Cognition and Psychoanalysis

A Horneyan Perspective
  • Mario Rendon


Cognition concerns how humans reflect the real world in which they live. It is a complex issue because humans can transcend simple perception and can therefore evoke a nonpresent situation or even create a new one. Most often the concern of the psychoanalyst is how humans distort their world because of past experiences. Reality has been penetrated and known by humans through ever-advancing technology, the ultimate aim of which is perfecting the perception and the knowledge of the world. The reality external to the individual is called objective, and that reality mapped on the basis of the individual’s experience is called subjective. Subjective cognition comprises the knowledge not only of external reality, but also of the part of reality which we call internal and which constitutes the individual himself. The word cognition has a scientific connotation as opposed to terms such as consciousness, spirit or soul; it derives from the Latin prefix co which means ‘together, with,’ and gnoscere: ‘to come to know’. Implicit in the word cognition is the fact that knowledge is always a relationship. Dialectically, modern science has emphasized relationships as opposed to the old focus on isolated things or parts. Epistemology is the theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge and paradigms are the patterns followed by it.


Idealize Image Horizontal Arrow External Reality Word Cognition Iconic Representation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Rendon
    • 1
  1. 1.Montefiore Hospital and Medical CenterBronxUSA

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