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Re: [evol-psych] Freud and Psychoanalysis

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  • David Smith
    I ve been in one. The American College of Orgonomy is still around, and publishes a journal on this stuff. David ... From: Irwin Silverman
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 31, 2001
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      I've been in one. The American College of Orgonomy is still around, and
      publishes a journal on this stuff.

      David

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Irwin Silverman" <isilv@...>
      To: "Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi" <benny@...>
      Cc: "artemistroy" <artemispub@...>;
      <evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, December 31, 2001 2:42 PM
      Subject: Re: [evol-psych] Freud and Psychoanalysis


      > On Mon, 31 Dec 2001, Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi wrote:
      >
      > > ... My living room was indeed flooded for a while. Now I know why! This
      > > was a message from the Reichians to those among us who are skeptical
      > > about Orgone Physics.
      >
      > Point taken, but you must admit it was the mother of all placebo
      > effects - and cost effective.
      > I never knew anyone first hand who possessed an orgone box, but I
      > did hear, back in the 50s, of several miracle cures.

      > Irwin Silverman
    • Irwin Silverman
      ... Best miracle cure story I heard was about a friend of a friend who allegedly had left his apt virtually only for therapy sessions for years, but visited
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 1, 2002
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        On Mon, 31 Dec 2001, david smith wrote:

        > I've been in one. The American College of Orgonomy is still around, and
        > publishes a journal on this stuff.

        Best miracle cure story I heard was about a friend of a friend who
        allegedly had left his apt virtually only for therapy sessions for years,
        but visited his orgone box daily and had a specific date from his therapist
        as to when he would be ready to resume his normal existence. According to
        friend's reports, this is precisely what happened.
        Second hand, of course, but given the powers of suggestion inherent
        in the therapist role (as documented by Martin Orne, T.X. Barber, John
        Rosen, etc.) wholly conceivable to me.
      • Anna Michaels
        ... Errr, but when there is no scientific justification or validatation, only a requirement to believe, the context of the invention (hardly discovery if
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 1, 2002
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          "david smith" <dsmith06@...> replied:
          >
          >Whether or not many of Freud's ideas can be attributed to the influence of
          >cocaine (as E. M. Thornton asserts in her book The Freudian Fallacy has no
          >bearing whatsoever on their validity. As Reichenbach showed us a long
          >time ago, the context of scientific discovery is quite different from the
          >context of justification. Theories and hypotheses need to be judged on
          >their own merits, and not rejected because of the influences upon their
          >origination.

          Errr, but when there is no scientific justification or validatation, only a
          requirement to believe, the context of the invention (hardly "discovery" if
          unproven) is terrible relevant.

          >Also, common sense, 'the logic of the stone age' as Bertrand Russell
          >called it, is not a good touchstone for evaluating theoretical claims.
          >After all, science strives to transcend common sense by reaching for and
          >understanding of the deep structure of nature, which often turns out to be
          >very weird.

          But in the face of lack of justification or validation, distance from
          common sense too is yet another problem. Take Lawrence Kohlberg's elegant
          1966 rebuttal of Freud's 1924 identification theories, after demolishing
          them scientifically, asking if such an incredibly complex path was really
          expected to have been negotiated by every heterosexual boy and girl.

          >Freud's perrenial appeal is due to a number of factors. His vision of
          >human nature is in many ways compelling, his writing is beguiling and
          >powerful, he asks important questions, and his philosophical insights into
          >the architecture and dynamics of mental processes are often highly
          >sophisticated.

          All of which amount to saying he made his mark by just the sort of
          characteristics that might have been aided by cocaine. None of them make
          his works true. Now, if we were talking of a poet or a novelist it
          wouldn't matter if they were true, or verifiable, the afficionado could
          simply revel in apparent insights, sophistication, the powerful and
          beguiling writing, the compelling vision. But lives have hinged on Freud's
          theories, indeed, taking his successors into account, still do. If
          anything those qualities which would commend a novelist or poet should make
          a theorist the more carefully and critically examined, the search for
          veracity being the more likely to be diverted by the fireworks, the smoke,
          the mirrors...

          >Clarke Glymour, who is by no means a friend of Freudianism, has written that:
          >
          >Freud's writings contain a philosophy of mind, and indeed a philosophy of
          >mind that addresses many of the issues about the mental that nowadays
          >concern philosophers and ought to concern psychologists. Freud's thinking
          >about the issues in the philosophy of mind is better than much of what
          >goes on in contemporary philosophy, and it is sometimes as good as the
          >best....Even when Freud had the wrong answer to a question, or refused to
          >give an answer, he knew what the question was and what was at stake in it.
          >And when he was deeply wrong it was often for reasons that still make
          >parts of cognitive psychology wrong.

          And you yourself recently wrote, memorably:
          >May I offer a few, no doubt opinionated, remarks? I was a psychotherapist
          >for close to twenty years (psychoanalytic orientation). My present
          >attitude to psychotherapy is well captured Ghandi's remark when asked what
          >he thought of Western civilization : 'It sounds like a good idea'.
          >
          >Psychotherapy is, conservatively, 95% superstition. I consider a good deal
          >of the much-vaunted 'research' to be junk, and the diagnostic categories
          >associated with it to be little more than folk-psychological fictions.

          Anna

          anna.m@...
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