Psychoanalysis Unbound

Regular Section “Point of View…”
By Elliot Jurist

Both international and historical in scope, this paper focuses on the challenges faced by psychoanalysis today and sheds light on the internal ruptures it has faced over the last years. It offers a dialectical reading of these ruptures, understanding them as a confrontation between defenders of scientific vs. hermeneutical viewpoints; and it raises the question: are they incompatible? We urge both researchers and clinically-oriented analysts to go through the depressive position and adopt a strong pluralism, closely articulating clinical material and theorization. By critically analyzing the debates opposing D. Stern to A. Green, and I. Hoffman to M. N. Eagle and D. L. Wolitzky, then to J. Safran, we wish to stress the risks entailed by confining psychoanalysis into a rigidly hermeneutical stance, ignoring that a scientific stance can be open to complexity.This paper defends a strong pluralism. Its epistemological stance aims at offering a starting point to establish a living dialogue in our discipline, where the diversity of viewpoints needs to be taken seriously: overcoming excessive oppositions opens up new perspective both in research and clinical work.


  • psychoanalysis
  • science
  • hermeneutics
  • pluralism
  • depressive position
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