Psychoanalytic Facts as Unintended Institutional Facts

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (2):239-269 (2012)
Abstract
We present an inference to the best explanation of the immense cultural success of Freudian psychoanalysis as a hermeneutic method. We argue that an account of psychoanalytic facts as products of unintended declarative speech acts explains this phenomenon. Our argument connects diverse, seemingly independent characteristics of psychoanalysis that have been independently confirmed, and applies key features of John Searle’s and Eerik Lagerspetz’s theory of institutional facts to the psychoanalytic edifice. We conclude with a brief defence of the institutional approach against more contentious social constructivist approaches to science and psychoanalysis
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