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Scientific thinking styles: The different ways of thinking in psychoanalytic case studies

Kaluzeviciute, Greta and Willemsen, Jochem (2020) 'Scientific thinking styles: The different ways of thinking in psychoanalytic case studies.' The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 101 (5). pp. 900-922. ISSN 0020-7578

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Historian and philosopher John Forrester argues that psychoanalysis is characterized by a style of scientific thinking and reasoning that he coins “thinking in cases”. Since Freud, case studies have been used as a medium for sharing, demonstrating, discovering, expanding, consolidating and “thinking” psychoanalytic knowledge. In this paper, we seek to clarify and enrich Forrester’s idea of thinking in cases. We first attend to issues around the lack of definition for thinking styles, and we propose a more detailed description for what might constitute a scientific thinking style. Second, we outline how thinking in cases differs from other kinds of thinking styles. In doing so, we argue that some of the criticisms directed at case studies are the result of a confusion between statistical and experimental thinking styles and thinking in cases. Finally, we propose that there is more than one way of thinking in cases. We distinguish between cases as exemplars for analytic generalization, cases as exemplars for analogical learning, and cases in the service of empirical generalization. By making these implicit thinking styles explicit, we seek to demonstrate the importance of case studies at all levels of psychoanalysis: clinical, research, training and teaching.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Freudian theory; history of psychoanalysis; philosophy; applied psychoanalysis
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2020 09:44
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2022 19:42

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