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Protter, B. (1996). Classical, Modern, and Postmodern Psychoanalysis: Epistemic Transformations. Psychoanal. Dial., 6(4):533-562.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 6(4):533-562

Classical, Modern, and Postmodern Psychoanalysis: Epistemic Transformations Related Papers

Barry Protter, Ph.D.

The work of Grünbaum is situated within an evolving epistemic schema as reflected in the history of psychoanalysis. His views are representative of an outmoded model of psychoanalytic practice, but also serve as a cogent critique of the underlying assumptions of this classical model, which can be called the causal-essentialist view. Subsequent anti-essentialist developments in post-Freudian thought have been instrumental in transforming the methodology and goals of psychoanalysis into hermeneutically oriented modern-humanistic and postmodern-historicist outlooks. These newer construals of analysis treat rationality as having a wider purview than causal explanatory science. It is suggested that the unique epistemic tension that characterizes psychoanalysis is the result of the elusive interrelationship of its explanatory, descriptive, and prescriptive features.

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