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Spence, D.P. (1993). The Hermeneutic Turn: Soft Science or Loyal Opposition?. Psychoanal. Dial., 3(1):1-10.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 3(1):1-10

The Hermeneutic Turn: Soft Science or Loyal Opposition? Related Papers

Donald P. Spence, Ph.D.

The hermeneutic turn in psychoanalysis may be less a move toward soft science than an attempt to address certain failures in the classical tradition. The latter has failed to convert Freud's many metaphors into anything like responsible science; it has been unable to give up its fascination with Freud and move on to other thinkers and other points of view; it has been unable to find an answer to the problem of secrecy and privileged access to clinical data; under the heavy hand of theory, it has all but eliminated research from the psychoanalytic enterprise; and finally, it has been unable to find a home for the Roshomon effect and the fact that almost everything worth looking at has at least two sides. Above all, psychoanalysis needs to recognize that our theory is often the projection of either our Zeitgeist or our personal history. Until we can make room for the problem of subjectivity in our theory-building, we will never be able to separate the singer from the song.

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