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Cooper, A.M. (2004). On: Hans Loewald: A radical conservative. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(4):999.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(4):999

On: Hans Loewald: A radical conservative Related Papers

Arnold M. Cooper

Dear Sirs,

When IJP 85(1) arrived, I was delighted to see Whitebook (2004), since his title, ‘Hans Loewald: A radical conservative’, so closely mirrored the content of a paper of mine (Cooper, 1988). My first paragraph refers to Loewald's ‘conservative style of revolution’ and labels him ‘one of the intellectual revolutionaries with none of the trappings that usually accompany a revolution’ (1988, p. 15). Whitebook's title matches these ideas rather closely.

The second paragraph of my paper opens: ‘Loewald's vigorous conservative style also led him to a defense of the traditional language of psychoanalysis’ (p. 15). I elaborated the idea at some length. Whitebook states that Loewald develops his own position through the painstaking interpretation of basicand generally unfashionableFreudian concepts (2004, p. 99). The rather precise similarities between my paper and Whitebook's were initially gratifying, but I was rather dismayed to discover that I was not cited in his bibliography.

I won't draw the parallels too closely, but we both discuss Loewald's reinterpretation of instinct and his recognition of relational issues. I developed the latter point in considerable detail, quoting Loewald: In many quarters there still seems to be a tendency to put up a no admittance sign when metapsychological considerations point to object relations as being not merely regulative, but essential constitutive factors in psychic structure formation (1970, pp. 65-6). There are additional similarities and, of course, Whitebook and I diverge on some issues and have different foci.

The matter is not of great significance, but I do feel obliged to draw attention to the bibliographic omission, surely inadvertent, of a clearly relevant paper (Cooper, 1988). Bibliographic scholarship is an obligation of an author and the Editors.


Cooper AM (1988). Our changing views of the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis: Comparing Strachey and Loewald. Psychoanal. Q. 57: 15-27. [→]

Loewald HW (1970). Psychoanalytic theory and the psychoanalytic process. Psychoanal. St. Child 25: 45-68. [→]

Whitebook J (2004). Hans Loewald: A radical conservative. Int. J. Psycho-Anal. 85: 97-115.

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