Abstract

This paper works on assumption that Freud's general account of science—as the empirically based pursuit of “objective” truth (objective, in part, insofar as it is not driven, at least not significantly, by human wishes)—is reasonable and fair. Though it recognizes, as does Freud, that science cannot be a “view from nowhere” and void of normative investment, it assumes, with Freud, that conventionalist, subjectivist, and perspectivist notions of science that do not allow for any possibility of truth, independent of human design are wrongheaded. It assumes that science works in some measure at objective knowledge of the world in which humans live. The question it pursues is narrower: Is Freudian psychoanalysis answerable to the same objective criticisms to which Freud holds other sciences or is it a Weltanschauung? In doing so, the focus is on the clinical dimension of psychoanalysis, for that is widely regarded the most scientifically salvageable aspect of psychoanalysis.

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