The Foundations of Psychoanalysis

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The Foundations of Psychoanalysis: A Philosophical Critique
The Foundations of Psychoanalysis (first edition).jpg
Cover of the first edition
AuthorAdolf Grünbaum
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesPittsburgh Series in Philosophy and History of Science
SubjectPsychoanalysis
PublisherUniversity of California Press
Publication date
1984
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages310
ISBN978-0520050174

The Foundations of Psychoanalysis: A Philosophical Critique is a 1984 book by the philosopher Adolf Grünbaum, in which the author offers a philosophical critique of the work of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Grünbaum evaluates the status of psychoanalysis as a natural science, criticizes the method of free association and Freud's theory of dreams, and discusses the psychoanalytic theory of paranoia. He attributes a view to Freud he calls the "Tally Argument", arguing that Freud used it to defend analytic interpretations. He also criticizes the views of psychoanalysis put forward by other philosophers, including the hermeneutic interpretations propounded by Jürgen Habermas and Paul Ricœur, as well as Karl Popper's position that psychoanalytic propositions cannot be disconfirmed and that psychoanalysis is therefore a pseudoscience.

The book received positive reviews and became influential. It was seen as a landmark in the debate over psychoanalysis and was regarded by some critics of Freud as a masterpiece. Grünbaum was credited with providing the most important philosophical critique of Freud, refuting the views of Habermas, Ricœur, and Popper, convincingly criticizing free association and Freud's theory of dreams, and demonstrating that the validation of Freud's hypotheses must come mainly from extra-clinical studies. Some reviewers suggested that his arguments helped to show that the psychoanalytic approach to homosexuality is flawed. However, critics described the book as poorly written, and faulted Grünbaum's discussion of the "Tally Argument", questioning whether it was ever actually employed by Freud; they also rejected or disputed Grünbaum's conclusions about the method of free association and the psychoanalytic theory of paranoia. Some commentators believed that Grünbaum devoted too much space to criticizing hermeneutic interpretations of Freud and others saw a hermeneutic understanding of psychoanalysis as having more merit than he was willing to allow. Psychoanalysts have given Grünbaum greater attention than other critics of psychoanalysis, but have criticized him for his treatment of psychoanalytic theory.

Background[edit]

According to Grünbaum, his initial motivation for his critical examination of psychoanalysis came from his questioning of Karl Popper's philosophy of science: he suspected that Popper's argument that psychoanalysis is unfalsifiable misrepresented its faults. His approach to psychoanalysis was influenced by the work of the philosopher Clark Glymour. The critic Frederick Crews read the draft of The Foundations of Psychoanalysis in 1977 and helped Grünbaum to obtain a publication offer from the University of California Press.[1]

Summary[edit]

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Grünbaum criticizes Freud's theories from a philosophical standpoint.

Grünbaum offers a "philosophical critique of the foundations of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis", which includes a reevaluation of Freud's claim that psychoanalysis is a natural science. Drawing on the psychologist Frank Sulloway's Freud, Biologist of the Mind (1979), he recounts the development of Freud's work. He notes that Freud described his theory of repression as "the most essential part" of psychoanalysis, and that when the psychologist Saul Rosenzweig announced that he had experimental evidence for repression, Freud replied that it was superfluous given clinical observations. He criticizes the hermeneutic interpretation of psychoanalysis propounded by Jürgen Habermas in Knowledge and Human Interests (1968) and Paul Ricœur in Freud and Philosophy (1965) and Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences (1981). He argues that while their work is influential, both philosophers misunderstand both Freud and the natural sciences. He describes Habermas's discussion of Freud as "patronizing", his arguments as inconsistent, and his conclusions about the therapeutic effects of psychoanalytic treatment as incoherent as well as incompatible with Freud's hypotheses. He also argues that Habermas, based on his own limited understanding of science, puts forward a mistaken contrast between the human sciences and sciences such as physics. He rejects Habermas's view that it is the acceptance of psychoanalytic interpretations by patients in analytic treatment that establishes their validity and accuses him of quoting Freud out of context to help him make his case. He notes that Habermas's conclusions have influenced both philosophers and psychoanalysts, but criticizes them for failing to appreciate their shortcomings. He also criticizes the philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer's Truth and Method (1960), maintaining that in it Gadamer misunderstands the methods of science and draws an incorrect contrast between the natural and the human sciences.[2]

He argues that Ricœur wrongly limits the relevance of psychoanalytic theory to verbal statements made during analytic therapy. He accuses Ricœur of being motivated by the desire to protect his hermeneutic understanding of psychoanalysis from scientific examination and criticism, and maintains that his arguments rest on an untenable dichotomy between theory and observation and that he takes a reductive form of behaviorism as his model of scientific psychology. He also argues that Ricœur's view that psychoanalysis provides a "semantics of desire" mistakenly equates symptoms with linguistic representations of their causes, and accuses Ricœur of endorsing the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan's "obfuscating" view that a symptom resembles "a language whose speech must be realized". However, Grünbaum gives Ricœur some credit for reassessing his views in Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences. He criticizes the philosopher Karl Popper, arguing that the psychoanalytic theory of paranoia is in principle falsifiable and that this disproves Popper's claim that psychoanalytic claims in general cannot be falsified. He also discusses the work of Glymour. He argues that regardless of the merits of Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson's accusation, in The Assault on Truth (1984), that Freud abandoned his seduction theory out of cowardice, Masson's position that "actual seductions" are the etiological factors in the development of hysteria is unfounded and credulous.[3]

The philosopher Jürgen Habermas. Grünbaum criticizes Habermas's hermeneutic interpretation of psychoanalysis.

Discussing the question of whether Freud vindicated psychoanalysis as a method of clinical investigation, he attributes to Freud a view he calls the "Tally Argument", arguing that Freud used it to justify the claim that durable therapeutic success guarantees not only that the pertinent analytic interpretations appear true or credible to the analysand but also that they are veridical, or at least close to the truth. He criticizes the theory of dreams Freud propounded in The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), referring to the work of the psychiatrists Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley. He also criticizes the method of free association, the theory of Freudian slips Freud propounded in The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901), and Freud's metapsychology, and discusses the transference.[4]

The philosopher Karl Popper. Grünbaum criticizes Popper's claim that psychoanalytic propositions cannot be disconfirmed and that psychoanalysis is pseudoscientific.

Publication history[edit]

The Foundations of Psychoanalysis was first published in 1984 by the University of California Press. A paperback edition followed in 1985.[5] It was published in German translation by Philipp Reclam in 1988,[6] and in French translation by Presses Universitaires de France in 1996.[7]

Reception[edit]

Mainstream media[edit]

The Foundations of Psychoanalysis received positive reviews from Robert Hoffman in Library Journal and Frederick Crews in The New Republic,[8][9] and a mixed review from Jonathan Lieberson in The New York Review of Books.[10] Later discussions include those by the philosopher Thomas Nagel in The New York Review of Books.[11]

Hoffman described the book as a careful and important work.[8] Crews credited Grünbaum with showing that clinical evidence does not support Freud's ideas, convincingly criticizing the "Tally Argument" and the method of free association, and establishing that more recent versions of psychoanalysis suffer from the same problem as Freud's version, as well as discrediting Habermas and Ricœur's interpretations of psychoanalysis. He described it as an "epoch-making" work that was fair and rigorous, and wrote that it exposed psychoanalysis as a "speculative cult" and would inevitably lead to the discrediting of psychoanalytic therapy and its associated theory. However, he predicted that psychoanalysts would be slow to appreciate its importance and noted that Grünbaum's discussion of Habermas and Ricœur would be difficult for many readers to understand.[9]

Lieberson described the book as "strangely organized" and "difficult" and compared it to "a string of scholarly articles to which vast accretions of evidence and afterthoughts have been added." He suggested that The Foundations of Psychoanalysis was so much a reaction to other interpreters of Freud that it was only incidentally a book about Freud himself, noting that a third of it was devoted to criticizing the hermeneutic approach to psychoanalysis. Though convinced by Grünbaum's criticism of the hermeneutic approach to psychoanalysis, he criticized his poor writing and rejected his view that it is important to establish a criterion to distinguish between scientific and unscientific statements. He considered his criticism of Popper less important than his attempt to identify the main obstacles to finding empirical support for psychoanalysis, crediting him with carefully exposing the flaws of Freud's argument that the therapeutic success of psychoanalysis confirms the interpretations made by analysts.[10]

Nagel wrote that Grünbaum neglects "the distinctively inner character of psychological insight", contrasting Grünbaum's view of psychological explanation with that of the philosopher Richard Wollheim.[11] In reply, Grünbaum argued that Wollheim misrepresented him and criticized Nagel.[12]

Scientific and academic journals, 1984–1988[edit]

The Foundations of Psychoanalysis received positive reviews from the psychiatrist Allan Hobson in The Sciences,[13] the psychoanalyst Carlo Strenger in The International Journal of Psychoanalysis,[14] Edwin R. Wallace IV in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease,[15] Alessandro Pagnini in The Philosophical Quarterly,[16] and, in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, from the bioethicist Arthur Caplan,[17] Morris N. Eagle,[18] the philosopher Edward Erwin,[19] the psychologist Hans Eysenck,[20] the philosopher Owen Flanagan,[21] the psychiatrist Roger P. Greenberg,[22] Hobson,[23] the psychologist Robert R. Holt,[24] Horst Kächele,[25] the psychiatrist Gerald Klerman,[26] Valerii Leibin,[27] the psychologist Lester Luborsky,[28] the psychoanalyst Judd Marmor,[29] the psychologist Joseph Masling,[30] Pagnini,[31] the psychoanalyst Morton F. Reiser,[32] the philosopher Michael Ruse,[33] the psychoanalyst Irwin Savodnik,[34] the psychoanalyst Howard Shevrin,[35] the psychiatrist Anthony Storr,[36] the philosopher Frederick Suppe,[37] the philosopher Barbara Von Eckardt,[38] the sociologist Murray L. Wax,[39] and the psychologist Robert L. Woolfolk.[40] The book received mixed reviews from M. A. Notturno and the psychiatrist Paul R. McHugh in Metaphilosophy and the philosopher David Sachs in The Philosophical Review,[41][42] and, in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, from Peter Caws,[43] the philosopher Frank Cioffi,[44] the psychoanalyst Marshall Edelson,[45] B. A. Farrell,[46] the psychologist Paul Kline,[47] Notturno and McHugh,[48] George H. Pollock,[49] Donald P. Spence,[50] the psychologist Hans Herrman Strupp,[51] and the psychologist Paul L. Wachtel.[52] The book received a negative review from the philosopher John Forrester in Isis,[53] and, in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, from Matthew Hugh Erdelyi,[54] the philosopher Arthur Fine, writing with Micky Forbes,[55] and the psychologist Alan Gauld, writing with John Shotter.[56]

The book was also reviewed by George Butterworth in Government & Opposition,[57] Eagle in Philosophy of Science,[58] Nathaniel Laor in the American Journal of Psychiatry,[59] Howard Ruttenberg in Ethics,[60] Donald L. Carveth in Philosophy of the Social Sciences,[61] Kline in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science,[62] and Johan Eriksson in The Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review.[63] Ricœur discussed the book in Psychiatrie Française.[64] In the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, the book was discussed by Grünbaum and by the philosopher Richard W. Miller.[65][66] Popper responded to a description of Grünbaum's arguments provided to him by the journalist Daniel Goleman, and his comments appeared in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.[67] Behavioral and Brain Sciences also published a comment from the editor,[68] and Grünbaum replied to the reviews The Foundations of Psychoanalysis received there.[69]

Hobson, writing in The Sciences, described The Foundations of Psychoanalysis as the most important book about "Freud's status as a scientist" and described it as comparable to Sulloway's Freud, Biologist of the Mind (1979). He credited Grünbaum with damaging psychoanalysis by showing the failure of psychoanalysts to refute the charge that free association is contaminated by suggestion, and using detailed textual analysis to criticize The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), and with carefully re-evaluating Popper's position on psychoanalysis. However, he predicted that The Foundations of Psychoanalysis would "find difficult acceptance because his arguments will be unwelcome to Freud's loyalists", and that many uncommitted students of psychoanalysis would "find Grünbaum's dense prose and leaden language too high a price for the beauty of his inexorable logic." Nevertheless, he concluded that psychoanalysts should "welcome Grünbaum's award of tentative scientific status to psychoanalysis as a ray of hope for their embattled enterprise."[13]

Strenger described the book as an impressive attempt to examine psychoanalytic theory in detail, and wrote that Grünbaum "displays a remarkable knowledge of psychoanalytic literature and his arguments are lucid and well documented, which allows for fruitful discussion and critique."[14] Wallace described the book as an important volume. He credited Grünbaum with convincingly criticizing hermeneutic interpretations of psychoanalysis, but criticized some of Grünbaum's views.[15] Pagnini, writing in The Philosophical Quarterly, praised Grünbaum for his "great intellectual honesty" and willingness to deal systematically with possible objections to his views, though he noted that this made the book "slightly entangled" and difficult to read. He credited Grünbaum with providing a careful analysis of the views of Freud's hermeneutic interpreters, a "devastating criticism" of Popper's accounts of both psychoanalysis and empirical testability, and "convincing evidence of the falsifiability of many Freudian theories". He also credited Grünbaum with showing that "the various formulations given by Freud of his theory of repression ... are based on spurious evidence and are weakened by serious logical defects", and found this to be the most interesting part of his book. He wrote that Grünbaum could be criticized for ignoring some of the most important contemporary advocates of Freudian theories, but suggested that Grünbaum's "arguments against psychoanalysis can be extended with very few exceptions to the theories of these authors." He endorsed Grünbaum's view that Freud's main hypotheses could be validated only by extra-clinical studies, and believed that his work demonstrated the power and continued importance of analytic philosophy.[16]

Caplan considered the book important but difficult. He endorsed Grünbaum's criticisms of Habermas, Ricœur, and Popper. He praised Grünbaum's discussion of the "Tally Argument", arguing that it helped to show that the use of "extraclinical methods for verifying psychoanalysis" involves abandoning "the Freudian research strategy or program." He concluded that any hypotheses that could be verified through such methods would have "little relation" to the theory of Freud and his early followers.[17] Eagle, writing in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, described The Foundations of Psychoanalysis as a "major contribution" to understanding both psychoanalysis and human behavior generally, and praised Grünbaum's critique of hermeneutic versions of psychoanalysis.[18] Erwin credited Grünbaum with providing "a serious challenge to those who believe that they have rational grounds for accepting Freudian doctrines." He agreed with Grünbaum that changes in psychoanalytic theory made since Freud's work do not provide an answer to Grünbaum's critique.[19] Eysenck praised Grünbaum's discussion of the "Tally Argument". He also complimented Grünbaum's critique of hermeneutic interpretations of psychoanalysis.[20]

Flanagan credited Grünbaum with showing that there is no reliable evidence for the claims of psychoanalysis and that its scientific merit had not been established. He believed that if psychoanalysts acknowledged its importance, Grünbaum's critique would affect how psychoanalysis is viewed, including by psychoanalysts themselves.[21] Greenberg credited Grünbaum with presenting a detailed examination of the arguments Freud used to justify his theories. He agreed with him that it is questionable to rely on case studies to assess Freud's ideas.[22] Hobson, writing in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, described The Foundations of Psychoanalysis as an "epochal work" and credited Grünbaum with accurately describing his ideas about the neurophysiology of dreaming, providing a "devastating" critique of Freud's theory of dreams, and exposing the flaws of free association.[23]

Holt credited Grünbaum with providing the most powerful and subtle philosophical evaluation of psychoanalysis and "the most substantial indictment of Freud as a scientist that we have yet seen." However, he believed that Grünbaum exaggerated "the dearth of supportive evidence for Freud's theories" as well as the problems facing contemporary psychoanalysis and the extent to which free association was undermined by suggestion.[24] Kächele agreed with Grünbaum that clinical evidence could not be used to make definitive claims about the causes of neuroses. However, he believed that Grünbaum's criticism of "clinical wisdom" ignored the effectiveness of psychoanalytic theory.[25] Klerman considered the book important. He credited Grünbaum with refuting hermeneutic interpretations of psychoanalysis, as well as with refuting Popper's views, and showing that psychoanalysts could not rely on clinical evidence to support psychoanalytic propositions. He concluded that the work showed that the scientific status of psychoanalysis had not been established.[26] Leibin credited Grünbaum with providing a useful discussion of a range of views on psychoanalysis, and agreed with him that the views of Habermas, Ricœur, and Popper are flawed. However, he argued that Freud provided multiple definitions of psychoanalysis, some of which could be understood as viewing it as a form of hermeneutics.[27] Luborsky praised Grünbaum's openness to "cogent evidence" and agreed with him that inferences by therapists about their patients' past were questionable.[28]

Marmor credited Grünbaum with extensive knowledge of psychoanalytic literature in general and Freud's work in particular, with showing that free association, as well as other aspects of psychoanalytic theory, were scientifically unsupported, and with summarizing much evidence against the view that the success of psychoanalysis or other forms of therapy establishes the correctness of their underlying theories. However, he criticized his style of writing. He also believed that the idea that conflict played a role in the causation of psychopathology retained some validity and noted that Grünbaum failed to discuss this issue, or to explore "the issue of causality as a multifactorial rather than a unifactorial phenomenon".[29] Masling agreed with Grünbaum that cases histories cannot serve as the sole support for psychoanalytic theory. However, he criticized Grünbaum for failing to fully discuss relevant experimental evidence.[30] Pagnini, writing in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, agreed with Grünbaum that Freud understood psychoanalysis as a natural science and that hermeneutic interpretations of psychoanalysis are incorrect.[31] Reiser praised Grünbaum's discussion of the "Tally Argument" and agreed with him that validation of psychoanalytic claims had to be based ultimately on extraclinical findings.[32] Ruse called the work insightful. He endorsed Grünbaum's criticisms of Popper, and argued that he helped to show that the testing of psychoanalytic hypotheses about homosexuality was suspect.[33] Savodnik described the book as the most important critique of psychoanalysis.[34]

Shevrin complimented Grünbaum for his "critique of the psychoanalytic clinical method", but believed the work was likely to be misunderstood as an attack on psychoanalysis rather than an attempt at suggesting how it could be given a better empirical basis. He also believed that Grünbaum went too far in his rejection of clinical method.[35] Storr credited Grünbaum with convincingly criticizing free association, Freud's theory of dreams, and Popper, and with showing that attempts to validate psychoanalytic claims must be based on extraclinical testing. However, he believed that The Foundations of Psychoanalysis was poorly written.[36] Suppe praised Grünbaum's discussion of the "Tally Argument", and argued that Grünbaum's critique of psychoanalysis had implications for psychoanalytic approaches to homosexuality.[37] Von Eckardt praised Grünbaum's discussion of the "Tally Argument", but considered The Foundations of Psychoanalysis poorly written.[38] Wax considered Grünbaum's approach objective, but believed he presented only one possible interpretation of Freud.[39] Woolfolk credited Grünbaum with convincingly criticizing hermeneutic interpretations of psychoanalysis, but argued that he left some issues unexplored.[40]

Notturno and McHugh, writing in Metaphilosophy, agreed with Grünbaum that the clinical evidence held to provide the empirical basis for psychoanalysis is weak and that the validation of Freud's main hypotheses must come mainly from extra-clinical studies, but found these points consistent with the critiques of psychoanalysis made by Popper, Habermas, and Ricœur and as such unsurprising. They argued that, notwithstanding Grünbaum's critique of Popper, parts of his analysis of psychoanalysis support Popper's critique of psychoanalysis; they also argued that Grünbaum misunderstood Popper's epistemology and faulted him for neglecting Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959) and Realism and the Aims of Science (1983). Though believing that it raised important issues, they questioned his argument that the psychoanalytic theory of paranoia is falsifiable. They also questioned his view that Popper was largely ignorant of Freud's writings and disputed his position that Freud was open to the possibility of his theories being falsified.[41]

Sachs described the book as a "provocative" work that had received respectful attention because of Grünbaum's knowledge of Freud's work and developments in psychoanalysis after Freud. Though he considered it an important criticism of psychoanalysis, he suggested that too much of it was devoted to criticizing Habermas and Ricœur, that Grünbaum misunderstood some of Freud's claims, falsely attributed the "Tally Argument" to Freud, overstated the extent to which Freud's theories depended on clinical data, provided a vague discussion of suggestion and ignored some of Freud's responses to the charge that his clinical data were unreliable, and unconvincingly criticized free association. He faulted his treatment of The Interpretation of Dreams and The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, arguing that he ignored interrelations between them and some of Freud's other works.[42]

Caws considered Grünbaum successful in exposing the "theoretical and methodological inadequacies" of psychoanalysis and praised his discussion of the "Tally Argument", although he believed that Grünbaum's account of Freud's views was not always correct. He endorsed Grünbaum's criticisms of Habermas.[43] Cioffi described the book as "ambitious and illuminating", but criticized Grunbaum's view that Freud relied on the "Tally Argument" to defend his reliance on clinical data, arguing that Freud instead relied on the "narrative power" of his analytic interpretations. He accused Grunbaum of making selective use of Freud's writings to defend his position.[44] Edelson considered the book a sophisticated critique of psychoanalysis. He believed that Grünbaum's discussion of the "Tally Argument" helped to show that psychoanalysts were mistaken to rely on clinical data to make causal claims. Nevertheless, he believed that Grünbaum went too far by rejecting any use of clinical evidence by psychoanalysts to support its causal claims. While he agreed with Grünbaum's call for studies to test psychoanalytic hypotheses, he argued that Grünbaum ignored inherent problems with studies of the kind he advocated. He also faulted Grünbaum's discussion of how the psychoanalytic theory of paranoia might be tested and Grünbaum's discussion of free association.[45]

Farrell agreed with Grünbaum's argument against Freud's method of clinical observation, but nevertheless found it "vague and obscure" and believed that it had "serious limitations" that would lead to its rejection by psychoanalysts.[46] Kline, writing in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, credited Grünbaum with convincingly criticizing both Freud's clinical method and hermeneutic interpretations of psychoanalysis. However, he rejected Grünbaum's view that if the theory of repression can be invalidated, this would discredit psychoanalytic theory in general. Kline also accused Grünbaum of misunderstanding his arguments for the existence of repression, ignoring relevant evidence, and citing weak evidence.[47] Notturno and McHugh, writing in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, endorsed Grünbaum's view that the clinical evidence used as a basis for psychoanalysis is weak and that validation of Freud's claims must be based on extraclinical studies. However, they rejected his view that psychoanalysis is falsifiable, criticized his discussion of the psychoanalytic theory of paranoia, and disputed his position that Freud was open to the possibility of his theories being falsified.[48] Pollock believed that it was constructive for Grünbaum to criticize psychoanalysis, but that there were convincing responses to his arguments. He also argued that Grünbaum failed to sufficiently distinguish between Freud's work and psychoanalysis generally.[49]

Spence argued that Grünbaum's charge that free association is undermined by suggestion might be correct but that the evidence necessary to draw that conclusion was unavailable.[50] Strupp saw Grünbaum's discussion of Freud as having merit, but criticized his discussion of psychotherapy.[51] Wachtel considered the book to be of lasting value, but criticized Grünbaum's discussions of the development of Freud's work, the psychoanalytic theory of paranoia, and the "Tally Argument".[52] Forrester described the book as poorly written and organized and accused Grünbaum of misinterpreting Habermas and misrepresenting Freud by citing him out of context. He also argued that Grünbaum's view that Freud considered psychoanalysis only a natural science was an oversimplification and that Grünbaum misrepresented Ricœur. He criticized Grünbaum's discussion of the "Tally Argument", arguing that Grünbaum wrongly maintained that Freud viewed therapeutic success as the only source of evidence for the accuracy of his theories and underestimated the importance of the development of a coherent account of a patient's problems between the patient and the analyst. He also criticized his discussions of repression and free association.[53]

Erdelyi questioned whether Freud actually employed the "Tally Argument" and maintained that neither the failure of the argument nor the existence of spontaneous remission of symptoms damaged psychoanalysis. He argued that Grünbaum failed to take fully into account developments in psychoanalysis, over-emphasized its clinical aspects, and had a questionable understanding of psychoanalytic theory.[54] Fine and Forbes maintained that Grünbaum mistakenly claimed that "Freud's posited causal hypotheses are not supported by the clinical data", wrongly judged "individual causal hypotheses separately", and over-emphasized the problem of suggestion. They also faulted his treatment of free association.[55] Gauld and Shotter accused Grünbaum of misrepresenting them and criticized his view that hermeneutical considerations "can be ruled out of investigations into psychoanalysis".[56] Popper denied that psychoanalysis can provide testable predictions.[67] The editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences questioned whether it was worthwhile to attempt to test Freud's claims, comparing it to attempting to test astrology or creationism.[68] Grünbaum defended his views in the same issue of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.[69]

Scientific and academic journals, 1989–present[edit]

The Foundations of Psychoanalysis received a negative review from William R. Woodward in Isis.[6] The book was also discussed by Edwin R. Wallace IV and later by W. W. Meissner in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association,[70][71] Kathleen V. Wilkes in The Philosophical Quarterly,[72] Charles Nussbaum in Philosophy & Social Criticism,[73] Margaret Chernack Beaudoin in American Imago,[74] Allen Esterson in History of the Human Sciences,[75] D. Patrick Zimmerman in Residential Treatment for Children & Youth,[76] the psychoanalyst Henry Zvi Lothane in International Forum of Psychoanalysis,[77] Erwin in Mind,[78] M. Andrew Holowchak in International Forum of Psychoanalysis,[79] Paul Fusella in The Psychoanalytic Review,[80] Stephen H. Richmond in The Psychoanalytic Quarterly,[81] and Alan G. Gross in PsyArt.[82] It received discussions from Gregory A. Trotter and Philippe Lacour in Études Ricœuriennes / Ricœur Studies.[83][84]

Woodward considered Grünbaum correct to point to "the need for empirical testing of psychoanalytic concepts". However, he accused him of presenting a "caricature" of psychoanalysis and ignored important aspects of psychoanalytic theory. He criticized Grünbaum's discussion of the "Tally Argument", believing that it misrepresented Freud.[6] Wallace commented that the book had "received extensive attention in psychoanalytic and philosophical circles" and credited Grünbaum with providing "an important contribution to the epistemological assessment of psychoanalysis". However, he criticized it for "its treatment of the role of suggestion in the analytic enterprise, its scrutiny of the psychoanalytic genetic method, its appreciation of analytic methodology as actually practiced", and especially for "its predication on a unidimensional, positivistic vision of science."[70] Meissner wrote that it "forces psychoanalytic propositions into artificial positions that do not reflect the actuality of analytic practice." He suggested that its standard of verification was impossible not only for psychoanalysis but for "all forms of psychological knowledge", and that its description of psychoanalysis was often "difficult for the psychoanalytic practitioner to recognize". He credited Grünbaum with providing "skillful and highly informed criticism of the philosophical bases of psychoanalysis", but wrote that "value of his argument falls short of providing a useful basis for advancing psychoanalytic knowledge and particularly for promoting the quest for pertinent standards of validation within psychoanalysis."[71]

Beaudoin argued that Grünbaum mistakenly attributed to Ricœur the view that language is primary for psychoanalysis, when Ricœur in fact regarded the image as primary, and the view that symptoms should be assimilated to linguistic expressions, a position Ricœur explicitly rejected. She also wrote that Grünbaum mistakenly claimed that Ricoeur endorsed Lacan's views. She questioned his attempt to "argue for a purely causal interpretation of Freudian theory", arguing that he quoted Freud out of context to support his views.[74] Esterson criticized Grünbaum's discussion of the "Tally Argument", arguing that the argument itself was defective and also that it was not invoked by Freud.[75] Zimmerman identified the book, together with Grünbaum's other publications on psychoanalysis, as the culmination of growing doubts about the scientific status of psychoanalysis, and wrote that Grünbaum's conclusions "have served as a model for the arguments against the usefulness of psychoanalysis, and have been extended by others to apply as well to psychodynamic and other forms of verbal psychotherapy." He wrote that while there have been "extensive rebuttals" of Grünbaum, including many articles in the "indexed psychological literature", these have not had the same effect on the public as criticism of Freud from Grünbaum and others. He argued that while Grünbaum's arguments were "bolstered by a reliance upon techniques and findings extrapolated from the field of physics ... his positions were sometimes flawed by basic misunderstandings about either the methods or the conclusions of physics", and that Grünbaum's criticisms of psychoanalysis applied only to "classical Freudian" views and not to more recent "psychodynamic conceptions".[76]

Erwin defended Grünbaum.[78] Holowchak credited Grünbaum with showing that Freud's "impatience "manifested itself in tendencies toward hasty generalizations and biased samples" and that "Freud would often take any well-intentioned criticism of his views as evidence of resistance to them and, thus, confirmation of them".[79] Fusella credited Grünbaum with providing "an elaborate and comprehensive critique of psychoanalytic theory and therapy" and with exposing some of the weaknesses of Habermas's and Ricœur's interpretations of psychoanalysis. He argued that Grünbaum's rejection of the hermeneutic interpretation of psychoanalysis left it unclear whether psychoanalysis would be considered pseudoscientific or an empirical science.[80] Richmond identified the book as an "influential work among those who argue that psychoanalysis should be considered generally invalid because it fails as science", and credited Grünbaum with providing a "careful critique of Freud as a scientist" and a painstaking argument against the hermeneutic interpretation of psychoanalysis. He considered Grünbaum correct to stress that "a valid science cannot ground its data in case studies but must move up the hierarchy of data in the direction of well-designed experimental studies" and to criticize the idea of "using intrinsically vague and subjective clinical encounters as objective data to validate the objective truth of any given psychoanalytic interpretation." He cited the neuroscientist Eric Kandel as maintaining in 2005 that Grünbaum's critique of psychoanalysis has "stood essentially unchallenged to the present day."[81] Gross rejected Grünbaum's views and endorsed those of Habermas and Ricœur. He accused Grünbaum of misrepresenting Ricœur.[82]

Trotter defended Ricœur against Grünbaum, maintaining that Grünbaum wrongly denied that "psychical reality is sufficiently different from material reality as to warrant different epistemic standards." He also accused Grünbaum of misunderstanding Ricœur's procedures in Freud and Philosophy.[83]

Evaluations in books, 1984–1996[edit]

Edelson responded to Grünbaum in Hypothesis and Evidence in Psychoanalysis (1984) and Psychoanalysis: A Theory in Crisis (1988).[85][86] Eysenck deemed The Foundations of Psychoanalysis the definitive discussion of Freud's work from the point of view of the philosophy of science in Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire (1985). He praised Grünbaum's "logical rigour and argumentative precision" and "extensive scholarship of both the psychoanalytic literature."[87] The historian Peter Gay credited Grünbaum with discrediting Popper's argument that psychoanalysis is a pseudoscience in Freud: A Life for Our Time (1988).[88] Ruse credited Grünbaum with providing a definitive response to Popper in Homosexuality: A Philosophical Inquiry (1988).[89] The psychologist Malcolm Macmillan praised Grünbaum's criticism of hermeneutic interpretations of psychoanalysis in Freud Evaluated (1991), and maintained that there had been no convincing response to it. However, he criticized his critique of free association, finding it insufficiently convincing.[90]

The philosopher Jonathan Lear argued that Grünbaum's arguments about the scientific status of psychoanalysis, like most criticisms and defenses of psychoanalysis, are irrelevant in Love and Its Place in Nature (1990). He considered Grünbaum's account of Freud tendentious. He credited him with effectively criticizing Habermas and Ricœur, but added that despite what is often assumed his arguments "do not undermine the more general possibility of a causal hermeneutic account of human motivation."[91] The philosopher James Hopkins argued in The Cambridge Companion to Freud (1991) that Grünbaum's criticism of Freud's theory of dreams is based on a misunderstanding of Freud, and that the modes of inquiry he endorses are inapplicable to motive and therefore inappropriate to assessing psychoanalysis.[92] The psychoanalyst Joel Kovel credited Grünbaum with providing the best discussion of the problems surrounding the validation of Freud's theories in History and Spirit (1991).[93]

Wollheim wrote in Freud (1991) that The Foundations of Psychoanalysis had attracted attention and controversy. He argued that psychoanalysts who praised the work should have abandoned their practice. He described it as "verbose". Though believing that it had some merit, he rejected Grünbaum's view that Freud employed the "Tally Argument", and criticized Grünbaum's understanding of psychoanalytic practice, especially the transference. He also accused Grünbaum of ignoring the fact that clinical testing presupposes "a considerable body of extraclinical propositions."[94] Grünbaum described his Validation in the Clinical Theory of Psychoanalysis (1993) as a response to analytic critics of The Foundations of Psychoanalysis.[95] The historian Paul Robinson stated in Freud and His Critics (1993) that The Foundations of Psychoanalysis is widely considered the most important philosophical critique of Freud and that it has received praise even from psychoanalysts. He considered the work rigorous, but suggested that the fact that it was poorly organized and difficult to understand for those without a background in philosophy had limited its influence. He credited Grünbaum with great knowledge of Freud's writings and providing largely convincing critiques of Habermas, Ricœur, and Popper. However, he suggested that Grünbaum too readily dismissed Popper's charge that Freud's theories cannot be falsified and argued that Freud may never have used the "Tally Argument" and that Grünbaum exaggerated its importance. He criticized Grünbaum's discussions of The Interpretations of Dreams and The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. He also criticized his account of the views of Hobson and McCarley, calling it uncritical.[96]

In the anthology Philosophical Problems of the Internal and External Worlds (1993), Eagle noted that The Foundations of Psychoanalysis had exerted "an enormous impact on philosophers, psychoanalysts and others interested in the state of psychoanalytic theory." He argued that developments in psychoanalysis such as ego psychology, object relations theory, and self psychology, did not provide an answer to Grünbaum's critique.[97] In the same work, Erwin discussed the responses of philosophers to The Foundations of Psychoanalysis and defended Grünbaum's arguments about the weakness of clinical data and his discussion of the "Tally Argument", arguing that despite objections against it, Grünbaum's account of the argument was at least plausible,[98] Hobson endorsed Grünbaum's view that Freud's theory of dreams is "the cornerstone of psychoanalysis" as well as his criticisms of both Freud's method of dream interpretation and hermeneutics,[99] and the psychologist Theodore Millon endorsed Grünbaum's critique of psychoanalysis.[100]

The critic Alexander Welsh noted in Freud's Wishful Dream Book (1994) that the amount of space Grünbaum devotes to criticizing hermeneutic interpretations of Freud has become notorious. He observed that psychoanalysts have given Grünbaum greater attention than other critics of psychoanalysis from outside their discipline, something he attributed partly to the importance Grünbaum attaches to the issue of scientific validity and partly to the implications of Grünbaum's arguments being concealed by the dense nature of his writing. He argued that since it is unclear which parts of Freud's clinical data were reported and which were invented, Grünbaum's critique of Freud's claims to empiricism is seriously compromised. In his view, defenses of psychoanalysis against Grünbaum suffer from the same problem.[101] Crews maintained in The Memory Wars (1995) that no one had refuted Grünbaum's charge that clinical evidence cannot be used to validate "Freudian hypotheses". He described his arguments in the book as being based in part on Grünbaum's.[102] Richard Webster observed in Why Freud Was Wrong (1995) that The Foundations of Psychoanalysis was seen as a landmark in debates over psychoanalysis upon its publication and became regarded as a masterpiece by some critics of Freud. However, Webster argued that while the book contains many insights and much pertinent criticism of Freud, it has been overvalued by critics of psychoanalysis because of its abstract style of argument and has distracted attention away from issues such as Freud's character.[103]

Evaluations in books, 1997–present[edit]

Forrester described Grünbaum's understanding of science as ahistorical and unrealistic in Dispatches from the Freud Wars (1997). He argued that Grünbaum selectively cited Freud to support his claim that Freud understood psychoanalysis purely as a natural science. In his view, fuller consideration of Freud's writings shows that Freud's views are suggestive of a hermeneutic understanding of psychoanalysis.[104] Edward Shorter credited Grünbaum with convincingly criticizing the psychoanalytic concept of the transference in A History of Psychiatry (1997).[105] Crews commended Grünbaum's critique of Freud in the foreword to the second edition of Macmillan's Freud Evaluated (1997). However, he criticized him for focusing on Freud's clinical theory while neglecting Freud's metapsychology, and for accepting Freud's claims to "methodological sophistication." He considered Freud Evaluated an advance over The Foundations of Psychoanalysis.[106] Cioffi discussed The Foundations of Psychoanalysis in Freud and the Question of Pseudoscience (1998), where he criticized Grünbaum's treatment of Popper and his discussion of the "Tally Argument".[107] Crews included an extract from The Foundations of Psychoanalysis in his anthology Unauthorized Freud (1998), where he described it as a "monumental study" and endorsed Grünbaum's criticisms of Freud.[108] The psychologist Michael Billig noted in Freudian Repression (1999) that while Grünbaum believes that Freud's theories have been almost entirely discredited, that verdict is not universally shared, since psychologists such as Seymour Fisher, Greenberg, and Kline "argue that the main elements of Freudian theory have been confirmed."[109]

Ritchie Robertson identified The Foundations of Psychoanalysis as the leading scientific critique of Freud's work in his introduction to The Interpretation of Dreams.[110] The anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann praised Grünbaum's discussion of the "Tally Argument" in Of Two Minds (2000). However, she observed that debates surrounding his work had not much affected psychoanalysis.[111] Robert Wilcocks praised The Foundations of Psychoanalysis in Mousetraps and the Moon (2000). However, he considered the book in some ways too favorable to Freud. He criticized Grünbaum for giving insufficient attention to Freud's use of cocaine and his treatment of Emma Eckstein.[112] The philosopher Philip L. Quinn described The Foundations of Psychoanalysis as influential in The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2005).[113] The philosopher Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen and the psychologist Sonu Shamdasani argued in The Freud Files (2012) that Grünbaum's position that Freud was a "sophisticated scientific methodologist" who was aware of the possible effects of suggestion on his patients and attempted to deal with this issue through the "Tally Argument" is unjustified since the argument presupposes, but does not prove, non-suggestibility. They rejected his view that Freud abandoned his seduction theory because of adverse evidence, claiming that Freud could not have had any such evidence.[114] John Kerr identified The Foundations of Psychoanalysis as the most influential work in the "contemporary debate over the evidentiary status of Freud's claims" in A Dangerous Method (2012).[115]

References[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grünbaum 1985, pp. xi–xiii.
  2. ^ Grünbaum 1985, pp. 1–69.
  3. ^ Grünbaum 1985, pp. 43–69, 97–99, 103–111.
  4. ^ Grünbaum 1985, pp. 3, 5–9, 46, 127, 140–141, 190–215, 216–220, 234–235.
  5. ^ Grünbaum 1985, p. iv.
  6. ^ a b c Woodward 1993, pp. 190–85.
  7. ^ Wilcocks 2000, p. 15.
  8. ^ a b Hoffman 1984, p. 1851.
  9. ^ a b Crews 1985, pp. 28–33.
  10. ^ a b Lieberson 1985, pp. 24–28.
  11. ^ a b Nagel 1994, pp. 34–38.
  12. ^ Grünbaum 1994, pp. 54–55.
  13. ^ a b Hobson 1985, p. 52.
  14. ^ a b Strenger 1986, pp. 255–260.
  15. ^ a b Wallace 1986, pp. 379–386.
  16. ^ a b Pagnini 1987, pp. 100–104.
  17. ^ a b Caplan 1986, pp. 228–229.
  18. ^ a b Eagle 1986, pp. 231–232.
  19. ^ a b Erwin 1986, pp. 235–236.
  20. ^ a b Eysenck 1986, pp. 236.
  21. ^ a b Flanagan 1986, pp. 238–239.
  22. ^ a b Greenberg 1986, pp. 240–241.
  23. ^ a b Hobson 1986, pp. 241–242.
  24. ^ a b Holt 1986, pp. 242–244.
  25. ^ a b Kächele 1986, pp. 244–245.
  26. ^ a b Klerman 1986, p. 245.
  27. ^ a b Leibin 1986, pp. 246–247.
  28. ^ a b Luborsky 1986, pp. 247–249.
  29. ^ a b Marmor 1986, p. 249.
  30. ^ a b Masling 1986, pp. 249–250.
  31. ^ a b Pagnini 1986, p. 252.
  32. ^ a b Reiser 1986, pp. 255–256.
  33. ^ a b Ruse 1986, pp. 256–257.
  34. ^ a b Savodnik 1986, p. 257.
  35. ^ a b Shevrin 1986, pp. 257–259.
  36. ^ a b Storr 1986, pp. 259–260.
  37. ^ a b Suppe 1986, pp. 261–262.
  38. ^ a b Von Eckardt 1986, pp. 262–263.
  39. ^ a b Wax 1986, pp. 264–265.
  40. ^ a b Woolfolk 1986, pp. 265–266.
  41. ^ a b Notturno & McHugh 1987, pp. 306–320.
  42. ^ a b Sachs 1989, pp. 349–378.
  43. ^ a b Caws 1986, pp. 229–230.
  44. ^ a b Cioffi 1986, pp. 230–231.
  45. ^ a b Edelson 1986, pp. 232–234.
  46. ^ a b Farrell 1986, pp. 236–237.
  47. ^ a b Kline 1986, pp. 245–246.
  48. ^ a b Notturno & McHugh 1986, pp. 250–251.
  49. ^ a b Pollock 1986, pp. 253–254.
  50. ^ a b Spence 1986, p. 259.
  51. ^ a b Strupp 1986, pp. 260–261.
  52. ^ a b Wachtel 1986, pp. 263–264.
  53. ^ a b Forrester 1986, pp. 670–674.
  54. ^ a b Erdelyi 1986, pp. 234–235.
  55. ^ a b Fine & Forbes 1986, pp. 234–235.
  56. ^ a b Gauld & Shotter 1986, pp. 239–240.
  57. ^ Butterworth 1986, pp. 252–255.
  58. ^ Eagle 1986, pp. 65–88.
  59. ^ Laor 1986, pp. 930–931.
  60. ^ Ruttenberg 1987, pp. 491–492.
  61. ^ Carveth 1987, p. 97.
  62. ^ Kline 1987, pp. 106–116.
  63. ^ Eriksson 2010, pp. 40–46.
  64. ^ Ricœur 1986, pp. 211–223.
  65. ^ Grünbaum 1988, pp. 623–629.
  66. ^ Miller 1988, pp. 659–679.
  67. ^ a b Popper 1986, pp. 254–255.
  68. ^ a b Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1986, p. 266.
  69. ^ a b Grünbaum 1986, pp. 266–284.
  70. ^ a b Wallace 1989, pp. 493–529.
  71. ^ a b Meissner 1990, pp. 523–557.
  72. ^ Wilkes 1990, pp. 241–254.
  73. ^ Nussbaum 1991, pp. 193–216.
  74. ^ a b Beaudoin 1992, pp. 35–62.
  75. ^ a b Esterson 1996, pp. 43–57.
  76. ^ a b Zimmerman 2000, pp. 55–85.
  77. ^ Lothane 2001, pp. 113–132.
  78. ^ a b Erwin 2003, pp. 358–363.
  79. ^ a b Holowchak 2013, pp. 149–160.
  80. ^ a b Fusella 2014, pp. 871–894.
  81. ^ a b Richmond 2016, pp. 589–631.
  82. ^ a b Gross 2017, pp. 69–85.
  83. ^ a b Trotter 2016, pp. 103–119.
  84. ^ Lacour 2016, pp. 120–147.
  85. ^ Edelson 1985, pp. 1–184.
  86. ^ Edelson 1990, pp. 309–348.
  87. ^ Eysenck 1986, p. 212.
  88. ^ Gay 1995, p. 745.
  89. ^ Ruse 1988, pp. 29–31.
  90. ^ Macmillan & Crews 1997, p. 608, 616.
  91. ^ Lear 1992, pp. 5–6, 49.
  92. ^ Hopkins & Neu 1991, pp. 122, 127–128.
  93. ^ Kovel 1991, p. 250.
  94. ^ Wollheim 1991, pp. xxv–xxvii.
  95. ^ Grünbaum 1993, p. ix.
  96. ^ Robinson 1993, pp. 180–266.
  97. ^ Eagle & Earman 1993, pp. 373–392.
  98. ^ Erwin & Earman 1993, pp. 409–460.
  99. ^ Hobson & Earman 1993, pp. 489, 504–505.
  100. ^ Millon & Earman 1993, pp. 509–525.
  101. ^ Welsh 1994, pp. 124–125, 144.
  102. ^ Crews 1995, pp. 9, 34.
  103. ^ Webster 2005, pp. 24, 560.
  104. ^ Forrester 1997, pp. 234–235, 241.
  105. ^ Shorter 1997, pp. 313, 415.
  106. ^ Crews & Macmillan 1997, pp. vii–ix.
  107. ^ Cioffi 1998, pp. 8, 64, 240–264.
  108. ^ Crews 1999, p. 76.
  109. ^ Billig 1999, pp. 5, 269.
  110. ^ Robertson & Freud 1999, p. xxix.
  111. ^ Luhrmann 2000, p. 310.
  112. ^ Wilcocks 2000, pp. 3–4, 17, 23.
  113. ^ Quinn & Honderich 2005, p. 355.
  114. ^ Borch-Jacobsen & Shamdasani 2012, pp. 137–138, 331.
  115. ^ Kerr 2012, p. 574.

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