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Freud's Dream: A Complete Interdisciplinary Science of Mind [Paperback]

Patricia Kitcher

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Book Description

Sept. 25 1995 Bradford Books

Freud's Dream provides an extended case study of the appeal and potential dangers of the interdisciplinary approach to theory construction now guiding cognitive science as well as a novel interpretation of Freud's own program.

Kitcher argues that Freud's grand scheme for psychoanalysis was nothing less than a blueprint for a complete interdisciplinary science of mind, that many of its strengths and weaknesses derived from that fact, and that Freud's errors are instructive for current work in cognitive science.

In particular, Kitcher maintains that Freud's metapsychology was not a dispensible theoretical superstructure but a set of directives for constructing a science of mind that would be firmly grounded in then current results in neurophysiology, evolutionary biology, psychology, psychiatry, and the social sciences. The collapse of psychoanalysis, Kitcher asserts, was due in large measure to fundamental changes in the sciences out of which Freud constructed his theories and his refusal to recognize the degree to which he had made psychoanalysis dependent on the results and assumptions of nineteenth-century science.

A Bradford Book


Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: A Bradford Book; New edition edition (Sept. 25 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262611155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262611152
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 390 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,983,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Freud's Dream is a first-rate study in the philosophy of science which traces the undoing of Freud's program to the interdisciplinary nature of his project, the closed epistemological structure of the psychoanalytic institutes, and the resulting homogeneity of the psychoanalytic community. Kitcher makes a convincing case that the interdisciplinary commitments of contemporary cognitive science makes it prone to some of the same problems that undid Freud's program.

(Owen Flanagan, Professor of Philosophy, Duke University)

About the Author

Patricia Kitcher is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, and former President of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Over the last decade there has been a dramatic shift in the approach of the mental (now "cognitive") sciences. Read the first page
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Concordance
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Learned June 30 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This excellent book is both an interesting discussion of Freud's research program and an illustrative example for one who wishes to understand contemporary cognitive science. Kitcher is both sympathetic and critical to Freud --- this is sure to bother both die-hard Freudians and die-hard anti-Freudians. Highly recommended!
6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not worth your time Feb. 25 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book purports to show Freud's errors in constructing an interdisciplinary science. The author has some respect for Freud because his example has shown why cognitive science must be interdisciplinary; but as most of the disciplines he borrows from have progressed immensely in this century, the overall structure of psychoanlytic theory has come to ruins. Hence the dangers inherent in any interdisciplinary science. This argument would have been somewhat interesting, had the author actually possessed any knowledge of any of the disciplines involved. But she doesn't, and her book fails miserably. Above all there is the assumption that if modern researchers disagree with freud on any point whatsoever, they must be right and Freud wrong. Then the author claims that there is a general agreement on what Freud actually said, because he writes more clearly than Kant. Well, she really hasn't read much of the relevant literature. The disagreement on what Freud actually said is so astonishing as to have no parallel in the history of thought. Kant is relatively easy compared to Freud because his writings can be deciphered once one has learned to read bad German. Freud does not present a great deal of surface difficulty; the difficulty lies in actually thinking with him. And lastly, relying on people like Ellenberger or Sulloway is very problematic. Has the author read any of the refutations? Did she simply ignore them? Does she even know anything about modern research in neuroscience and psychology, beyond, say, the Churchlands? What about Kosslyn? LeDoux? Kandel? Alkon? Edelman? Lakoff? Changeux? I would recommend the books of all of these authors as an introductory course on how to read Freud in the context of cognitive science.
0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars irritated, but not surprised June 29 2005
By Psychologist - Published on Amazon.com
This work is astounding in its profound ignorance not only of contemporary psychoanalysis, but of psychoanaytic developments in the last half of the 20th century (and also of much of contemporary neurobiology). The arrogance here is amazing -- to write a book without even attempting to familiarize oneself with th subject matter; but, we must ask, where is this arroagnce coming from? I believe Kitcher well demonstrate the law, "Academics moves toward the trendy, occasionally errs, self-corrects and moves again toward the trendy."

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