Tuesday, April 1st, 2003, 8:00 PM

Hans Loewald and 'Psychoanalytic Modernity'

author: Joel Whitebook, Ph.D.
panelsists: Aaron H. Esman, M.D., Lawrence Friedman, M.D., Helen C. Meyers, M.D.

Hans Loewald’s work was relatively marginalized in its day and it is still not well known outside the United States. It is, however, been assuming an increasingly important place in American psychoanalysis. Loewald’s theory is particularly attractive in a period that has rejected the sectarianism of the past but may be growing dissatisfied with the limitations of pluralism, for it is remarkably rigorous and non-tendentious at the same time. His synthetic vision also helps to explain the widespread interest in Loewald’s thinking. Not only is the concept of integration, “Eros,” central to the theory, but it is also exemplified in his work. This paper will examine how Loewald uses his synthetic approach in an attempt to overcome many of the rigid oppositions - for example, structural theory versus relational psychoanalysis, traditionalism versus revisionism, oedipal versus preoedipal, modernism versus postmodernism and hermeneutics versus science - that often characterize psychoanalytic controversies.