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Esman, A.H. (1992). Dimensions of Psychoanalysis: Edited by Joseph Sandler. London: Karnac, 1989, 263 pp., £15.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 40:860-862.

(1992). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 40:860-862

Dimensions of Psychoanalysis: Edited by Joseph Sandler. London: Karnac, 1989, 263 pp., £15.

Review by:
Aaron H. Esman, M.D.

In 1974 University College of the University of London established, through the generosity of Mr. David Astor, a Freud Memorial Chair. Initially it was held by a succession of annually appointed visiting professors. A decade later Dr. Joseph Sandler was chosen to serve with extended tenure, in the course of which he has led in the development of a major program devoted to psychoanalysis as an academic discipline.

In this volume, Sandler has collected the academic lectures delivered by the distinguished occupants of the Freud Chair during the first 10 years of its existence. They serve to further his primary aim—to bring to an audience of professionals and educated laymen some of the important post-Freudian developments in psychoanalysis and, in doing so, to demonstrate its vitality as an evolving multifaceted body of thought—a field with many "dimensions." Given the diversity of the authors' theoretical orientations, national origins, and areas of interest, his aim is well-served by this collection.

Some of the material will be familiar to many analysts, since it summarizes or anticipates work that has been published elsewhere. Illustrative is the lecture that inaugurated the series, Roy Schafer's "The Psychoanalytic Life History," which presents in capsule form his view of psychoanalysis as a hermeneutic, rather than a natural science discipline, and his prescription of an "action language" as a remedy for some of the conceptual confusion which, he maintains, plagues the field.

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