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Wilson, E., Jr. (1992). Psyche. XL, 1986: Law and History. On Psychoanalytic Concepts of Epistemology. Ulrich Sonnemann. Pp. 569-582.. Psychoanal Q., 61:137.

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Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psyche. XL, 1986: Law and History. On Psychoanalytic Concepts of Epistemology. Ulrich Sonnemann. Pp. 569-582.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:137

Psyche. XL, 1986: Law and History. On Psychoanalytic Concepts of Epistemology. Ulrich Sonnemann. Pp. 569-582.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

Psychoanalysis is noted for its perpetually defensive attitude in regard to its scientific status, in the traditional sense of science. However, the author believes that there is not such a divergence between psychoanalysis and the scientific status of putatively normal sciences. There is only an apparent contradiction in psychoanalysis between metapsychological reductivism and narrative, that is, between the application of explanation by metapsychological principle and the narrative of the individual biography, i.e., between law and history. Sonnemann attempts to clarify psychoanalytic epistemological concepts by setting psychoanalytic explanation in relation to the two terms, law and narrative, or two conceptions of history. Both approaches must be taken into account. The author traces the recent development of thinking about these two terms, noting the shift from the nineteenth century preoccupation with historical patterns in Hegel and others, which became altered through Nietzsche and others. Freud's psychoanalytic theory articulated the interpenetration of life history and cultural history. Sonnemann emphasizes the cultural dimension in order to show the relativity of "laws" with respect to individual factors.


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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1992). Psyche. XL, 1986. Psychoanal. Q., 61:137

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WARNING! This text is printed for the personal use of the subscriber to PEP Web and is copyright to the Journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to copy, distribute or circulate it in any form whatsoever.