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So, I was thinking about Freud tonight.
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So, I was thinking about Freud tonight.

Do you think he's onto something?

I've been thinking a lot lately about different approaches to psychology, and it occurs to me that I think the value of psychoanalysis probably lies IN the fact that it's not truly scientific.

I know, that sounds weird.

But it seems like there is a persistent ethical problem with biological-reductionist conceptions of psychology in that they implicitly undermine the 'humanness' of the human being. Human life is by definition conditioned by things that can't be measured: language, ideas, symbols. It seems that efforts to reduce psychology to neuroscience end up dismissing too much content that you need to study the subject properly. It seems to lead to viewing chemical imbalances as a 'a thing' in themselves, that need to be treated with chemical therapies. It seems to lead to favoring chemical therapies as first-order treatment instead of investigating whether (e.g.) the person could have a behavior pattern that is causing the imbalance, or whether there is some sort of problem in the broader society that's causing these imbalances to crop up frequently.

Basically, the 'reductionist' schools of psychology end up reducing the human being to mere matter, devoid of social significance.

This is where I think psychoanalysis may have some value. True, it's not science. But I'm not sure the field of human mental life CAN be scientific. Whether Freud's ideas are right or not, his project at least favors the idea of open communication as a potential solution. This seems preferable to the current 'prescribe amphetamines to the 6 year old after talking to him for 5 minutes' culture of mainstream psychiatry. Like, it at least is on board with the concept of human dignity, and it's not opposed to the idea that the problem might be with the broader society rather than the patient.
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>>7683780
Freud is thought of a le kray-kray pseudoscientific sex fiend psychologist in pop culture, but that reputation is largely built off attempts at discrediting/disowning his weirder ideas by those in the field to legitimize psychiatry and psychology as serious medical disciplines so it wouldn't go the way of mesmerism. While some of the things he said are patently absurd, he was onto more than the average modern prescription-happy psychiatrist would care to admit.
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OP get the Peter Gay Freud Reader and read 50 pages of it
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>>7683780
>Do you think he's onto something?
Are you from the 1890s?
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I've come to the same conclusion as you. Much of modern pharmapsychology is like trying to fix software bugs by messaging with the circuits.
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>>7683799
Kek
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>it occurs to me that I think the value of psychoanalysis probably lies IN the fact that it's not truly scientific.

wittgenstein thought same thing, look it up ray monk's bio and culture and value
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>>7683780
yeah, you are getting it.

reading your OP reminds me of that Socrates methapor about giving birth and learning something.
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>>7683780
I agree with you (about psychoanalysis not needing to be a science), and I believe a lot of psychoanalysts do so today.

Given what we believe to be science in the public discourse today (which is quite different of what sciences "really" are), I'd even say it's very important for psychoanalysis to try to not look like this idea of science (sorry for the bad English, I can't say it better than that with my English level).

Freud started all this with a scientistic approach given the spirit of his time, also because it was politically and heuristically a good idea to do so. Though nowadays, the scientistic approach of the subject (as "individual subject", person, etc. , not "topic") is too far away of what psychoanalysis gave us valuable about the singularity of said subject.
(Once again, there would be differences to notice between what we believe to be science, what shows signs of science, and what are sciences really doing... My main grievance is that scientistic approaches fail to address both the phenomenological and the political reality of the subject, thus carrying a very particular and politicized definition of what a subject is - while claiming to be depoliticized. In other words and to say it more abruptly, I believe this approach simply tries to "kill" the subject and to reduce its singularity to zero. Sciences have a role in this political fight, and are not neutral about the subject construction, they belong to their time. Though I tend to believe the main voice echoing about sciences obeys to other outlooks (such as management, governance, etc) than the scientists' ones.)

Sadly, in the "war" about what an individual subject may be nowadays, approaches which are not in a scientist claim are not in a good position to fight. I don't think that's good news, because we still live ourselves and our bodies as more than a batch of chemical reactions (it even applies to people claiming so, since they are claiming that to other's "faces", thus addressing to Others, speaking to them and trying to convince them or despising them, etc. In other words, being in ethical (unethical) and political relationships, thus belonging to realms which aren't only the chemical one, and where the chemical explanation is sensu stricto non-relevant. You could try to explain political conflicts with testosterone and epinephrine, but you'll fail to understand what's happening there (if I could I would have written this in italics). That's for the reductionism aspect).
Once again it's all about the political thing. It's unbearable to me, but a "soma world" or a negation of the unconsciousness are possible answers. It all depends of who succeed to impose its views, given the social and historical situation.
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>it occurs to me that I think the value of psychoanalysis probably lies IN the fact that it's not truly scientific.

yeah it's interesting, the conscious study of the unconscious. the surrealists had a fun time with this complication
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>>7683780
The problem isn't psychoanalysis itself, it's just that Freud's theories are difficult to give support with a scientific approach. You either take it on faith or create more rigorous psychoanalytic theory.
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>>7683780
>freud
>biological-reductionist
I stopped reading here. freud was not a biological reductionist. the first person to introduce biology into psychology was Jung, his student. he did research like discovering mentally ill people dont have normal galvanic skin responses to environmental stress.
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Psychoanalysis > Psychology
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I think literature.
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>>7685811
I don't really think that wasn't the point of >>7683780

>>7685389
I don't agree with you on that one. One could make psychoanalysis with method, without being in a method which would belongs to "hard science". There are many meanings to "science", it's not mandatory for it to be "refutable/reproducible" or to be written in a statistical way, etc. One could hear science also as "Wissenschaft" rather than only hypothetico-deductive method and so on...
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>>7685378
What are you meaning exactly?
Though, I don't know if we could say that psychoanalysis is mainly the conscious study of the unconscious. In its literary production, why not, but through the clinical field, I wouldn't say "conscious study" is the first thing which comes to my mind. There indeed are a lot of thought things (verbalized) during elaboration, but "it" happens above all
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>>7685811
He's saying that modern psychiatry, the exact opposite of Freud, is biological-reductionist.
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Just ignore my previous post( >>7688668 )
, I'm not wide awake enough to clearly say what I mean.

>>7688681
I understood the same thing as you in the original post
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Check out the Denial of Death by Ernest Becker. I recommend this book every chance I get on /lit/, because it's the best damn thing I've ever read and I want more people to talk about it. It addresses the essence of your question - that is the limitations of psychology and how it came to replace religion / spirituality in the west. He writes how you need to go beyond psychology and apply a psycho-spiritual approach when it comes to properly managing neuroses.

(Also to address the last line of your post I think that our way of thinking about people is completely out of whack with basic human urges and drives, because we don't acknowledge them, mostly because acknowledging them would be damaging to the foundations of our culture. Becker also writes about this.)
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Yes, I'm sure concocting up an elaborate psychosexual fantasy on why little Jimmy wants to fuck his mommy through dream interpretation is the way to get at that case of mental illness. Freud for the win.
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