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Trupp, M.S. (1999). Response. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 80(1):171.

(1999). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 80(1):171


Michael S. Trupp

Dear Sir,

While it would require an odd mentality indeed to be ‘dismissive of philosophy generally,’ formal applications of philosophy to clinical psychoanalysis remain—after a century or so—highly problematic. (See Merleau-Ponty's cogent comments on Freud's ‘pitiless hermeneutic’ 1983.) Serious students of psychoanalysis should, I suggest, remain alert to smug and fatuous anti-Freudian tracts packaged as scholarly discourse.

In her, perhaps too hasty, reading of my review, Cavell may have overlooked the subtitle of the book, The Psychoanalytic Unconscious and its Philosophical Critics, as well as my acknowledgment of Levy's appropriate objections to these ‘critic's' most glaring distoritions. (I do feel that Levy often seems to praise his ‘targets’ with faint damns.)

Cavell might also note that ‘these days’ most of the philosophers here in question are indeed contemporary i.e., alive and, well, and I imagine, ‘productive.’ For example, at a recent meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society, Grunbaum espoused his total lack of ‘hands on’ experience with psychoanalysis as an advantageous spur to his ‘objectivity.’ Relatedly, Cavell's plea for a potentially sappy ecumenicism should remind us of the ‘successful’ aborting of the first Library of Congress Freud exhibit by ‘colleagues in neighboring disciplines.’


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