Critical realism, psychology and the legacies of psychoanalysis

Journal of Critical Realism 16 (5):468-482 (2017)

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Abstract
The discipline of psychology has been poorly represented in critical realist texts to date. This is despite Bhaskar’s use of psychoanalytical concepts to underpin his concept of the dialectic. By comparison, other aspects of social science, such as sociology and economics, have a well-established body of critical realist texts. The original approach to psychoanalysis was analogous to the critical realist ontological-axiological chain. It moved from an ontological problem to an axiological solution. Freud’s eagerness to reframe psychoanalysis within a scientistic, objective framework was perhaps due in part to the difficulties that he faced as European Jew in the fin-de-siècle. The application of the critical realist explanatory critique can contribute to our understanding of how and why the fragmentation of Freud’s legacies emerged. Critical realists should avoid the assumption that psychoanalysis is a unitary body of knowledge; as such, they should consider its various legacies separately.
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DOI 10.1080/14767430.2017.1372668
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