At the heart of this book is an ethical question: 'With what legitimacy do I assume the right to interpret my fellow being?' This question is raised in the context of a critique of a particular hermeneutic interpretation of psychoanalysis, namely, psychoanalysis as an objectifying discipline in which the other (the analysand) is regarded quintessentially as a representation or exterior object to be understood. The author embraces the fundamental intersubjectivity of psychoanalytic experience. Intersubjectivity is viewed as the human encounter within the psychoanalytic setting where there occurs a mutual influencing or acting upon, rather than an encounter guided by an essentially objectivating scientific knowledge. Truth in this conception is not a cumulatively acquired possession, but an always-emerging process coiled within an interpretative dialectic occurring between human beings. This is a thoughtful, nuanced, clearly articulated and challenging book that engages directly with the perceived crisis of psychoanalysis.
Introduction -- Metapsychology: defining the field of inquiry -- A contribution to the interpretation of unconscious fantasy -- A theory of reflection: the hermenutic circle -- A separate reality -- Character formation -- Narrativity and beyond -- The ethical moment: a metapsychological description