This unified and coherent model has been created out of the richness of naturalistic baby observation as well as of clinical experience including all age-groups and several cultures – and out of the confusion caused by the numerous, seemingly contradictory explanations offered for this richness: Nature and Nurture, Mind and Body, Structure and Function – all based on good data and claiming to be scientific… I progressively discovered that normally, all of these factors systematically acted in the same direction ('equifinality'), that this was due to the recapitulation of developmental sequences on successive structural levels (Piaget), and that it applied both to drive and to cognitive development; in fact, the two are inseparable, since the former seems to provide the blueprints for new cognitive structures.
The transitions from one major level to the next take place by way of a sequence of five 'organizers' (Spitz) or 'critical periods' (neurobiology) spanning from the earliest weeks of life to adolescence and building upon each other along the axis of core 'libidinal object' (Spitz) or 'figurative' (Piaget) development. Each organizer requires the simultaneous presence of a more somatic/structural factor and of a corresponding more environmental/functional factor. The most momentous metamorphosis is the one from the sensori-motor or 'mirror'-level to the uniquely human level of internalized semiotic representation around eighteen months. I will try to show that this 'third organizer' must and does consist of a well-defined mechanism/experience called 'Early Triangulation' – the big bang from which originate the a priori categories of the mind as well as Freud's 'Primal Phantasies'.
Must and does? Deducing the mind?? Yes, indeed: in this model, deduction converges with induction, interpretation of meaning ('from above') with the systemic rules of epigenetic construction ('from below'). If ever more and better data do confirm it, the model would interconnect a set of far-reaching discoveries into a coherent meta-diciplinary whole - a methodological breakthrough at the same token.
Such convergences will be described again and again in the 25 lectures posted on this website, in other words, on all levels of mental development and to some extent also in the corresponding micro- and macrosocial structures.
In this introduction, I have described the shell of my model but hardly anything about its manifold contents. To give you an inkling of these and to hopefully further whet your appetite, the next page will provocatively list some of the more exciting claims deriving from my model. Although they might sound speculative at first, they probably will sound plausible to you if you read in sequence the 25 lectures. The model might thus prove to be of utmost importance.
Ernst (Ernest) L. Abelin.