Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Psychoanalysis, science and the seductive theory of Karl Popper

Buy Article:

$52.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

Objective: To present a critique of the ideas of Karl Popper, the philosopher of science, whose depiction of psychoanalysis as a pseudoscience is often used to justify attacks on psychoanalysis.

Method: Published sources are used to provide a brief intellectual biography of Popper, a summary of his concept of science and a summary of criticisms of Popper's view of science. His depiction of psychoanalysis and Freud's reply are presented. Clinical, experimental and neurobiological research which refutes Popper's view is summarized.

Results: There is a vast scholarly published work critical of Popper's falsifiability criterion of science. Less recognized is Popper's misunderstanding and misrepresentation of psychoanalysis; his argument against it is logically flawed and empirically false. Even if Popper's theory of science is accepted, there is considerable clinical, experimental and neurobiological research in psychoanalysis which meets Popper's criterion of science.

Conclusion: Attacks on psychoanalysis based on Popper's theory of science are ill-founded and reflect inadequate scholarship.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2005; 39:446–452
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: evidence; falsifiability; philosophy of science; psychoanalysis; science

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2005

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more