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Bouchard, M. (1995). The Specificity Of Hermeneutics In Psychoanalysis: Leaps On The Path From Construction To Recollection. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 76:533-546.

(1995). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 76:533-546

The Specificity Of Hermeneutics In Psychoanalysis: Leaps On The Path From Construction To Recollection

Marc-André Bouchard

Psychoanalysis is the search for and revelation, through interpretation and construction, of unknown, unconscious implications. But the question is raised: are the meanings being uncovered or are we providing them? This basic realist-idealist contraposition is at the heart of current discussions about the hermeneutic trend in psychoanalysis. Ricoeur's often misrepresented contribution serves as a basis for understanding Freud's method as forming a ‘hermeneutic constellation’, evolving within a ‘moderate’, in contrast to a ‘radical-idealist’ hermeneutic psychoanalysis. Ahumada's recent charge of ‘verbal creationism’ and Laplanche's re-framing of interpretation between determinism and hermeneutics are discussed in order to specify the more moderate position taken in this paper. It is argued that although they are correct in pointing to potential excesses, both authors misrepresent the hermeneuticist trend as unnecessarily idealistic. A case example from a session illustrates the discussion.

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