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Katz, M. (2010). Forms of Knowledge: A Psychoanalytic Study of Human Communication. By Anna Aragno. Baltimore, MD: Publish America, 2008. 428 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 79(1):288-294.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 79(1):288-294

Forms of Knowledge: A Psychoanalytic Study of Human Communication. By Anna Aragno. Baltimore, MD: Publish America, 2008. 428 pp.

Review by:
Montana Katz

In Forms of Knowledge, Anna Aragno addresses core issues that confront psychoanalysis and practicing psychoanalysts today. She notes that the fragmentation of the field into diverse perspectives, the lack of an over-arching metatheory, and the lack of a unified treatment theory call for a new way of conceptualizing psychoanalysis. The author takes on this challenge and more: the book comprises an impressive attempt to reorient the field. Aragno has devised a creative, interesting, and highly contemporary approach. The model put forth in the book is intended to be a conceptually different foundation for psychoanalysis, one that will effect a paradigm shift in treatment models toward a unified psychoanalytic perspective.

Aragno brings philosophy and some aspects of philosophical method to bear on the construction of a comprehensive framework or model of human communication. She draws upon pertinent work in epistemology, the philosophy of language, linguistics, psychology, and critical theory. In grounding a metatheoretical model in actual forms of communication rather than in their myriad motivations or consequences, Aragno departs from traditional psychoanalytic theory construction and places the means of psychoanalysis at the forefront. This approach affords a new vocabulary with which to revisit traditional as well as contemporary questions in psychoanalysis.

In addition to building a model of modes of communication, Forms of Knowledge explains new concepts and reworks existing ones to ground psychoanalytic theory and practice in a wholly psychoanalytic foundation.

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