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Hanly, C. (1995). On Facts And Ideas In Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 76:901-908.

(1995). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 76:901-908

On Facts And Ideas In Psychoanalysis

Charles Hanly

An overview of current views in psychoanalysis reveals a controversy between those who recommend critical idealism and those who recommend critical realism as an epistemology for psychoanalysis. Either epistemology offers a consistent and comprehensive but different account of major issues in psychoanalytic knowledge, its disclosure, formulation, demonstration and publication. Since these epistemologies are no less controversial in philosophy than they are in psychoanalysis, psychoanalysts cannot rely on philosophy for a resolution of the controversy. A sketch of a view of the parts played by subjectivity and objectivity in the formation of psychoanalytic knowledge is elaborated by means of an analysis of Proust's exploration of the acquisition of knowledge of other persons, an exploration which illuminates the roles of idea and observation in knowledge of self and others.

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