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Observe what is “out of the show”! Paradoxical epistemological problems of psychanalytic observation

Articles

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KeywordsTriple Keywords
Revolutions
Insurrections
Revolts
Rebellions
Revolutionary wars
Volition
Conation
Will
Reality
Subject (Philosophy)
Deduction (Logic)
Argumentation
Logic
Logic, Deductive
Deductive logic
Dialectic (Logic)
Action, Human
Behavior, Human
Human action
Ethology
Human beings--Behavior
Human behavior
Concepts
Concept formation
Theory of knowledge
Epistemology
Knowledge, Theory of
Psychoanalysis

Abstract

The group’s question puts psychanalysis into a necessary question about the historical origins of its epistemologic fundamentals. At the hearing of the 20th century two major intellectual revolutions will fundamentally change our view on the nature of the reality and, upstream, on the subject itself and its origins. These are quantum physics, on the one hand, and psychanalysis, on the other. While the first breaks with the logic behind classical physics, the second disrupts the traditional conception of psychism and human behaviour. The epistemological adventure they inaugurate seems to be part of the unimagined sharing of an epistemic community that reveals a radically new way of seeing and describing the world. Both confront us with a type of reality far removed from what the common meaning and traditional science identify in the use of this concept or consider it to be conceivable. What is more surprising in both quantum physics in psychanalysis is what these two approaches to reality share on the status of observation, the impact of which ensures the specificity and fertility of their practice. Both are based on a theory of knowledge which abolishes the separation or demarcation of an observed object and an observant subject, but which involves the subject inextricably both in the subject matter of the observation and in the updating of that reality.

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