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Cooper, A.M. (1985). Chapter 1: A Historical Review of Psychoanalytic Paradigms. Models of the Mind: Their Relationships to Clinical Work, 5-20.

Cooper, A.M. (1985). Chapter 1: A Historical Review of Psychoanalytic Paradigms. Models of the Mind: Their Relationships to Clinical Work , 5-20

Chapter 1: A Historical Review of Psychoanalytic Paradigms Book Information Previous Up Next

Arnold M. Cooper, M.D.

Philosophers of science agree that all pursuit of knowledge, scientific or otherwise, is highly determined by the underlying theories that the investigator holds of the universe he is observing. Without a theory, we are unable to select data from the massive jumble of impressions that constantly assail us. Neither psychoanalysts nor naive psychologists—the man in the street—are able to function without a theory. It is desirable, however, for the psychoanalyst to know what his theory is, since it will determine important actions he takes in the course of his work. The purpose of this book is to help us know which theories we hold and to try to understand the consequences of those theories for our clinical activity.

Our psychoanalytic literature has maintained that there is a close relationship between psychoanalytic theory and psychoanalytic practice. However, since psychoanalytic theory has often been elaborated at high levels of abstraction, that unity of theory and practice may not always be as clear as we would wish. Theories that lack significant consequences for clinical work may be interesting for other purposes, but clearly cannot be held to be clinically valuable. It seems to be a characteristic of complex fields—cosmology, evolution, social science, psychology—that large and overarching theories are constructed in an attempt to provide guidance and justification for the

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