The paper is concerned with philosophical reconstructions of psychoanalysis and their implications for its truth. It argues that what may be called the commonsense reconstruction of psychoanalysis is preeminent and supports psychoanalysis' claim to truth, on the grounds that—given the conception of psychological explanation dominant in contemporary philosophy of mind, according to which psychological explanation identifies causal relations via the identification of thematic or contentful connections—scientific criteria of confirmation are inappropriate to the evaluation of psychoanalysis; psychoanalysis is instead legitimated by its continuity with commonsense psychology. The basic structure of the commonsense reconstruction of psychoanalysis is first spelled out, with reference to the general problem of explaining irrationality, and then defended, with special attention to Grünbaum's scientistic critique of psychoanalysis. Arguments are presented to show that the scientistic interpretation of psychoanalysis is not mandatory, and that ultimately it reflects a failure to grasp the logical character of commonsense psychology.


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pp. 93-113
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Open Access
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