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Cover for The Foundations of Psychoanalysis

The Foundations of Psychoanalysis

A Philosophical Critique (Pittsburgh Series in Philosophy and History of Science #2)

Adolf Grunbaum


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This study is a philosophical critique of the foundations of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis. As such, it also takes cognizance of his claim that psychoanalysis has the credentials of a natural science. It shows that the reasoning on which Freud rested the major hypotheses of his edifice was fundamentally flawed, even if the probity of the clinical observations he adduced were not in question. Moreover, far from deserving to be taken at face value, clinical data from the psychoanalytic treatment setting are themselves epistemically quite suspect.

University of California Press, 9780520050174, 256pp.

Publication Date: December 16, 1985

About the Author

Adolf Grünbaum (born May 15, 1923, Cologne, Germany) is a philosopher of science and a critic of psychoanalysis. He is also well known as a critic of Karl Popper's philosophy of science. He became the first permanent Andrew Mellon Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh in 1960. In that year, he also became the founding Director of that University's Center for Philosophy of Science, serving as Director until 1978. Currently, at the University of Pittsburgh, besides being the Andrew Mellon Professor of Philosophy of Science, he is Co-Chairman of its Center for Philosophy of Science (since 1978), Research Professor of Psychiatry (since 1979), and Primary Research Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science (since 2006).