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Shapiro, T. (1999). Commentaries. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(2):390-395.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(2):390-395


Theodore Shapiro

Arnold Goldberg strikes a contrast between empathy and judgment that is worthy of the distinction between wisdom and knowledge. It is only with the passage of time and the accrual of knowledge that wisdom is possible. Perhaps that is why the Chinese tradition regards the venerable as repositories of precious wisdom. Goldberg, not yet venerable in our psychoanalytic sense, has nonetheless produced an essay that belongs to our wisdom literature. I listened to it with appreciation and read it afterward to prepare my discussion, and each time was struck by a more placid Arnold. I noticed also the enduring style, pithy and quotable, that marks his entire corpus. As in reading his book, The Prisonhouse of Psychoanalysis (Goldberg 1990), I was struck too by his continuing distaste for cant and dogma.

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