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A Critique of Psychoanalytic Reason: Hypnosis as a Scientific Problem from Lavoisier to Lacan

A Critique of Psychoanalytic Reason: Hypnosis as a Scientific Problem from Lavoisier to Lacan

ISBN: 9780804719506
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Edition: 1
Publication Date: 1992-02-01
Number of pages: 344
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$46.41

This original and provocative work begins by examining the shift of scientific paradigms that took place in the late eighteenth century, a shift illustrated by the report of a French Royal Commission appointed in 1784 to investigate Mesmerism. The reactions to Mesmerism among the Commission members - in particular the chemist Lavoisier and the botanist Jussieu - crystallized conflicts about the notion of reason and its role as a scientific ideal, about how science ought to be done. The Commission's denunciation of Mesmerism as the work of the 'immigration' then serves as the starting point for the authors' reconsideration of the history of psychoanalysis, notably its suppression and repression of phenomena associated with hypnosis - imagination, suggestion, and empathy - in its search to establish itself as a science in accord with the new ideal of scientific reason. Examining the new and often troubled relationship in psychoanalysis between therapeutic effectiveness and advances in theory, the authors highlight the challenge to Freudian ideals in the 1920's by Otto Rank and Sandor Ferenczi.

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