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The function of metapsychology – study of an American controversy, 1970s–1980s

Batsch, Manuel (2021) 'The function of metapsychology – study of an American controversy, 1970s–1980s.' Psychoanalysis and History, 23 (1). pp. 75-100. ISSN 1460-8235

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This article explores the controversies triggered by Freud's metapsychology, specifically the American critiques of the 1970s – Heinz Hartmann, Merton Gill and David Rapaport, Robert Waelder, and Lawrence Kubie for ego-psychology, leading into Roy Schafer, George Klein and again Merton Gill for hermeneutics, Emmanuel Peterfreund and Charles Brenner for positivism, before concluding with a summary of more inventive engagements with metapsychology including that of Joseph Sandler and André Green. The article argues that in the name of empirical or clinical evidence, the American critiques tried to reintroduce a subjectivity made of data into the heart of psychoanalytic theory and as a result, replaced the subject of the unconscious with a new figure of the subject not only transparent to itself, but also transparent to two main forms of discourse: the hermeneutic discourse, on the one hand, and the positivist discourse, on the other.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: metapsychology, ego-psychology, Roy Schafer, George Klein, Merton Gill, Emmanuel Peterfreund, Charles Brenner
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2021 09:25
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:08

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