Empirical evaluations of theoretical explanations of psychotherapeutic efficacy: A reply to John D. Greenwood

Philosophy of Science 63 (4):622-641 (1996)
Abstract
Using Grunbaum 1984 and 1993 as a springboard, Greenwood (this issue) claims to have offered several methodologically salubrious and exegetically illuminating theses on empirical evaluations of theoretical explanations of psychotherapeutic efficacy. According to his exegesis of Grunbaum's construction (1984, Ch. 2, Section C; 1993, 184-204) of Freud's "Tally Argument," that argument bespeaks a rife neglect of the epistemologically-significant distinction between empirical evaluations of the efficacy of psychotherapy and evaluations of theoretical explanations of that efficacy. Greenwood presents a defense of a qualified version of Popper's critique of psychoanalysis against Grunbaum's objections to it (1984, Ch. 1B). Finally, Greenwood offers a clarification of the concept of a "placebo control" investigation, taking issue with Grunbaum's 1993 (84-87, 91-93). In the present paper, it is argued contra Greenwood that: (1) his purportedly "best" reading of Freud's Tally Argument and of its import founders, (2) the distinction that Greenwood bemoans as being neglected by mental health researchers actually is a commonplace in the literature on treatment-process and therapeutic outcome, (3) Greenwood's defense of Popper's critique of psychoanalysis is an anachronism, and (4) Greenwood's conceptual analysis of placebo controls is nebulous and misconceived
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