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← Freud and psycho-analysis: still useful?

Red Dog's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Red Dog

Comment 5 by Premiseless :

Anyhow, to what extent are some of the terms he used still relevant? Have some been modified for more recent thinking or dropped altogether in favour of replacements? This is the problem when language holds fast to terms whilst the thinking about them changes. Is there a reliable reference vocabulary and definition universally accepted as science?

I think the answer to your question "Is there a reliable reference vocabulary and definition universally accepted as science?" is no. Remember that psychology is still a very immature science. There has been great progress in some areas such as neurophysiology but especially when you get to the more abstract areas of human behavior I don't think there is anything close to a consensus about one coherent theory and set of terms.

And I would agree that Freud's terminology still lives on quite a bit even in psychologists who are true scientists. Its just inevitable because as I said in an earlier quote even though Freud got most or all of the answers wrong he was the first one to ask many of the questions so his terms such as the unconscious still live on.

BTW, Steven Pinker has a lot of interesting stuff to say about language and how it evolves. I'm currently reading "The Stuff of Thought" and at least in the early pages (as far as I've got) he talks about these things. Also, in The Blank Slate where he does a great job of demolishing a lot of preconceived notions about language and saying some very interesting things about how it evolved and is used. Actually, I would recommend any book he's ever written, he is a great writer and if you want to see some actual psychology that is real science he is a great place to start.

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:36:16 UTC | #885727