Two Patterns of Rationality in Freud's Writing

Two Patterns of Rationality in Freud's Writing

Two Patterns of Rationality in Freud's Writing

Two Patterns of Rationality in Freud's Writing

Excerpt

Long exiled from academic psychology, Sigmund Freud has since found a home in textual criticism, linguistics, and historical studies. He has been portrayed as an exegete of the mind whose deciphering method originated in the Jewish mystical tradition; as a cryptobiologist who cloaked the discoveries of Ernst Haeckel and Charles Darwin in the terminology of his "revolutionary" science; as the author of a quest story whose journey took place in the underworld of the mind; and as a humanist who tried to rescue the myth of the soul from the encroachments of mechanistic science. Interpretations of Freud are as numerous and varied as the volumes that have inquired into his life, his method, and his evolving theory of human nature.

Although Freud has not yet secured a place in philosophy, it is in light of the philosophic tradition that an understanding of him is pursued here. With few exceptions, recent philosophers have found Freud worthy of discussion not because he has advanced debate concerning the possibility of a science of humankind but, on the contrary, because his theories are symptomatic of the logical errors and conceptual confusion so badly in need of philosophical analysis. Papers unkind to Freud gen-

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