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Tip: To review the bibliography…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Druck, A.B. (2014). Objectivity and Subjectivity in the Evolution of Psychoanalytic Theories. Psychoanal Q., 83(4):917-937.
  

(2014). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 83(4):917-937

Objectivity and Subjectivity in the Evolution of Psychoanalytic Theories

Andrew B. Druck

Dr. Charles Hanly's paper, “The Interplay of Deductive and Inductive Reasoning in Psychoanalytic Theorizing,” provides us with a welcome opportunity to discuss the process of constructing and refining psychoanalytic theories. Hanly presents a relatively straightforward account of change in psychoanalytic theory, concentrating on the evolution of Freud's ideas. He argues that psychoanalytic theory, like theory in the natural sciences, has evolved through the interplay of deduction and induction, in which induction is based on assessment of psychoanalytic facts, i.e., clinical observations. The epistemological context within which this process occurs is that of critical realism, rather than irreducible subjectivity, which interferes with objective assessment of clinical observations.

However, other important assumptions and assertions are embedded in Hanly's argument, and they are best discussed as they emerge in the course of that argument. Therefore, I will structure my discussion through my reading of Hanly's paper, as I try to follow his thinking and highlight assumptions that deserve further exploration. I will then briefly discuss two issues raised by Hanly: subjectivity in psychoanalytic theorizing and the relation of a psychoanalyst to his or her theory.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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