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Robertis, D.D. (2001). Notes for a Definition of the Concept of Psychoanalytical Epistemology. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 10(2):133-143.

(2001). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 10(2):133-143

Notes for a Definition of the Concept of Psychoanalytical Epistemology

Daniela De Robertis, Ph.D.

The first part of the article describes the epistemic ambiguities that psychoanalysis has generated through both a sometimes unstructured approach and a lack of updated epistemological information. Accordingly, a historically out-moded ‘scientist’ model has erroneously been taken as valid and scientific. The second part illustrates the extent to which predominant psychoanalytical currents now share common ground with epistemology and the cognate sciences, breaking out of the epistemic solipsism which for too long led psycholanalysis to believe it could be self-referential. This critical examination of old and new ground is thus an analysis of the referents on which psychoanalysis has based its theoretical postulates. It is desirable that this analysis be extended to include the whole discipline of psychoanalytical research, thereby becoming a mental given for the psychoanalyst, not least on account of the enormous benefit of epistemic reflexion on the adoption of the instruments of knowledge. Over the last few years this development has allowed psychoanalytical theory to be considered on a par with the results of philosophy and the philosophy of science, thereby ending the false and anti-scientific aristocracy of thought which made psychoanalysis a prisoner of itself for almost a century.

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