Contrasting Two Ways of Making Psychology: Brentano and Freud

Axiomathes 27 (5):491-501 (2017)
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Abstract

Brentano’s views on psychology influenced the way philosophy was made at the beginning of the 20th century. But did this influence spread as far as to give place to Freud’s revolutionary discovery of the psychoanalytical unconscious? There are reasons to believe that Brentano had a profound influence on Freud. An attentive analysis of Freud’s vocabulary as well as his arguments against “philosophical” objections supports this point rather convincingly. However, Freud was not a philosopher and Brentano’s historical influence does not suffice to transform the Freudian unconscious in a philosophical concept. It is the purpose of this paper to sketch a way to make a philosophical use of Freud’s unconscious by reconstructing the dialogue between Brentano and Freud on a conceptual level. Despite the explicit critique of the unconscious that we find in Brentano’s Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, I show that Freud never truly opposed Brentano. He rather took Brentano’s descriptive psychology a step further: he introduced a dynamic component to the analysis of the psyche that is complementary to Brentano’s descriptive psychology and could be considered a type of genetic psychology.

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Citations of this work

Que peut Freud que Brentano ne peut pas?Hamid Taieb - 2019 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de L’Etranger 144 (2):183-201.

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