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Giannoni, M. (2003). Psychoanalysis and empirical research. J. Anal. Psychol., 48(5):643-658.

(2003). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 48(5):643-658

Psychoanalysis and empirical research

Massimo Giannoni, M.D.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the idea of reason began to lose its universal and absolute value, undermining the view of science as a form of objective knowledge that reveals a fundamental reality. These changes have also had an impact on psychoanalysis, leading to a proliferation of theories and the end of a positivistic approach, epitomized by a ‘neutral’ analyst who knows the contents of the patient's mind.

Hermeneutic philosophy provides a tool with which to explore both theoretical multiplicity and the contribution of the analyst's subjectivity to the analytic process. Furthermore, a hermeneutic approach does not have to be hostile to empirical science, but can be integrated with it in a ‘scientific-hermeneutic model’ in which historical and biological principles are given equal value.

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