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Wallerstein, R.S. (2005). Dialogue or illusion? How do we go from here? Response to André Green. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(3):633-638.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(3):633-638

Dialogue or illusion? How do we go from here? Response to André Green

Robert S. Wallerstein

I appreciate very much André Green's spirited and extended rejoinder to my presentation of the place of our current pluralism of theory in worldwide psychoanalysis within the unfolding historical development of our discipline, because it does give me the opportunity both to try to clarify possible misunderstandings between us, and also to outline more comprehensively the basically distinct visions of the nature of psychoanalysis that undergird our differing takes on what the psychoanalytic enterprise is all about. Which accounts for my original suggestion that he, as a long-time friend who has always respectfully disagreed with me on just these issues of what it is that we are both engaged in under the rubric of psychoanalysis, should be invited to write the rejoinder to my presentation.

But, before responding on our more fundamental differences about the nature of psychoanalysis as a discipline, let me reply to specific issues of fact or opinion that Green raises in his text, in the order in which he presents them. First, about the intent of my first presidential address to the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) at the 1987 Congress in Montreal (Wallerstein, 1988), entitled ‘One psychoanalysis or many?’ My programmatic intent was to call the psychoanalytical community's attention to a major scientific issue confronting it: what, in the face of our ever-burgeoning diversity of theoretical perspectives, holds us together as shared adherents of a common psychoanalytic enterprise, and then differentiates us from other, non-psychoanalytic perspectives on the nature of mental functioning.

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