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← Freud and psycho-analysis: still useful?

Red Dog's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Red Dog

Comment 3 by Schrodinger's Cat :

The main problem with Freud's theories is the utter subjectivity of his own interpretations. Freudian theory is simply not proper science, because it is not falsfiable.

Completely agree.

To my mind ( and a great many detractors of Freud ), he did not 'discover' aspects of the mind......he invented them. Because the theory is not falsifiable, Freud could then claim that his theory 'explains' the mind, and nobody could prove him he gained followers who believed he was right. This is pseudoscience at its worst.

From the standpoint of the history of Western thought I still think Freud was a brilliant man and made significant contributions. I think of him somewhat like Aristotle, he got almost everything wrong but sometimes just asking the right questions (even if you come up with all the wrong answers) can be a step in the right direction.

Before Freud there was no concept of mental health, talking therapy, the unconscious, etc. He made some very important contributions in getting people to think about psychology as a science and mental health as a part of medicine. Also, just getting people to acknowledge the importance of sexuality in our mental health and development, while it seems like common sense now it was a controversial idea back in the Victorian age.

I'm not so sure modern psychology has escaped from Freud...even where claiming to have done so.

I think you need to differentiate between psychology as a science and psychiatry as a mental health discipline. From the standpoint of psychology as a science, at least in the US, I think Freud has been completely purged. As I said in my first comment even back in the 70's he wasn't taught in the psychology departments of reputable universities except for historical purposes. However, from the standpoint of mental health and also the understanding that your average layman or even your average intellectual who doesn't have a strong foundation in science I agree Freud is still very much with us and its an example of how little people really understand the scientific method that he is.

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:24:02 UTC | #885724