Farah, S: The science of interpretation: analysis and hermeneutics


Stephen Farah


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In this paper I consider the question and challenge of interpretation in analysis. I draw on the quintessential human science of hermeneutics and consider how hermeneutics constitutes an analogue and lens through with to usefully examine the practice of interpretation in psychoanalysis. I reflect on the manner in which the analyst acts as hermeneutician in reading the ‘text’ or codification of the other and of the psyche, both in its subjective and objective or personal and transpersonal dimensions. I consider the challenges for interpretation in analysis posed by the juxtaposition of different schools of thought in hermeneutics. I focus specifically on differences in interpretation between reading a ‘text’ prima facie and the meaning it explicitly and objectively communicates contrasted with the interpretive strategies typically employed in a psychoanalytic encounter: the lens of meaning that the analyst sees the other through and makes meaning from, issues such a as subjectively, context and the transference. I am interested in and attempt to tease out ways in which these two human sciences mirror, challenge and can inform each other.

Presenter Bio:

Stephen Anthony Farah, MA, holds an honours degree in analytical philosophy, from the University of the Witwatersrand and a master’s degree in Jungian and Post Jungian Studies, from the University of Essex. He is the co-founder and head of learning for The Centre for Applied Jungian Studies South Africa and an executive member of the International Association of Jungian Studies. Stephen co-chaired the IAJS conference The Spectre of the Other in Jungian Psychology in Cape Town in 2017. He published True Detective and Jung’s Four stages of Transformation in The Routledge International Handbook of Jungian film Studies, (2018) and co-edited a journal of the International Journal of Jungian Studies of papers from the 2017 IAJS conference. Stephen is a pioneer in the field of Applied Jungian Psychology and has developed many programmes both online and real world for the dissemination of Jungian psychology outside of its traditional structures.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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