Popper's Fundamental Misdiagnosis of the Scientific Defects of Freudian Psychoanalysis

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    • Pages : 117 à 134
    • ISBN : 978-1-4020-9337-1
    • DOI : 10.1007/978-1-4020-9338-8_10
    • Date de création : 04-01-2011
    • Dernière mise à jour : 21-02-2015



    From the author : «The first impetus for my philosophical appraisal of Freudian psychoanalytic theory came from Popper's report that its edifice had played a pivotal role in his elevation of the empirical falsifiability of a hypothesis by potentially contrary evidence to be the linchpin of his entire philosophy of science, beginning with his anti-inductivist theory of demarcation (Popper 1974, p. 984). Indeed, for Popper, psychoanalysis avowedly served as the centerpiece for the purported superiority of his own falsifiability criterion of demarcation between science and non-(pseudo) science to the received inductivist standard for empirical theory-validation that originated three centuries earlier with Francis Bacon, a Baconian benchmark which Popper erroneously censured as being unacceptably permissive epistemologically. True, Bacon had erred in supposing that, for any given set of observational data, there is only a finite set of alternative hypotheses, each of which might explain the known data. But he emphasized, long before Popper, that — other things being equal — negative instances have greater probative force than positive ones in validating theories, having scoffed at simple enumerative induction from positive instances as “puerile.” Thus, Bacon envisioned the inductive elimination of all but one of the supposedly finite number of alternative hypotheses, which would thereby be shown to be true» [...].