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Aron, L. (2017). Beyond Tolerance in Psychoanalytic Communities: Reflexive Skepticism and Critical Pluralism. Psychoanal. Perspect., 14(3):271-282.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 14(3):271-282


Beyond Tolerance in Psychoanalytic Communities: Reflexive Skepticism and Critical Pluralism

Lewis Aron, Ph.D.

Recent developments in the philosophy of science suggest that scientific knowledge grows not by accumulating supporting evidence but by subjecting our beliefs to the staunchest criticism we can gather. This paper argues for approaching contemporary psychoanalytic multiplicity with an attitude of “reflexive skepticism” and “critical pluralism.” We can gain the most from the diversity of psychoanalytic theories by moving beyond mutual respect and tolerance toward a genuine appreciation of others, for the critical perspective that they can offer to us and that we can offer to them. The other, the other school, viewpoint, or orientation, can provide a function that we cannot do for ourselves nor they for themselves. In this view, the criticism of the other can become a unique gift, mutually exchanged among schools.

[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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