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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 38 (1996) 1

New research

Faith and science in analysis

C.P.F. Lemke

In this article the author - a psychiatrist in training - `internalizes' the long-standing dispute whether psychoanalytic thinking is science or faith. As a psychiatrist in train- ing, being introduced to psychoanalytic theory and practice, his attitude towards this way of thinking continuously shuttles between a faith- and a science-pole. In an analysis of this conflict he wonders to what extent he shows the characteristics of an impossible hybrid - a believing scientist or a scientific believer. Without wishing to approach this theoretical problem psychologically, and after considering the concept of Kris with regard to the diverging conflict, he reaches a solution which seems paradoxical. The tension between the two poles turns out to be both the problem and the solution. The nature of this tension makes it impossible to determine what is `true' in the psychoanalytic theory and practice (this being the problem). At te same time, this tension is an essential condition in order to determine what is valuable in it (this being the solution).