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Civitarese, G. Katz, S.M. Tubert-Oklander, J. (2015). Epilogue: Postmodernism and Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Inq., 35(6):661-662.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 35(6):661-662


Epilogue: Postmodernism and Psychoanalysis

Giuseppe Civitarese, M.D., Ph.D., S. Montana Katz, Ph.D., LP and Juan Tubert-Oklander, M.D., Ph.D.

The articles in this issue offer a lively debate about some of the most fundamental and pressing issues of contemporary psychoanalysis. Contemporary psychoanalysis involves a diversity of schools of thought without having yet a fully constructive means of communication between them. Much work has been done in this direction and the articles in this issue point to further effort towards this end. The articles also show how psychoanalytic theory and practice continue to struggle with the integration of the postmodern conceptions of truth and reality, and thus with changing conceptions of the self and other. Although postmodern concepts are acknowledged in psychoanalytic discourse, the pull toward objective conceptualizations has been difficult to shake.

The main difficulty we face when we talk about Postmodernism is that the term means so many different things: Sometimes it is used to refer to everything and anything that came after Modernism; other times to some kind of virulent reaction against it that negates all its assumptions and values—what we may call an Anti-Modernism—and yet others it refers to a new and fruitful development in the world of ideas that dialectically integrates the modernist quest for truth and its emphasis on the uniqueness of the individual, with the postmodern sensitivity for and understanding of the importance of context and perspective in the determination of knowledge, thought, feeling, action, and relationship.

Modern and postmodern may well respectively coincide roughly with an epistemology of the subject and with an epistemology of intermediacy or intersubjectivity.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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