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Finlay, M. (1989). Post-modernizing psychoanalysis/Psychoanalysing post-modernity: For Maria Kapuscinska. Free Associations, 1Q(16):43-80.

(1989). Free Associations, 1Q(16):43-80

Post-modernizing psychoanalysis/Psychoanalysing post-modernity: For Maria Kapuscinska

Marike Finlay, Ph.D., M.Sc(Psychiatry)

Analogy: (Logic) process of reasoning from parallel cases; (Lang.) imitation of inflexion or construction of existing words in forming inflexions or construction of others, without intervention of the formative steps through which these at first arose; (Nat. Hist.) resemblance of form or function between organs essentially different. (OECD)

‘Post-modernism’, a very heterogeneous body of practices and theories, does, however, share certain common tenets. They pose a direct challenge to psychoanalysis, which traditionally bases itself in the study of interiority of individual subjects and in the hermeneutic practice of interpreting representations. Before we begin, a few caveats about our use of the term ‘post-modernity’ are in order here. Are we claiming that post-modernity exists? No, we are not arguing that the whole of Western society is running around looking like punks, and so on, nor are we arguing that all theory has been overtaken by the deconstructionists, and so forth. In other words, we do not contend that post-modernity has become the dominant episteme (Foucault). Rather, what we do wish to claim is that certain discursive theories, procedures and practices have emerged in this society, whether deliberately or inadvertently (though we suggest that it is a bit of both), which do draw our attention to them.

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