The Epistemic Predicament of a Pseudoscience: Social Constructivism Confronts Freudian Psychoanalysis

Theoria 77 (2):159-179 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Social constructivist approaches to science have often been dismissed as inaccurate accounts of scientific knowledge. In this article, we take the claims of robust social constructivism (SC) seriously and attempt to find a theory which does instantiate the epistemic predicament as described by SC. We argue that Freudian psychoanalysis, in virtue of some of its well-known epistemic complications and conceptual confusions, provides a perfect illustration of what SC claims is actually going on in science. In other words, the features SC mistakenly ascribes to science in general correctly characterize the epistemic status of Freudian psychoanalysis. This sheds some light on the internal disputes in the field of psychoanalysis, on the sociology of psychoanalytic movement, and on the “war” that has been waged over Freud's legacy with his critics. In addition, our analysis offers an indirect and independent argument against SC as an account of bona fide science, by illustrating what science would look like if it were to function as SC claims it does

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,698

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2011-03-30

Downloads
215 (#98,091)

6 months
21 (#165,018)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Maarten Boudry
University of Ghent

References found in this work

Criticism and the growth of knowledge.Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) - 1970 - Cambridge [Eng.]: Cambridge University Press.
From a Logical Point of View.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1953 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
The social construction of what?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

View all 58 references / Add more references