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Stolorow, R.D. Atwood, G.E. (1991). The Plural Psyche: Personality, Morality, and the Father. By Andrew Samuels. London and New York: Routledge. 1989. Pp. xiv + 253.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 18:99-100.

(1991). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 18:99-100

The Plural Psyche: Personality, Morality, and the Father. By Andrew Samuels. London and New York: Routledge. 1989. Pp. xiv + 253.

Review by:
Robert D. Stolorow

George E. Atwood

Apropos the work's central theme, The Plural Psyche is not really a single book at all, but an amalgam of at least two. One book is about certain sophisticated issues in current Jungian theory, such as the tension between the 'archetypal' and 'developmental' schools of Jungian psychology. This book will not be of wide interest to psychoanalytic readers and will not be dealt with in this review. The second book offers a set of general proposals for a pluralistic approach to personality theory, proposals that seek to transcend any of the particular doctrines that dominate contemporary depth psychology. This second book, which should be of interest to theoretically-minded psychoanalysts, will be the focus of this review.

Pluralism, according to Samuels, 'is an approach to conflict that tries to reconcile differences without imposing a false synthesis on them and, above all, without losing sight of the particular value and truth of each element in the conflict. Pluralism is not an exclusively multiple approach because it seeks to hold unity and diversity in balance, making sure that diversity need not be a basis for schism' (p. xi). In proposing a pluralistic approach to personality theory, Samuels argues cogently that the theoretical differences among the varied schools of depth psychology actually mirror the diversity that exists within the individual psyche, wherein a multitude of 'internal voices and images' (p. 2) compete for experiential primacy. Accordingly, differing theoretical points of view are seen to 'reflect the multiplicity of the psyche itself' (p.

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