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Fisher, C.P. (2003). The Logics of the Mind: A Clinical View. By Jorge L. Ahumada. London: Karnac, 2001, 188 pp., $33.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 51(1):323-330.

(2003). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 51(1):323-330

Book Reviews: Psychoanalysis Practiced

The Logics of the Mind: A Clinical View. By Jorge L. Ahumada. London: Karnac, 2001, 188 pp., $33.00.

Review by:
Charles P. Fisher

This a tightly interconnected set of essays that offer a rigorous intellectual framework for psychoanalysis. Jorge Ahumada provides the reader with rich clinical examples and a sophisticated view of psychoanalysis as an intellectual discipline centered in the clinical method as he understands it. Horacio Etchegoyen provides a brief forward to the volume.

Only three of the ten pieces here have been published previously in English; Ahumada himself translated those that appeared first in Spanish or Portuguese. His prose is complex, elegant, evocative, and demanding. The multi-level integration of Freudian theory, Kleinian theory, clinical work, and his own clinical epistemology with a vision of the psychoanalytic couple as immersed in a particular psychoanalytic culture within an overall social climate is a spectacular achievement, notwithstanding the occasional weak linkage.

Ahumada helps the reader integrate concepts as he moves fluidly among psychoanalytic cultures, referring frequently to Freud, Ferenczi, Melanie Klein, Bion, Etchegoyen, Meltzer, Money-Kyrle, Rosenfeld, and Winnicott. He also cites French writers Andre Green and Lacan and Americans Marshall Edelson, Otto Kernberg, Roy Schafer, and Harold Searles. In addition he addresses the work of an impressive list of philosophers and philosophers of science.

Typically, Ahumada is clear and direct: “Psychoanalytic facts must, in my view, evolve, for both analyst and analysand, from the intuitable to the observable” (p. 17). When he is otherwise, it is because he uses specialized terminology from philosophy (“ostensive refutation,” “ontic primacy”) or from psychoanalytic theories that may be unfamiliar.

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