorlesungen, vertretungsweise gehalten in dem Mitscherlich-Zyklus: Einführung in die Psychoanalyse, Teil I (Metapsychologie), Ffm., SS. In: Lorenzer 1977 a, 92-136.

Lorenzer, A. (1971 b): Jahrbuch der Psychoanalyse, Bd V. Beiträge zur Theorie und Praxis. Review. Psyche, 25.Jg., 410-412.

Lorenzer, A. (1971 c): Pauleikhoff, B.: Situation und Persönlichkeit in Diagnostik und Therapie. Review. Psyche, 25.Jg., 503f..

Lorenzer, A. (1971 d): Perspektiven einer kritischen Theorie des Subjekts. Vortrag am soziologischen Institut der Universität Wien. In: Lorenzer 1972 a, 82-91.

Lorenzer, A. (1971 e): Psychoanalyse und Sprache. Radiovortrag, gehalten am 29.04. im Südwestfunk II, h. In: Lorenzer 1972 a, 150-155. Unter dem Titel: >Sprache, Verständigung und Psychoanalyse< in: Sprache - Brücke und Hindernis. 23 Beiträge nach einer Sendereihe des >Studio Heidelberg<. München 1972, 215-224.

Lorenzer, A. (1971 f): Symbol, Interaktion und Praxis. In: Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Mit Beiträgen von A. Lorenzer, H. Dahmer u. a., Frankfurt, 9-59.


Lorenzer, A. (1972 c): >Allgemeine Semantik< aus der Sicht der Psychoanalyse. Review. Psyche, 26. Jg., 308 - 315.

Lorenzer, A. (1972 d): Die Stellung des Kranken und Behinderten in der Gesellschaft. Radiovortrag. In: Lorenzer 1972a, 156-162.

Lorenzer, A. (1972 e): Freud und der Beginn einer psychoanalytischen Sozialpsychologie. In: Soziologie und Psychoanalyse. H.-U. Wehler (ed.), Stuttgart, Berlin, Köln, Mainz, 65-68.

Lorenzer, A. (1972 f): Hofer, G.: Der Mensch im Wahn. Review. Psyche, 26. Jg., 899.

Lorenzer, A. (1972 g): Sigmund Freud - ein Lerntheoretiker? Review. Psyche, 26. Jg., 156-168.


Lorenzer, A. (1973 b): >Das Spiel der Phantasie<. Anmerkungen zu dem Verhältnis von Psychoanalyse, Literaturwissenschaft und Literatur. In: Sprache im technischen Zeitalter. W. Höllerer & N. Miller (eds.). and: Spielraum Literatur II. H. J. Heinrichs (ed.) Nr. 46, April-Juni, 146-156.

Lorenzer, A. (1973 c): Grundprobleme einer materialistischen Sozialisationstheorie. In: H. Walter (Hg.): Sozialisationsforschung Bd. I, Stuttgart 267-276.

Lorenzer, A. (1973 d): >Psychoanalyse als Herrschaftswissenschaft?< oder Psychoanalysekritik als Anpassungsgeste. In: Lorenzer, Horn 1973 f, 43-75.

Lorenzer, A. (1973 e): Psychoanalyse, Sprache und historischer Materialismus. In: Lorenzer 1973 a, 153-167.


Lorenzer, A. (1974 b): Die einsozialisierte Erlebnisstruktur in ihrem Verhältnis zur Sprache. In: Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie. Wiesbaden Nr. 9, 23-26.

Lorenzer, A. (1974 c): Double-bind, pragmatische Paradoxie oder inkonsistent-antagonistische Praxisfigur. In: Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe, Abt. Gesundheitswesen (ed.): Walter Th. Winkler zur Vollendung des 6o. Lebensjahres, o. 0., 176-185.

Lorenzer, A. (1974 d): Kampf und Aggression. Veränderte Fassung eines Referates auf der Hamburger Politologentagung. In: Politische Psychologie, Wien, 198-211.

Lorenzer, A., J. Krambeck (1974 e): Verstehen, Hermeneutik und >Falsches Verständigtsein<. In: W. J. Schraml u. U. Baumann (Hg.): Klinische Psychologie II, Bern, Stuttgart, Wien, 147-166.

Lorenzer, A. (1974 f): Wittgensteins Sprachspiel-Konzept in der Psychoanalyse. Psyche, 28. Jg., 833-852.


Lorenzer, A. (1975 a): Antagonistische Interaktionsformen beim >Double bind<. Gütersloher Fortbildungswoche, I - II . revised version in: Lorenzer 1977 a, 58-74.

Lorenzer, A. (1975 b): Psychoanalyse und Gesellschaft. In: M. Gerhardt (Hg.): Die Zukunft der Philosophie. München, 149-165.


Lorenzer, A. (1976 a): Jean Piaget. In: Hommage à Jean Piaget, zum 8o. Geburtstag. Stuttgart, 31.

Lorenzer, A. (1976 b): Zum Verhältnis von Natur und Geschichte im Individuum. In: H. G. Meissner (ed.): Leidenschaft der Wahrnehmung. Psychoanalyse mit ihren Beziehungen zu Psychotherapie, Philosophie und zu den Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften. Festgabe für E. Meistermann-Seeger. München, 123-136. as well in: Lorenzer 1977 a, 8o-194.

Lorenzer, A. (1976 c): Zur Dialektik von Individuum und Gesellschaft. in: Produktion, Arbeit, Sozialisation. T. Leithäuser & W. R. Heinz (eds.), Frankfurt am Main, 13-47.

Lorenzer, A. (1976 d): Zur Konstitution von Bedeutung im primären Sozialisationsprozeß. In: M. Schecker (ed.): Methodologie der Sprachwissenschaft. Hamburg, 185-203.


Lorenzer, A. (1977 b): Anatomie einer Verständnisbarriere - Anmerkungen zu den Aufsätzen von K. Brede und E. Moersch. In: Lorenzer 1977a, 130-161.

Lorenzer, A. (1977 c): Architektonische Symbole und subjektive Struktur. In: Das Prinzip Reihung in der Architektur. Dortmunder Architekturtage 1975. Regensburg, 141-147.

Lorenzer, A. (1977 d): Das Sprachspielmodell und die Matrix individueller Praxis. In: Lorenzer 1977a, 75-101.

Lorenzer, A. (1977 e): Dr. Freuds besondere Medizin. Die Wissenschaftlichkeit der psychoanalytischen Therapie. In: H. von Nussbaum (ed.): Die verlorene Krankheit. Frankfurt, 379-399.

Lorenzer, A. (1977 f): Kritische Diskussionsbeiträge zum Funktionalismus und zu dessen Überwindung. In: Das Pathos des Funktionalismus. werk-archi-these. Zeitschrift für Architektur und Kunst, 64. Jg., März, 31f..

Lorenzer, A. (1977 g): Lacan und/ oder Marx. In: Lorenzer 1977 a, 162- 179.

Lorenzer, A. (1977 h): Psychoanalyse als kritisch-hermeneutisches Verfahren. In: Lorenzer 1977a, 105-129.

Lorenzer, A. (1977 i): Sprache, Praxis, Wirklichkeit - in der Perspektive einer Analyse subjektiver Struktur. In: Lorenzer 1977 a, 38-57.

Lorenzer, A. (1977 j): Zum Verhältnis von objektiver und subjektiver Struktur. In: Lorenzer 1977 a, 195-217.


Lorenzer, A. (1978 a): Der Gegenstand psychoanalytischer Textinterpretation. In: Perspektiven psychoanalytischer Literaturkritik. S. Goeppert (ed.). Freiburg, 71-81.

Lorenzer, A. (1978 b): Die Analyse der subjektiven Struktur von Lebensläufen und das gesellschaftlich Objektive. In: Einundzwanzig. Randgänge der Erziehungswissenschaft. Heft 8, Marburg, 33-49. revised version in: H. Dahmer (ed.): Analytische Sozialpsychologie Bd. 2, Frankfurt am Main 1980, 619-631.

Lorenzer, A. (1978 c): Die psychischen Ursprünge ästhetischer Erfahrung. In: Ästhetik im Alltag. Studien und Materialien Bd. I. Schriftenreihe der Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach a. M., Offenbach, 32 f..

Lorenzer, A. (1978 d): epilogue to G. Politzer, Kritik der Grundlagen der Psychologie. Frankfurt am Main, 205-212.


Lorenzer, A. (1979 a): Kindheit. Kindheit, I. Jg., 29-36.

Lorenzer, A., P. Orban (1979 b): Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft und das Konzept der Übergangsobjekte und Übergangsphänomene. Kindheit, I. Jg., 271-280.

Lorenzer, A. (1979 c): Sprache, Persönlichkeitsstruktur und psychoanalytisches Verfahren. In: Psychiatrie der Gegenwart, Bd. I. , K. P. Kisker, J.-E. Meyer, C. Müller, E. Strömgren (eds.), Berlin, Heidelberg, 577-598.

Lorenzer, A. (1979 d): Sprache, Praxis, Wirklichkeit - in der Perspektive einer Analyse subjektiver Struktur. In: G. Simon & E. Straßner (eds.): Sprechen - Denken - Praxis. Weinheim, Basel, 87- 102.

Lorenzer, A. (1979 e): Aus der Diskussion zum Beitrag von A. Lorenzer. In: G. Simon & E. Straßner (eds.): Sprechen - Denken - Praxis. Weinheim, Basel, 102-106.

Lorenzer, A. (1979 f): Variationen zum Thema: >Wer nicht hören will, muß fühlen<. In: Die Verarmung der Psyche. Igor A. Caruso zum 65. Geburtstag. E. H. Englert (ed.), Frankfurt am Main, 102-119.

Lorenzer, A. (1979 g): preface in H.-G. Trescher: Sozialisation und beschädigte Subjektivität. Frankfurt am Main, IIf..


Lorenzer, A. (1981 a): Die katholische Kirche und die Reform der Abtreibungsgesetzgebung. Kritische Justiz, 13. Jg., Heft I, Frankfurt am Main, 28- 38.

Lorenzer, A. (1981 b): Die Sozialität der Natur und die Natürlichkeit des Sozialen. Zur Interpretation der psychoanalytischen Erfahrung jenseits von Biologismus und Soziologismus. Ein Gespräch mit B. Görlich. In: B. Görlich (ed.): Der Stachel Freud. Frankfurt am Main, 297-349.

Lorenzer, A. (1981 c): Symbol, Vermittlung von Sinnlichkeit und Bewußtsein. In: H. Leuner (ed.): Katathymes Bilderleben. Ergebnisse in Theorie und Praxis. Bern, Stuttgart, Wien, 58-73.


Lorenzer, A. (1981 b): Die Anstößigkeit der psychoanalytischen Erkenntnismethode. In: A. Krovoza, A. R. Oestmann, K. Ottomeyer (eds.): Zum Beispiel Peter Brückner. Treue zum Staat und kritische Wissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main, 77-95.

Lorenzer, A., B. Görlich (1981 c): Lebensgeschichte und Persönlichkeitsentwicklung im Spannungsfeld von Sinnlichkeit und Bewußtsein. In: F. Maurer (ed.): Lebensgeschichte und Identität. Beiträge zur biographischen Anthropologie. Frankfurt am Main, 84-104.

Lorenzer, A. (1981 d): Möglichkeiten qualitativer Inhaltsanalyse: Tiefenhermeneutische Interpretation zwischen Ideologiekritik und Psychoanalyse. Das Argument, 23. Jg., 170-180.

Lorenzer, A. (1981 e): Psychoanalyse als Dialogwissenschaft. In: P. Schröder, H. Steger (eds.): Dialogforschung. Jahrbuch 1980 des Instituts für deutsche Sprache. Düsseldorf, 493-503.

Lorenzer, A., G. Schmid Noerr (1981 f): Psychoanalyse und Teleologie. Über Bildung und tiefenhermeneutische Erfahrung der unbewußten Zielstrebigkeit. Neue Hefte für Philosophie. Göttingen, 94-123.

Lorenzer, A. (1981 g): preface in S. Graf-Deserno: Gestörtes Lernen - gestörte Beziehungen. Eine psychoanalytisch-sozialpsychologische Interpretation der Lehrerarbeit mit Sonderschülern, Bensheim, 5.

Lorenzer, A. (1981 h): Was ist eine >unbewußte Phantasie<? In: A. Schöpf (ed.): Phantasie als anthropologisches Problem. Würzburg, 213-224.

Lorenzer, A. (1981 i): Zum Beispiel >Der Malteser Falke<. Analyse der psychoanalytischen Untersuchung literarischer Texte. In: B. Urban, W. Kudszus (eds.): Psychoanalytische und psychopathologische Literaturinterpretation. Darmstadt, 23-46.


Lorenzer, A. (1982): Die Funktion der Literatur und der >ästhetische Genuß<. In: Henning Krauß, R. Wolff (eds.): Psychoanalytische Literaturwissenschaft und Literatursoziologie. Akten der Sektion 17 des Romanistentages 1979 in Saarbrücken. Frankfurt am Main, Bern, 161-176.


Lorenzer, A. (1983 a): Erweiterte Fassung meines Vortrags über >Das Konzil der Buchhalter<. Beirat der Konferenz der deutschsprachigen Pastoraltheologen (ed.): Symbol und Ritual. Pastoral-Theologische Informationen. Passau, 145-178.

Lorenzer, A. (1983 b): Sprache, Lebenspraxis und szenisches Verstehen in der psychoanalytischen Therapie. Psyche, 37.Jg., 97-115.

Lorenzer,A. (1983 c): Sprache und Verstehen in der psychoanalytischen Therapie. Universitas. Zeitschrift für Wissenschaft, Kunst und Literatur, 38. Jg., 1167-1177.

Lorenzer, A., B. Görlich (1983 d): Subjektivität - als Gefüge von Lebensentwürfen. In: H. Radermacher (ed.): Aktuelle Probleme der Subjektivität. Bern, Frankfurt am Main, 39-54.


Lorenzer, A. (1984 b): Die Funktion von Literatur und Literaturkritik - aus der Perspektive einer psychoanalytisch-tiefenhermeneutischen Interpretation. In: Jenseits der Couch. Psychoanalyse und Sozialkritik. Institutsgruppe Psychologie der Universität Salzburg (ed.). Frankfurt am Main, 211-228.

Lorenzer, A. (1984 c): Die Kontroverse Bloch-Freud. Eine versäumte Auseinandersetzung zwischen Psychoanalyse und Historischem Materialismus. In: H.-M. Lohmann (ed.): Die Psychoanalyse auf der Couch. Frankfurt am Main, Paris, 60-74.

Lorenzer, A. (1984 d): Über die gemeinsame Wurzel aller interpretierenden Psychotherapien. In: T. Reinelt, Z. Otälora & H. Kappus (eds.): Die Begegnung der Individualpsychologie mit anderen Therapieformen. Ausgewählte Beiträge aus dem 15. Kongreß der Internationalen Vereinigung für Individualpsychologie vom 2.-6.August 1982 in Wien. München, Basel, 51-59.


Lorenzer, A. (1985 a): Das Verhältnis der Psychoanalyse zu ihren Nachbardisziplinen. In: Phantasmen der Macht. Psychohistorische Beiträge. Fragmente 4/15, Schriftenreihe zur Psychoanalyse. Kassel, 8-20.

Lorenzer, A. (1985 b):Der Analytiker als Detektiv, der Detektiv als Analytiker. Psyche, 39.Jg., 1-11.

Lorenzer, A. (1985 c): Diskussion mit H. Höller, J. Rainer, K. Mätzler, E. Bingl. In: Werkblatt. Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse und Gesellschaftskritik, 2. Jg., 37-47.

Lorenzer, A. (1985 d): Freud und die Funktion der Literatur. In: Werkblatt. Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse und Gesellschaftskritik, 2. Jg., 25-37.

Lorenzer, A. (1985 f): Spuren und Spurensuche bei Freud. In: Psychoanalyse Literatur - Literaturwissenschaft IV. Dichtung und Verdichtung. Auf den Spuren der Einbildungskraft. Fragmente 17/18. Schriftenreihe zur Psychoanalyse. Kassel, 160-178.

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1985 g): preface in H. -J. Busch: Interaktion und innere Natur. Sozialisationstheoretische Reflexionen. Frankfurt am Main, New York, 11-15.


Lorenzer, A. (1986 a): Das Unbewußte, die Physiologie und der Sadomasochismus. Ein Gespräch mit R. Butzer. In: Diskus. Frankfurter Studentenzeitung. Heft Nr. 3 / 4, Dezember, Frankfurt am Main, 48-54.

Lorenzer, A. (1986 b): Die Zerstörung der Sinnlichkeit. Der Beitrag des Christentums zur gegenwärtigen Krise der Symbole - eine kulturwissenschaftliche Analyse. In: Ausdrucksgestaltungen des Glaubens. Zur Frage der Lebensbedeutung der Sakramente. Hohenheimer Protokolle. Akademie der Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart (ed.). Stuttgart, 17-31.

Lorenzer, A. (1986 c): Freud, Sigmund. Übersicht der Übertragungsneurosen. Ein bisher unbekanntes Manuskript. Herausgegeben und mit einem Essay versehen von I. Grubrich-Simitis. Review, Psyche, 40. Jg., 1163-1166.

Lorenzer, A. (1986 d): >gab mir ein Gott zu sagen, was ich leide< - Emanzipation und Methode. Psyche, 40. Jg., 1051-1062.

Lorenzer, A. (1986 e): Mitten in der Auseinandersetzung. In: Sozialforschung und Psychoanalyse als repolitisierende Praxis. Klaus Horn zum Gedenken. Materialien aus dem Sigmund-Freud-Institut Frankfurt. Nummer 2. H.-J. Busch & H. Deserno (eds.). Frankfurt am Main, 53-57.

Lorenzer, A. (1986 f): Psychoanalyse als kritische Theorie. In: A. Schmidt, N. Altwicker (eds.): Max Horkheimer heute. Werk und Wirkung. Frankfurt am Main, 259-278.

Lorenzer, A. (1986 g): Sackgassen. In: C. Bürger (ed.): >Zerstörung, Rettung des Mythos durch Licht<. Frankfurt am Main, 131-145.

Lorenzer, A. (1986 h): Tiefenhermeneutische Kulturanalyse. In: Lorenzer 1986 i, 7-112.


Lorenzer, A. , K. Horn (1987 a). Introduction of the Editors. In: Lorenzer 1987 b, S. 7-16.


Lorenzer, A. (1988 a). Freud: Die Natürlichkeit des Menschen und die Sozialität der Natur. Psyche 42. Jg.: 426-438.

Lorenzer, A. (1988 b). Sozialisationstheorie und die Frage nach dem Unbewussten. Preface. In: Jürgen Belgrad: Sprache - Szene - Unbewusstes : Sozialisationstheorie in psychoanalytischer Perspektive. (Reprint of: Frankfurt a.M.: Nexus 1988). Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag 1998. pp. 7-14.

Lorenzer, A. (1988 c). Die Geschichtlichkeit menschlicher Lebensentwürfe. In: Helmut Koenig. Politische Psychologie heute. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag 1988. pp. 62-72.

Lorenzer, A. (1988 d). Lautlose Geniesser der Verhaeltnisse. (Interview with Alfred Lorenzer). In: Psychologie-heute (1988 ) 15 (3): 46-53.

Lorenzer, A. , U. Prokop (1988 e). Sadismus und Masochismus in der Literatur, oder: der Kampf gegen die übermächtige Mutterimago. In: Johannes Cremerius et al (eds.). Freiburger literaturpsychologische Gespräche. Bd. 7: Masochismus in der Literatur. Würzburg: Könighausen + Neumann 1988, ch. 5, pp. 56-73.


Lorenzer, A. (1989 a). Freud, S., Gesammelte Werke, Nachtragsband. Texte aus den Jahren 1885 bis 1938. Review, Psyche, 43. Jg.: 884-886.

Lorenzer, A. (1989 b). Der Zerfall der Universität und die Möglichkeit kritischer Wissenschaft. In: R. Habermas & W. Poehle (eds.). Der Autor, der nicht schreibt. Versuche über den Büchermacher und das Buch. Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer 1989. pp. 104-117.

Lorenzer, A. (1989 c). Sinnlichkeit, Symbol und Ritual. In: Wege zum Menschen. (1989) 41(5): 260-268.


Lorenzer, A. (1991 a). Der Beitrag der Psychoanalyse zu einer materialistischen Sozialisationstheorie. In: Kritischer Materialismus. Zur Diskussion eines Materialismus der Praxis. M. Lutz-Bachmann & G. Schmid-Noerr (eds.), pp. 322-336.

Lorenzer, A. (1991 b). Der Symbolbegriff und seine Problematik in der Psychoanalyse. In: Jürgen Oelkers & Klaus Wegenast (eds.). Das Symbol - Brücke des Verstehens. Stuttgart, Berlin, Köln: Kohlhammer 1991. pp. 21-30.


Lorenzer, A. , B. Görlich (1997 a). Introduction to Freud, S. Zeitgemäßes über Krieg und Tod. In: Freud, S. Das Unbehagen in der Kultur und andere kulturtheoretische Schriften. Frankfurt/Main 1997, 133-161.

3. Editions

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1973 f): Das Elend der Psychoanalyse-Kritik. Beispiel Kursbuch 29. Subjektverleugnung als politische Magie. Sozialwissenschaftliche Sonderserie. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1975 d): J. A. Schülein, Das Gesellschaftsbild der Freudschen Theorie. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1976 e): S. Zepf, Die Sozialisation des psychosomatisch Kranken. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1976 f): S. Zepf, Grundlinien einer materialistischen Theorie psychosomatischer Erkrankungen. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1976 g): T. Leithäuser, Formen des Alltagsbewußtseins. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1977 k): E. K. Reinke, Leiden schützt vor Strafe nicht. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1977 l): S. Paulsen, Lernstörungen bei Kindern. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1978 e): N. Elrod, R. Heinz, H. Dahmer, Der Wolf im Schafspelz. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1979 h): Johann-August Schülein, Das Gesellschaftsbild der Freudschen Theorie. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1979 i): Thomas Leithäuser, Formen des Alltagsbewusstseins. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1981 j): S. Zepf, Psychosomatische Medizin auf dem Weg zur Wissenschaft. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A., K. Horn (1981 k): C. Niemeyer, Kritische Psychologie und Psychoanalyse. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A. (1986 i): Kultur-Analysen. Mit Beiträgen von H.-D. König, A. Lorenzer, H. Lüdde, S. Nagbol, U. Prokop, G. Schmid Noerr/A. Eggert. Psychoanalytische Studien zur Kultur. Band 1, Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A. (1986 j): H.-D. König, >Spiel mit dem Tod<. Marlboro Country, Reagan Country - Zur Sozialpsychologie eines Alltagsmythos. Psychoanalytische Studien zur Kultur, Band 2, Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A. , K. Horn (1987 b) Norman Elrod, Rudolf Heinz, Helmut Dahmer, Der Wolf im Schafspelz. Erikson, die Ich-Psychologie und das Anpassungsproblem. Psychoanalyse als Sozialwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A. (1991 a): U. Prokop, Die Illusion vom großen Paar - Band 1: Weibliche Lebensentwürfe im deutschen Bildungsbürgertum 1750-1770. Psychoanalytische Studien zur Kultur, Band ?, Frankfurt am Main.

Lorenzer, A. (1991 b): U. Prokop, Die Illusion vom großen Paar - Band 2: Das Tagebuch der Cornelia Goethe. Psychoanalytische Studien zur Kultur, Band ?, Frankfurt am Main.

[2] I found myself unable to translate several notions properly, e.g. 'Erlebnis' vs. 'Erfahrung' or even worse 'Bedarf' vs. 'Bedürfnis'. In these cases, the german notion is set in [square brackets] following the suggested translation. Furthermore, I tried to stick to the text as close as possible and there by causing some "Germanism's", especially concerning the grammatical structure of chains of main or sub-clauses. Some of the difficulties encountered may have to do with the fact that this text contains Lorenzer's theory of interactionforms in a nutshell, so to speak.

[3] [original quote: "I have not always been a psychotherapist. Like other neuropathologists, I was trained to employ local diagnoses and electro-prognosis, and it still strikes me myself as strange that the case histories I write should read like short stories and that, as one might say, they lack the serious stamp of science. I must concole myself with the reflection that it is obviously the nature of the subject is evidently responsible for this, rather than any prefernece of my own. The fact is that local diagnosis and electrical reactions do lead nowhere in the study of hysteria, wheras a detailed description of mental processes such as we are accustomed to find in the works of imaginative writers, enables me, with the use of a few psychologicalal formulas, to obtain a least some kind of insight into the course of that affection." (Freud, Breuer 1893-95, 160-161)]

[4] As it could be found in the quoted supplement from 1924, Freud understood the infantile sexual problematic nature of his patients' impairments to be caused in a concretly manner by sexual attacks from their parents or other adults.

[5] [science and humanities]

[6] In this context, the first non-verbal formations of symbols - the linkage of two situational inscriptions forming 'pictorial symbols' - have to be left aside. Compare Lorenzer (1981), chapter V.

[7] Concerning the realm of arts, i.e. the sensual-symbolic interactionforms compare Lorenzer (1981), chapter V.


Tobias Vollstedt, geb. Schaffrik

Institution: Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg,

Institut für Musiktherapie

Anmerkung der Redaktion:

Tobias Schaffrik ist seit seiner Eheschließung unter dem Namen Tobias Vollstedt zu finden.

University College London,

Sub-Department for Clinical Health Psychology,

Psychoanalysis Unit


Tobias Schaffrik: The Work of Alfred Lorenzer. An Introduction. Course: MSc 'Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies' 30.08.2001 (revised for publication 11.10.02, 06.02.2012)

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