The Analyst's Knowledge and Authority: A Critique of the “New View” in Psychoanalysis

Morris N. Eagle, David L. Wolitzky, Jerome C. Wakefield, Morris N. Eagle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A critical assessment is presented of positions recently taken by Mitchell and Renik, who are taken as representatives of a “new view” in psychoanalysis. One article by Mitchell and two by Renik are examined as paradigmatic of certain ways of construing the nature of mind, the analyst's knowledge and authority, and the analytic process that are unduly influenced by the postmodern turn in psychoanalysis. Although “new view” theorists have made valid criticisms of traditional psychoanalytic theory and practice, they wind up taking untenable positions. Specifically called into question are their views on the relation between language and interpretation, on the one hand, and the mental contents of the patient on the other. A disjunction is noted between their discussion of clinical material and their conceptual stance, and their idiosyncratic redefinitions of truth and objectivity are criticized. Finally, a “humble realism” is suggested as the most appropriate philosophical position for psychoanalysts to adopt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-488
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of the American Psychoanalytic Association
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

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Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalytic Theory
Mentally Ill Persons
Language
Authority
Objectivity
Psychoanalysts
Realism
Theorists
Criticism
Redefinition
Stance
Mental Content
Paradigmatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

The Analyst's Knowledge and Authority : A Critique of the “New View” in Psychoanalysis. / Eagle, Morris N.; Wolitzky, David L.; Wakefield, Jerome C.; Eagle, Morris N.

In: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Vol. 49, No. 2, 2001, p. 457-488.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Eagle, Morris N. ; Wolitzky, David L. ; Wakefield, Jerome C. ; Eagle, Morris N. / The Analyst's Knowledge and Authority : A Critique of the “New View” in Psychoanalysis. In: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. 2001 ; Vol. 49, No. 2. pp. 457-488.
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