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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Source. This will rearrange the results of your search, displaying articles according to their appearance in journals and books. This feature is useful for tracing psychoanalytic concepts in a specific psychoanalytic tradition.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Wallwork, E. (2005). The ethic of honesty: The fundamental rule of psychoanalysis By M. Guy Thompson New York, NY: Rodopi. 2003. 193 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(4):1232-1237.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(4):1232-1237

The ethic of honesty: The fundamental rule of psychoanalysis By M. Guy Thompson New York, NY: Rodopi. 2003. 193 pp.

Review by:
Ernest Wallwork

Thompson's stated ambition in this controversial book is to provoke and unsettle basic assumptions about psychoanalysis. His strategy is to displace theory with technique by driving a wedge between them. What is important about analysis, he argues, is not what we think, but what we do. Theory is far less important for how we treat our patients than we are inclined to believe. Preoccupation with theory has promoted sterile disagreements among representatives of competing schools about issues foreign to the clinical situation. The solution to the babble of rival contemporary theorizing lies in returning to our common roots in Freud's clinical writings—reinterpreted, so as to bring out their implicit existential and ethical meanings.

Thompson carefully explicates Freud's technical texts, deepening the familiar meanings of such key concepts as the fundamental rule, free association, neutrality, abstinence, transference, countertransference, therapeutic goals and working through. He is guided not only by close explication de texte, however, but also, and in enlightening ways, by the emphasis on lived experience in the philosophical tradition of phenomenology and existentialism launched by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, a tradition that Thompson sees as growing out of the same cultural milieu that informs psychoanalysis. From Husserl (1931), Thompson adopts the view that theoretical ‘explanation is inadequate to the task of understanding what is given to experience’ (p. xvi). This philosophical opposition to theory holds that abstract ideas tend to distort experience.

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