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Davis, T. (2018). A Philosophical Critique of the Relational Movement: A Review of Psychoanalysis Beyond the End of Metaphysics: Thinking Towards the Post-Relational by Robin S. Brown. New York, NY: Routledge, 2017. 142 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 54(1):229-239.
  

(2018). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 54(1):229-239

Book Reviews

A Philosophical Critique of the Relational Movement: A Review of Psychoanalysis Beyond the End of Metaphysics: Thinking Towards the Post-Relational by Robin S. Brown. New York, NY: Routledge, 2017. 142 pp.

Tyson Davis, Psy.D.

Introduction

In his book, Psychoanalysis Beyond the End of Metaphysics: Thinking towards the Post-Relational, Robin Brown offers an exploration of some of the tacit philosophical assumptions implied within relational psychoanalysis. Brown identifies some areas where neglect of these assumptions subtly compromises some of the hallmarks of relational theory, such as theoretical inclusivity, the context-dependent nature of knowledge, and a full appreciation of subjectivity. In order for relational psychoanalysis to honor its own theoretical commitments, its implicit philosophical assumptions must be acknowledged and included within its scope of dialogue. Brown identifies areas where space might be opened within the dialogue to include areas that have been relatively neglected, such as spirituality and the transcendent, and thus a relational psychoanalysis that better reflects its own ethos. In this review, I will try to summarize some of Brown's main points and offer some points for further discussion. My review will be organized into three main parts: Brown's definition of the problem, Brown's vision of a proposed solution, and my discussion of Brown's thoughts.

A Definition of the Problem

I. Incompatible Metaphysics

The endurance of metaphysics. Brown begins his discussion by describing the history of metaphysics and its relation to the sciences. Metaphysics might generally be understood as the study of ultimate reality, as distinguished from mere appearance. Brown emphasizes that metaphysics remained a relevant dimension of human inquiry until the arrival of the modern era when it became delegitimized.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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