Psychoanalysis: Critique of Habermas' prototype of critical social sciences

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Habermas' hermeneutic interpretation of psychoanalysis is examined and his claim that it represents "the only tangible example of a science, incorporating methodological self-reflection" is evaluated and rejected. It is argued that Freud's therapeutic practice cannot be separated from his metapsychology which, in fact, grounds and permeates the therapeutic relationship. Nor can it be maintained that the patient and analyst relate as equals, as Habermas' conception of the ideal-speech situation requires. In fact Habermas fails to justify the psychoanalytic claim of "cure" through insight, and overlooks the systematically ideological character of psychoanalytic interpretation. © 1990.




Lichtman, R. (1990). Psychoanalysis: Critique of Habermas’ prototype of critical social sciences. New Ideas in Psychology, 8(3), 357–374.

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