Psychoanalysis and empirical research
Article first published online: 17 OCT 2003
Journal of Analytical Psychology
Volume 48, Issue 5, pages 643–658, November 2003
How to Cite
Giannoni, M. (2003), Psychoanalysis and empirical research. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 48: 643–658. doi: 10.1111/1465-5922.00425
- Issue published online: 17 OCT 2003
- Article first published online: 17 OCT 2003
- [Ms first received August 2002, final version April 2003]
- empirical research;
- hermeneutic approach;
- multiplicity of theories;
- relational psychology;
Abstract: At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the idea of reason began to lose its universal and absolute value, undermining the view of science as a form of objective knowledge that reveals a fundamental reality. These changes have also had an impact on psychoanalysis, leading to a proliferation of theories and the end of a positivistic approach, epitomized by a ‘neutral’ analyst who knows the contents of the patient's mind.
Hermeneutic philosophy provides a tool with which to explore both theoretical multiplicity and the contribution of the analyst's subjectivity to the analytic process. Furthermore, a hermeneutic approach does not have to be hostile to empirical science, but can be integrated with it in a ‘scientific-hermeneutic model’ in which historical and biological principles are given equal value.