A Complete Interdisciplinary Science of Mind
256 pp., 6 x 9 in, 7
- Published: September 25, 1995
- Published: October 16, 1992
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.
Bradford Books imprint
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