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Thinking in Cases

Thinking in Cases

John Forrester

ISBN: 978-1-509-50861-7

Nov 2016, Polity

220 pages

In Stock



What exactly is involved in using particular case histories to think systematically about social, psychological and historical processes? Can one move from a textured particularity, like that in Freud’s famous cases, to a level of reliable generality? In this book, Forrester teases out the meanings of the psychoanalytic case, how to characterize it and account for it as a particular kind of writing. In so doing, he moves from psychoanalysis to the law and medicine, to philosophy and the constituents of science. Freud and Foucault jostle here with Thomas Kuhn, Ian Hacking and Robert Stoller, and Einstein and Freud’s connection emerges as a case study of two icons in the general category of the Jewish Intellectual.

While Forrester was particularly concerned with analysing the style of reasoning that was dominant in psychoanalysis and related disciplines, his path-breaking account of thinking in cases will be of great interest to scholars, students and professionals across a wide range of disciplines, from history, law and the social sciences to medicine, clinical practice and the therapies of the world.

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Preface - Lisa Appignanesi
Introduction - Adam Phillips
1. If p, then what? Thinking in cases
2. On Kuhn’s Case: Psychoanalysis and the Paradigm
3. The Psychoanalytic Case: Voyeurism, Ethics, and Epistemology in Robert Stoller’s Sexual Excitement
4. On Holding as Metaphor: Winnicott and the Figure of St Christopher
5. The Case of Two Jewish Scientists: Freud and Einstein
6. Inventing Gender Identity: The Case of Agnes