The operationalistic and hermeneutic status of psychoanalysis

Hermeneutic and anti-hermeneutic sides in the debate about psychoanalysis are entangled in an epistemological and methodological antinomy, here exemplified by Grünbaum's and Spence's paradigmatic views. Both contain a partial element of truth, which they assert dialectically one against the other (§§ 1 and 2). This antinomy disappears only by reconciling an operationalist approach with man's ability to suspend the effectiveness of the‘laws’ applied to him (§ 3). The hermeneutic way in which the technical-operational criterion of truth works in psychoanalysis demands that clinical and extra-clinical testing methods work synergically, through a fruitful self-correcting strategy, grounded on the very psychoanalytic object: the unconscious (§ 4).
Keywords Human sciences
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DOI 10.1023/A:1011204208271
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