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Original scientific paper

Intellectual History as a Dialogue: La Capra and Psychoanalysis

Zrinka Božić-Blanuša ; University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia

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page 393-405

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For over thirty years, Dominick LaCapra has continued to practice a distinctive form of intellectual history. In opposition to advocates of documentary model of historical understanding, as well as Hayden White’s poetics of historiography, LaCapra has introduced rhetorical concept of history. In contrast to a monological idea of unified authorial voice providing an ideally exhaustive and definitive account of a fully mastered object of knowledge, rhetoric involves a dialogical understanding of discourse and of truth itself. Historian enters into a dialogical exchange with the past. The problem is precisely the nature of this dialogue. In order to understand this problematic relationship with the object of study, LaCapra introduces psychoanalytical concept of transference. The purpose of this paper is to examine different aspects of this conversational exchange between history and its object of study, and intellectual history and its object of study.


history, theory, intellectual history, dialogue, psychoanalysis, trauma

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