What kind of a science is psychoanalysis? What constitutes its domain? What truth claims does it maintain? In this unique and scholarly work concerning the nature of psychoanalysis, Gunnar Karlsson guides his arguments through phenomenological thinking which, he claims, can be seen as an alternative to the recent attempts to cite neuropsychoanalysis as the answer to the crisis of psychoanalysis. Karlsson criticizes this effort to ground psychoanalysis in biology and neurology and emphasizes instead the importance of defining the psychoanalytic domain from the vantage point of the character of consciousness. His understanding of the unconscious, the libido and the death drive offer new insights into the nature of psychoanalysis, and he also illuminates and develops neglected dimensions such as consciousness and self-consciousness. Karlsson's approach to psychoanalysis is rigorous yet original, and this book fills an intellectual gap with implications for both the theoretical understanding and clinical issues of psychoanalysis.

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