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Scarfone, D. (2017). On “That Is Not Psychoanalysis”: Ethics as the Main Tool for Psychoanalytic Knowledge and Discussion. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(4):392-400.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(4):392-400

On “That Is Not Psychoanalysis”: Ethics as the Main Tool for Psychoanalytic Knowledge and Discussion

Dominique Scarfone, M.D.

“That is not (or that is) psychoanalysis” is a statement that, more often than not, can only remind us that psychoanalysis is divided into many schools and that discussion among them is difficult if not impossible. This will always be the case as long as analysts hold to their respective ontological definitions as if these were impervious to the laws and, most important, to the Ethics of translation. In psychoanalysis our Ethics and our Epistemology are two sides of the same coin, inseparable from our know-how. Our ethical stance is what allows (or impedes) central psychoanalytic facts to be brought into daylight. This principle applies both in the analytic room and in the room where analysts from different schools try to hold a productive discussion. In both instances “translation” is necessarily incomplete; it is therefore recommended to start by looking for the missing part.

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