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Epstein, R. (2015). On: An “Intradisciplinary” Comparison of Psychoanalytic Theorizations. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(5):1421-1422.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(5):1421-1422

On: An “Intradisciplinary” Comparison of Psychoanalytic Theorizations Language Translation

René Epstein

Dear Editors,

The paper by Rachel B. Blass (2014) comparing and contrasting the developments of Freud and Klein with regard to anxiety and the ‘fear of death’ is, from various standpoints, rather interesting. In relation to the question of psychoanalysis as scientific knowledge, I would like to call attention to a number of points which, while implicit, merit explicit mention.

Blass speaks of a “latent dialogue” or a “tie between the thinking” (p. 624) of Freud and Klein. Their foundational epistemological positions thus emerge in relation to a scientific discussion - a discussion that proceeds from practical and clinical observations. As such, the concepts find their origin in empirical reality. Blass's remark on the “misguided nature” of the explicit arguments (p. 625) refers to any discussion of this type involving the need for acknowledgement and inclusion of the authors’ respective referential frameworks, since these frameworks determine the inductive process underpinning those concepts. Furthermore, she points to the need to examine the internal coherence of this process and the role of assumptions, which may arise to smooth over certain gaps or differences. This is the case with Klein's ‘assumption’ that the existence of an instinct (in this case the death instinct) presupposes the existence of “a response” to it (p. 617). In psychoanalysis, this signifies the existence of a representation.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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