Being an adult: Psychoanalytic model and social model

Luigi Cappelli


The author uses two psychoanalytic models, namely Kernberg’s and Kohut’s conceptualizations, to delineate a possible prototype of adult from the point of view of psychoanalysis. The author believes that this process of modulation of narcissism primitive, both in an evolutionary context and therapeutic, is crucial to achieving an adult level of integration.
The author traces also, with the help of two political philosophers, a model of a democratic society, in which you can complete evolution of the mind. The concepts of negative freedom and pluralism of values of Berlin and that of Rawls' justice as fairness are used to identify some key aspects of a modern liberal society.


adulthood; narcissism; liberalism

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)


Berlin, I. (2002). Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press (Trad. it.: Libertà. Milano: Feltrinelli, 2005).

Brodskij, J. (2003). Profilo di Clio. Milano: Adelphi.

Crowder, G. (2004). Isaiah Berlin. Liberty and Pluralism. Cambridge: Polity Press (Trad. it.: Isaiah Berlin. Bologna: il Mulino, 2007).

Gadda, C. E. (1971). La cognizione del dolore. Torino: Einaudi.

Le Doux, J. (2002). Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are, Penguin, New York. (Trad. it.: Il Sè sinaptico. Come il nostro cervello ci fa diventare quelli che siamo. Milano: Cortina, 2002).

Maffettone, S. (2010). Introduzione a Rawls. Bari, Laterza.

Hobbes T. (2008) Leviatano, a cura di Pacchi E., Mondadori, Milano.

Kernberg, O.F. (2004). Aggressivity, Narcissism, and Self-Destructiveness in the Pychotherapeutic relationship: New Developments in the Psychopathology and Psychotherapy of Severe Personality Disorders. Yale: Yale University Press.

Kohut, H. (1978). The Search for the Self. New York: International Universities Press (Trad. it.: La ricerca del Sé. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri, 1982).

Panksepp, J. (1985). Mood changes. In P Vinken, P. Bruyn, H. Klawans e J. Frederiks (eds.), Handbook of Clinical Neurology (pp. 271-285, vol. 45). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Saxe, R. (2009). Brain Regions for perceiving and reasoning about other People in School- aged Cildren, Child Development, 4, 1197-1209.

Solms, M. e Turnbull, O. (2002). The Brain and the Inner World. An Introduction to the Neuroscience of Subjective Experience. New York: Other Pr Llc (Trad. It.: Il cervello e il mondo interno. Milano: Cortina, 2004).

Rawls, J. (1971). A theory of Justice. Cambridge Mass: Harward University Press.

Rawls, J. (1993). Political Liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press.

Schore, A. (2003). Affect Regulation and the Repair of the Self. New York-London:. W. Norton & Company (Trad. it.: La regolazione degli affetti e la riparazione del Sé. Roma: Astrolabio, 2008).


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN: 2035-4630, Open-acess, peer-reviewed Journal, Tribunale di Roma 142/09, 04/05/09 - director manager: G. Colajacomo

  Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA 4.0