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Mateu, P.F. (2001). Descubrimientos y refutaciones: La lógica de la indagación psicoanalítica [Discoveries and refutations: the logic of psychoanalytic enquiry]. Jorge L. Ahumada. Madrid: Asociación Psicoanalítica de Madrid, Biblioteca Nueva. 1999. pp. 430.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 82(1):183-189.

(2001). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 82(1):183-189

Descubrimientos y refutaciones: La lógica de la indagación psicoanalítica [Discoveries and refutations: the logic of psychoanalytic enquiry]. Jorge L. Ahumada. Madrid: Asociación Psicoanalítica de Madrid, Biblioteca Nueva. 1999. pp. 430.

Review by:
Pere Folch Mateu

The twenty chapters making up these ‘collected papers’, presented in strict chronological order, constitute the fruit of nearly two decades of reflection by Ahumada on some of the thorniest issues confronting psychoanalysts today, faced as they are with the demands of theoretical and clinical consistency in their own discipline and with the need to assert their identity against the critiques of, as well as to be in dialogue with, other disciplines within the culture they share.

The book begins with a consideration of the supposed crisis of psychoanalysis and ends with an attempt to formulate its modus operadi and to determine the reasons for its successes and failures, as well as to give an account of the logic of its approach. Between the overture and the finale, the author presents an extensive and detailed reflection on psychopathology and clinical situations of various kinds. The book's substance and meaning stem from the desire to pinpoint the position of psychoanalysis on such burning questions as the nature of the therapeutic process, the psychoanalytic contribution to the theory of mind, the particular scientific status of psychoanalysis, the justification of its method and its epistemic foundations.

This ambitious agenda leads the author to engage in a wide-ranging dialogue with a number of interlocutors. On the one hand, there is an intradisciplinary debate with different currents of contemporary psychoanalytic thought, and, on the other, an interdisciplinary exchange with various fields of philosophy and science that reject or endorse psychoanalysis, and which often overlook their own sectarian differences and reductionist positions.

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