Nonconventional approaches to the exploration of the relationship between empirical research and psychoanalysis

Journal title GRUPPI
Author/s Vincenzo Bonaminio, Paolo Fabozzi
Publishing Year 2012 Issue 2011/2 Language Italian
Pages 28 P. 97-124 File size 379 KB
DOI 10.3280/GRU2011-002007
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The authors emphasize that the last three decades have been characterized by a more and more obvious shift from empirical research methods to psychoanalytic research methods with no awareness of what philosophers of science describe as «comparative rules». The latter have the specific aim of establishing possible hybridizations between two different scientific fields. They underline the need for the two scientific realms to progress in a mutual fertilization which - without obliterating or blurring the specificity of psychoanalysis, i.e. the existence of the Unconscious - do not implicitly reformulate the basic assumptions of both the clinical and theoretical psychoanalytic build-up. This risk especially manifests itself with the so called «competent child», "constructed" by infant research: this seems to be a child which fundamentally lacks an unconscious. The risk is that the scope and methodology of empirical research could seriously alter and deform psychoanalysis, which therefore would no more be a clinical methodology concerned with that which is defensively foreclosed, repressed, or split from consciousness, but rather preoccupied with a variety of implicit, automatically organized mental processes. In this case, subjective transparency would unduly substitute the unconscious determinants of behavior, feelings, and drives. Re-emphasizing the close Freudian link between method, therapy (the talking cure) and theory - the so called Junktim - is, according to the authors, the only path to reach a heuristic definition of the specificity of psychoanalysis.

Keywords: Psychoanalysis, infant research, empirical verification, irrelevance of experimental data, clinical method, observational method.

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Vincenzo Bonaminio, Paolo Fabozzi, Percorsi non convenzionali nell’esplorazione del rapporto tra ricerca empirica e psicoanalisi in "GRUPPI" 2/2011, pp 97-124, DOI: 10.3280/GRU2011-002007