David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 2 (3):325 – 343 (1989)
This paper argues that Adolf Gr nbaum's evaluation of the scientific status of psychoanalysis is marred by its failure to locate Freud's notion of natural science. Contrary to his claims, Griinbaum does not assess Freud's theory on Freud's own terms. The presuppositions that Griinbaum brings to the question of the scientific status of psychoanalysis are problematic and his criticisms and methodological restrictions may not be defensible when psychoanalysis is taken to develop methodologically out of medical science rather than out of physics. I question the adequacy of the epistemological and methodological norms that Griinbaum brings to his analysis and I examine his arguments against the scientific credibility of Freud's theoretical claims. I argue that Griinbaum fails to consider the tension between clinical practice and psychoanalytic theory, ignores the evolution of Freud's thought and distorts and simplifies the complexity of the domain under investigation. Therefore his conclusions regarding the scientific credibility and evaluation of psychoanalysis are questionable.
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