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Friedman, L. (1995). Commentaries. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:986.

(1995). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43:986

Commentaries

Lawrence Friedman

How scientific is psychoanalysis, and what sort of research is relevant to it? Today's harsh public scrutiny and bare-bones health financing bring new urgency to the old question.

For his plenary address to the American Psychoanalytic Association, Howard Shevrin has devised a playful and powerful teaching device that allows the reader to hold in imagination all four of the principal conflicting beliefs regarding psychoanalytic research. Shevrin's dramatic dialogue renders clearly visible the elements of the controversy, which are then measured against fascinating examples taken from his own research.

We have added another seven voices to Shevrin's four, and from all of these it is likely that readers will first identify their own position, then come to question it, and finally discover positions they had never thought of. They may also find that arguments about scientific status have a way of picking out shades of meaning within concepts (such as the unconscious) that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

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