Freud's account of dreams can be understood via interpretive patterns that span language and action, enabling an extension of common sense psychology that is potentially cogent, cumulative, and radical.
Recent years have seen psychoanalysis move out of the clinical area into the arena of empirical social research. This article uses a case study from a psychoanalytically informed media research project to explore conceptual, ethical, and methodological implications in research design in the light of this shift. The ideas of unconscious communication between interviewer and interviewee, the role of the researcher's subjectivity, and the impact of unconscious defences on the generation and interpretation of data are explored. In addition the (...)freeassociation narrative interviewing (FANI) method is evaluated. (shrink)
Psychodynamic conflicts form an important construct to understand the genesis and maintenance of mental disorders. Conflict-related themes should therefore provoke strong reactions on the behavioral, physiological and neural level. We confronted N=18 healthy subjects with a vast array of sentences describing typical psychodynamic conflict themes in the fMRI scanner and let them associate spontaneously in reaction. The overt associations were then analyzed according to psychoanalytic theory and the system of operationalized psychodynamic diagnosis (OPD) and used as a genuinely psychodynamic indicator, (...) whether each potentially conflict-related sentence actually touched a conflict theme of the individual. Behavioral, physiological and neural reactions were compared between those subjects with an “apparent conflict” and those with “absent conflicts”. The first group reported stronger agreement with the conflict-related sentences, more negative valence in reaction, had higher levels of skin conductance reactivity and exhibited stronger activation in the anterior cingulate cortex, amongst other functions involved in emotion processing and conflict-monitoring. In conjunction, we interpret this activity as a possible correlate of subjects’ inherent reactions and regulatory processes evoked by conflict themes. This study makes a point for the fruitfulness of the neuropsychoanalytic endeavor by using freeassociation, the classical technique most commonly used in psychoanalysis, to investigate aspects of conflict processing in neuroimaging. (shrink)
Abstract -/- Inclusive nonindexical context-dependence occurs when the preferred interpretation of an utterance implies its lexically-derived meaning. It is argued that the corresponding processes of free or lexically mandated enrichment can be modeled as abductive inference. A form of abduction is implemented in Simple Type Theory on the basis of a notion of plausibility, which is in turn regarded a preference relation over possible worlds. Since a preordering of doxastic alternatives taken for itself only amounts to a relatively (...) vacuous ad hoc model, it needs to be combined with a rational way of learning from new evidence. Lexicographic upgrade is implemented as an example of how an agent might revise his plausibility ordering in light of new evidence. Various examples are given how this apparatus may be used to model the contextual resolution of context-dependent or semantically incomplete utterances. The described form of abduction is limited and merely serves as a proof of concept, but the idea in general has good potential as one among many ways to build a bridge between semantics and pragmatics since inclusive context-dependence is ubiquitous. (shrink)
This essay discusses Walter Benjamin's development of 'dream' as a model for understanding 19th- and 20th-century urban culture. Following Bergson and surrealist poetics, Benjamin used 'dream' in the 1920s as an heuristic analogy for investigating child hood memories, kitsch art and literature; during the early 1930s, he also developed it into an historiographic concept for studying 19th- century Parisian culture. Benjamin's interpretative use of the dream cuts across Ricoeur's distinction between the hermeneutics of 'recol lection' and the hermeneutics of 'suspicion'. (...) The political dream analyst seeks to discharge the 'fatal powers' of the ideological dream, while at the same time fostering the experience of waking in which dream elements may recollectively be grasped. Benjamin extends this dialectic of dreaming, interpreting and waking to the relation between historical epochs and the tasks of the materialist historian. Puzzling out the recent past's dreamlike rebuses may serve in the task of a present historical awakening. Key Words: Walter Benjamin city dream hermeneutics surrealism. (shrink)
There are generally two controversial issues over Kant's solution to the free will problem. One is over whether he is a compatibilist or an incompatibilist and the other is over whether his solution is a success. In this paper, I will argue, regarding the first controversy, that “compatibilist” and “incompatibilist” are not the right terms to describe Kant for his unique views on freedom and determinism; but that of the two, incompatibilist is the more accurate description. Regarding the second (...) controversy, I will argue that Kant's solution to the free will problem is not a success because his effort in making the effects of freedom part of the field of appearance has made his solution incoherent and ambiguous. Despite this, I argue that Kant's attempt to solve the free will problem is groundbreaking because he at least has separated freedom from the dominance of determinism. (shrink)
We present a formal theory of propositions and combinator terms, and in this theory we give an interpretation of Martin-Löf's type theory. The construction of the interpretation is inspired by the semantics for type theory, but it can also be viewed as a formalized realizability interpretation.
This paper presents a new Symmetrical Interpretation (SI) of relativistic quantum mechanics which postulates: quantum mechanics is a theory about complete experiments, not particles; a complete experiment is maximally described by a complex transition amplitude density; and this transition amplitude density never collapses. This SI is compared to the Copenhagen Interpretation (CI) for the analysis of Einstein’s bubble experiment. This SI makes several experimentally testable predictions that differ from the CI, solves one part of the measurement problem, resolves (...) some inconsistencies of the CI, and gives intuitive explanations of some previously mysterious quantum effects. (shrink)
The polemical term “interaction-free measurement” (IFM) is analyzed in its interpretative nature. Two seminal works proposing the term are revisited and their underlying interpretations are assessed. The role played by nonlocal quantum correlations (entanglement) is formally discussed and some controversial conceptions in the original treatments are identified. As a result the term IFM is shown to be consistent neither with the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics nor with the lessons provided by the EPR debate.
Quantitative genetics (QG) analyses variation in traits of humans, other animals, or plants in ways that take account of the genealogical relatedness of the individuals whose traits are observed. “Classical” QG, where the analysis of variation does not involve data on measurable genetic or environmental entities or factors, is reformulated in this article using models that are free of hypothetical, idealized versions of such factors, while still allowing for defined degrees of relatedness among kinds of individuals or “varieties.” The (...) gene - free formulation encompasses situations encountered in human QG as well as in agricultural QG. This formulation is used to describe three standard assumptions involved in classical QG and provide plausible alternatives. Several concerns about the partitioning of trait variation into components and its interpretation, most of which have a long history of debate, are discussed in light of the gene-free formulation and alternative assumptions. That discussion is at a theoretical level, not dependent on empirical data in any particular situation. Additional lines of work to put the gene-free formulation and alternative assumptions into practice and to assess their empirical consequences are noted, but lie beyond the scope of this article. The three standard QG assumptions examined are: (1) partitioning of trait variation into components requires models of hypothetical, idealized genes with simple Mendelian inheritance and direct contributions to the trait; (2) all other things being equal, similarity in traits for relatives is proportional to the fraction shared by the relatives of all the genes that vary in the population (e.g., fraternal or dizygotic twins share half of the variable genes that identical or monozygotic twins share); (3) in analyses of human data, genotype-environment interaction variance (in the classical QG sense) can be discounted. The concerns about the partitioning of trait variation discussed include: the distinction between traits and underlying measurable factors; the possible heterogeneity in factors underlying the development of a trait; the kinds of data needed to estimate key empirical parameters; and interpretations based on contributions of hypothetical genes; as well as, in human studies, the labeling of residual variance as a non-shared environmental effect; and the importance of estimating interaction variance. (shrink)
Socrates' dream puts in generalized form the difficulty that plato saw in the mathematician's procedure of hypothesis, I.E., Of positing undemonstrated first principles ("prota") or elements ("stoicheia") as starting-Points of demonstration. If the elements are unknown, How can what is constructed from them be known?--A difficulty to which plato had earlier called attention in the 'republic' (510cd, 533cd.) this interpretation accords with the mathematical setting and personages of the dialogue, And explains why the explicit refutation of theaetetus' third proposal, (...) That knowledge be defined as true belief accompanied by a logos, Is so perfunctory and unconvincing. Furthermore, The dilemma thus brought to light is reflected in 'posterior analytics' (book i, Chap. 3), Which was presumably written during aristotle's residence in the academy in association with plato and the other mathematicians gathered around him. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to show that statistical analysis and hermeneutics are not mutually exclusive. Although statistical analysis may capture some patterns and regularities, statistical methods may themselves generate different types of interpretation and, in turn, give rise to even more interpretations. The discussion is lodged within the context of a quantitative analysis of dream content. I attempted to examine the dialogical texts of reported dreams monologically, but soon found myself returning to dialogic contexts to make (...) sense of statistical patterns. One could cogently argue that the reported statistical relationships in this study, rather than pointing to any interaction among the "signifieds," speak only to the relationships among the "signifiers" that were being played out through various actors on the analytic or scientific stage, since all of the constructs used in theorizing about, interpreting, and telling dreams come from the same discursive system. (shrink)
In this paper I provide an interpretation of Kant’s conception of free speech. Free speech is understood as the kind of speech that is constitutive of interaction respectful of everybody’s right to freedom, and it requires what we with John Rawls may call ‘public reason’. Public reason so understood refers to how the public authority must reason in order to properly specify the political relation between citizens. My main aim is to give us some reasons for taking (...) a renewed interest in Kant’s conception of free speech, including his account public reason. Kant’s position provides resources for dealing with many of the legal and political problems we currently struggle to analyze under this heading, such as the proper distinction between the sphere of justice and the sphere of ethics, hate speech, freedom of speech, defamation, and the public guarantee of reliable media and universal education. (shrink)