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Wallerstein, R.S. (2005). Response to Dr Epstein. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(6):1714.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(6):1714

Response to Dr Epstein Related Papers

Robert S. Wallerstein

Dear Sirs,

I very much appreciate Dr. René Epstein's strong interest in the recent Psychoanalytic Controversies feature (Green, 2005; Wallerstein, 2005a, 2005b) on the nature of the current theoretical pluralism characterizing psychoanalysis, and its possible unfolding in our coming developmental trajectory. Dr. Epstein's central contention seems to reside in his much broader understanding of how we define a ‘discipline’ such as psychoanalysis.

Wallerstein (2005a, 2005b) designates psychoanalysis (among other things) as a discip1ine, by which I mean only a collective body of individuals of reasonably comparable professional training and experience, who, in the case of a caring discipline, like psychoanalysis, deploy that training and experience in the service of individuals who present for its professional guidance. A discipline may have a centrally unified theoretical structure, or may, like law and like physics—and psychoanalysis as well, currently—be beset with differing, and even antithetical, guiding theories. These competing theories, and the efforts to reconcile them (or not) in no wise alter the designation (definition) of a ‘discipline’ which is merely a pragmatically (and legally) useful designation of individuals performing the same professional service.

17 September 2005


Green A (2005). The illusion of common ground and mythical pluralism. Int. J. Psycho-Anal. 86: 627-32. [→]

Wallerstein RS (2005a). Will psychoanalytic pluralism be an enduring state of our discipline? Int. J. Psycho-Anal. 86: 623-6. [→]

Wallerstein RS (2005b). Dialogue or illusion? How we go from here? Int. J. Psycho-Anal. 86: 633-8.

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