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Gilman, S.L. (1991). Theories of the Unconscious and Theories of the Self: Edited by Raphael Stern. Hillsdale, N.J.: Analytic Press, 1987, 282 pp., $36.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 39:826-828.

(1991). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 39:826-828

Theories of the Unconscious and Theories of the Self: Edited by Raphael Stern. Hillsdale, N.J.: Analytic Press, 1987, 282 pp., $36.00.

Review by:
Sander L. Gilman, Ph.D.

This anthology is the product of a series of conferences and lectures sponsored by the Association for Philosophy of Science, Psychotherapy and Ethics, held at the Graduate Center at C.U.N.Y during the mid-1980's. The papers are representative of a "serious" attempt on the part of philosophers of science (who understand themselves not as humanists but as scientists) to examine the basic presuppositions of psychoanalysis.

One thread of these endeavors can be found in what can be called the "debunking" tradition of contemporary philosophy, best represented in the recent past by the work of Adolf Grübaum. This view makes a series of assumptions: first, that psychoanalysis is a "science" (and in this shares the presupposition of many psychoanalysts); second, that science is that arena of "truth" defined by the philosophy of science (as a sort of guardian at the gate); third, that the rules developed in the philosophy of science are transcendental truths which define "science" in any time, place, or context. This fantasy about the nature of truth is then used by this group of philosophers to "debunk" psychoanalysis or at least to draw its "scientific" credentials into question.

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