Essays on Psychoanalytic Knowing

By Jorge L. Ahumada

© 2011 – Routledge

272 pages

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Paperback: 9780415618816
pub: 2011-07-06
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Hardback: 9780415618809
pub: 2011-07-06
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About the Book

This book explores the clinical processes of psychoanalysis by charting modern developments in logic and applying them to the study of insight. Offering an epistemic approach to clinical psychoanalysis this book places value on the clinical interpretations of both the analysand and analyst and engages in a critique on purely linguistic approaches to psychoanalysis, which forsake crucial dimensions of clinical practice.

Drawing on the work of key twentieth century thinkers including Jerome Richfield, Ignacio Matte-Blanco, Gregory Bateson and the pioneering contribution on insight made by James Strachey, topics of discussion include:

  • the structure and role of clinical interpretation
  • interpretation and creationism
  • body, meaning and language
  • logical levels and transference.

As such, this book will be of great interest to all those in the psychoanalytic field, in particular those wanting to learn more about the study of insight and its relationship to clinical processes of psychoanalysis.


"the reader can expect, I think, to have the opportunity to examine and gain insight into their own ideas that shape their psychoanalytic experience. This will be a private experience but well worth the effort that I think needs putting into the reading to gain the most out of it. I certainly found that there were times when it seemed too daunting for me but on reaching the conclusion I felt I had gained something new, challenging and very helpful." - James Rose, The International Journal of Psychoanalysis

"This is an important, illuminating book by one of the few psychoanalysts who are intellectually equipped to deal authoritatively with the crucially important links between our failure to improve methods for evaluating clinical evidence and the culture wars in psychoanalysis in recent decades." - Dale Boesky, from the Foreword

Table of Contents

Boesky, Foreword. Preface.Introduction: On the Place and Limits of Psychoanalytic Knowing. Logical Types and Ostensive Insight. Interpretation and Creationism. What is a Clinical Fact? Clinical Psychoanalysis as Inductive Method. Body, Meaning and Language. Fact, Context, Image, Narrative: A Bio-logical Approach. Toward the Epistemology of Clinical Psychoanalysis. Disclosures and Refutations: Clinical Psychoanalysis as a Logic of Enquiry. Counterinduction in Psychoanalytic Practice: Epistemic and Technical Aspects. Logical and Communicational Levels of Transference. The Double Work on the Clinical Evidences, and the Nature and Limits of Symbolization. The Analytic Mind at Work. Counterinductive Knowledge and the Blunders of So-called ‘Theory of Science’. Postscript: 'What Hath God Wrought?' A Plea for Insight in Media Society.

About the Author

Jorge L. Ahumada is a training analyst of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association and a Distinguished Fellow in the British Psychoanalytical Society. He is Mary S. Sigourney Awardee for 1996 and is a past Editor for Latin America of The International Journal of Psychoanalysis.

About the Series

The New Library of Psychoanalysis

The New Library of Psychoanalysis is published by Routledge Mental Health in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

Its purpose is to facilitate a greater and more widespread appreciation of psychoanalysis and to provide a forum for increasing mutual understanding between psychoanalysts and those in other disciplines. The series also aims to make some of the work of continental and other non-English speaking analysts more readily available to English-speaking readers, and to increase the interchange of ideas between British and American analysts.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis published its first book in 1987 under the editorship of David Tuckett, later followed by Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Susan Budd and Dana Birksted-Breen. A considerable number of Associate Editors and readers have assisted the editors.

Under the guidance of Foreign Rights Editors, a considerable number of the New Library books have been published abroad, particularly in Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Peru, Spain and Japan.

The aim of the New Library of Psychoanalysis is to maintain the high level of scholarship of the previous series, to provide a forum for increasing understanding between psychoanalysis and other disciplines and to increase the interest of the general book-reading public in psychoanalysis.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis also aims to help the various schools of psychoanalysis to better understand each other. It has published books representing all three schools of thought in British psychoanalysis, including a particularly important work edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner, expounding the intellectual and organisational controversies that developed in the British psychoanalytical Society between Kleinian, Viennese and 'middle group' analysts during the Second World War.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis has also translated and published several books by Continental psychoanalysts, and it plans in the future to continue the policy of publishing books that express as clearly as possible a variety of psychoanalytic points of view.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health