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Aguillaume, R. (2001). Epistemology and Psychoanalysis: A Fruitful Relationship. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 10(2):97-101.

(2001). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 10(2):97-101

Epistemology and Psychoanalysis: A Fruitful Relationship

Rómulo Aguillaume

This issue presents some of the works that were read in the X International Forum of Psychoanalysis that took place in Madrid from the 5th to the 9th of May 1998, while others were written specifically for this issue. The works in this selection are quite diverse, as was the spirit of the Forum. One of the themes at the forum was “Epistemology and Psychoanalysis,”; one of the presenters was Adolf Grünbaum, who has been central in this debate for many years.

The questioning of psychoanalysis by epistemologists has contributed as much to the strengthening of psychoanalytic theory as to, at the level of individual practice, the introduction of a stronger scientific commitment as well as therapeutic success. Likewise, psychoanalytic thought has contributed to the questioning and enrichment of the epistemological field, and the theory of knowledge, by introducing the subject of knowledge as well as the object of knowledge. At present, an epistemological scheme is imposed “not as a way to certify our success in the discovery of the ‘truth’ but as a creation of canons of ‘rationality’” (9).

In any case, psychoanalysis continues to occupy a singular place, tributary of the two great epistemological models: the strict natural science model governed by causality and the hermeneutic model where the problem of meaning is central. Undoubtedly, other epistemological approaches exist like those that are established, for example, in the work of Edgar Morin on complex thought, but these, nevertheless, do not impede the hermeneutic and natural science epistemologies from being the base from which psychoanalysis is questioned.

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