Behavioral and Brain Sciences 9 (2):217-228 (1986)

Authors
Adolf Grunbaum
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
This book critically examines Freud's own detailed arguments for his major explanatory and therapeutic principles, the current neorevisionist versions of psychoanalysis, and the hermeneuticists' reconstruction of Freud's theory and therapy as an alternative to what they claim was a “scientistic” misconstrual of the psychoanalytic enterprise. The clinical case for Freud's cornerstone theory of repression – the claim that psychic conflict plays a causal role in producing neuroses, dreams, and bungled actions – turns out to be ill-founded for two main reasons: Even if clinical data were valid, the method of free association has failed to support the psychoanalytic theory of unconscious motivation; Clinical data tend in any case to be artifacts of the analyst's self-fulfilling expectations, thus losing much of their evidential value. The hypothesis that psychoanalytic treatment is in reality a placebo poses a serious challenge to the assumption that insight is a key causal factor when therapy is successful. This challenge has yet to be met by psychoanalysts. Similar conclusions undermine the neorevisionist versions of psychoanalysis. The most influential hermeneuticists, on the other hand, are shown to have imposed an alien philosophy on psychoanalysis, partly through their reliance on gross misconceptions of the natural sciences. Karl Popper's criticism of the Freudian corpus as empirically untestable has misjudged its evidential weaknesses, which are more subtle. If there exists empirical evidence for the principal psychoanalytic doctrines, it cannot be obtained without well-designed extraclinical studies of a kind that have for the most part yet to be attempted.
Keywords dream interpretation   explanation   Freud   hermeneutics   neurosis   philosophy of science   placebo   psychoanalysis   psychopathology   repression
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/s0140525x00022287
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,586
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Intentionality.John Searle - 1983 - Oxford University Press.

View all 73 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Does Freudian Theory Resolve “The Paradoxes of Irrationality”?Adolf Grünbaum - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):129-143.
Does Freudian Theory Resolve "the Paradoxes of Irrationality"?Adolf Grünbaum - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):129-143.
The Role Of The Case Study Method In The Foundations Of Psychoanalysis.Adolf Grünbaum - 1988 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 18 (December):623-658.
Outflanking the Mind-Body Problem: Scientific Progress in the History of Psychology.Sam S. Rakover - 1992 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 22 (2):145–173.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Gr Nbaum's Freud.Donald Levy - 1988 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):193 – 215.
Gr Nbaum and Psychoanalysis.Margaret Nash - 1989 - Philosophical Psychology 2 (3):325 – 343.
The Truthfulness of Psychoanalysis.Fredrik Svenaeus - 2000 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 21 (4):355-360.
Psychoanalysis, Science or Insight?Adolf Grünbaum:The Foundations of Psychoanalysis∗.R. A. Sharpe - 1986 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 29 (1-4):121-132.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-01-20

Total views
54 ( #176,469 of 2,348,551 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #186,189 of 2,348,551 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes