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Natureza humana

versão impressa ISSN 1517-2430

Nat. hum. v.1 n.1 São Paulo jun. 1999




Natureza Humana publishes specialized texts on the foundation of psychotherapeutic and, in particular, psychoanalytic theories and practices. Martin Heidegger and Donald W Winnicott's writings are taken as the main, yet by no means exclusive, reference points.

The choice of these two aUthors is based on solid grounds. The first has been considered, for quite some time, as one ofthe greatest philosophers of the 20th Century, and the second is being increasingly recognized as the most original psychoanalyst since Freud. Moreover, both have tried to establish bridges between philosophy and psychotherapy. Heidegger has dedicated - as can be seen from his famous Zollikon Seminars - tremendous efforts to the discussion of Freud's psychoanalysis and to the elaboration of a philosophical project of pathology and therapy, based on existential analytic but withoUt the loss of scientific discoveries of psychoanalysis. One of our objectives will be to revisit Heidegger's still very poorly understood project and to try to decide, by means of simultaneous theoretical and clinical studies, if it is powerful enough to constitute part of a new tradition of scientific research in psychotherapy and medicine in general, as was anticipated and desired by Heidegger.

On the other hand, our aim will be to follow Winnicott in his attempt, helped by philosophy, to start a new research and clinical tradition in psychoanalysis. It is to philosophy that Winnicott owes, as he himself admitted several times, the courage to proceed step by step towards a better understanding of human nature, free from the bonds of personal loyalty to the founders of traditional psychoanalysis. From this endeavor a renewed psychoanalysis was bom, the one centered on problems of personal growth and no more on the Oedipus Complex and free form the metaphysical heritage of forces which are such a heavy burden to Freud's metapsychology.

Another importam question, among many others, will be to examine if Winnicott' s courage in defying psychoanalytic orthodoxy has something to do with Heidegger's no less iconoclastic attempt to overcome, that is, to deconstruCt the whole of Western metaphysics, looking for a definitely non metaphysical form of thought.

Taking imo account what is best and most courageous in today's philosophy and psychoanalysis, Natureza Humana intends to open a space for discussion which may, on one hand, enrich philosophical reflection by the contact with an important area of human experience generally unknown or, at least, not duly appreciated before the arrival of modem psychotherapies, and, on the other hand, contributeto the understanding of contemporary clínical experiences and to the treatment of psychic disturbances based on thorough philosophical criticism.

Thus, the choice of Heidegger and Winnicott does not mean that we are trying to establish a new orthodoxy or, much less, a new sect. Our purpose is to favour the emergence of a new research tradition which, being founded on writings of the best authors in our two areas of interest, could conrribUte to constituting a community of researchers who, starting from similar. clearly specified paradigmatic problems and assuming a ~pecific general perspeCtive, both theoretical and methodological, dedicate themselves to solve still open philosophical as well as scientmc questions.

The project of publishing Natureza Humana did not emerge from the blue. lt became a necessity within the Research Group on Philosophy and PsychotherapeUtic Practices of the Program in Graduate Studies in Clinical Psychology of the Pontifical Catholic University of S. Paulo (PUC-SP). This Group has been organizing, since 1995, a series of activities around Heidegger and Winnicott, in close collaboration with members of well known academic groups in Brazil and abroad who are working on the same topics, as well as with distinguished professionals in the field of psychotherapeutic and psychoanalytic practices who are interested in the discussion with the philosophy.


Zeljko Loparic