James Hopkins ( of Philosophical Essays on Freud)

Logical positivism promoted an empiricist principle of meaning whichwas deemed lethal for religious belief. The following empiricistprinciple is representative: for a propositional claim (statement) tobe meaningful, it must either be about the bare formal relationsbetween ideas such as those enshrined in mathematics and analyticdefinitions (“A is A,” “triangles arethree-sided”) or there must in principle be perceptualexperience providing evidence of whether the claim is true orfalse. (The stronger version of positivism is that claims about theworld must be verifiable at least in principle). Both the weaker view(with its more open ended reference to evidence) and the strict view(in principle confirmation) delimit meaningful discourse about theworld. Ostensibly factual claims that have no implications for ourempirical experience are empty of content. In line with this form ofpositivism, A. J. Ayer (1910–1989) and others claimed that religiousbeliefs were meaningless. How might one empirically confirm that Godis omnipresent or loving or that Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu? In animportant debate in the 1950s and 1960s, philosophical arguments aboutGod were likened to debates about the existence and habits of anunobservable gardener, based on a parable by John Wisdom in1944–1945. The idea of a gardener who is not just invisible but whoalso cannot be detected by any sensory faculty seemed nonsense. Itseemed like nonsense because they said there was no difference betweenan imperceptible gardener and no gardener at all. Using this gardenanalogy and others crafted with the same design, Antony Flew (see hisessay in Mitchell 1971) made the case that religious claims do notpass the empirical test of meaning. The field of philosophy ofreligion in the 1950s and 1960s was largely an intellectualbattlefield where the debates centered on whether religious beliefswere meaningful or conceptually absurd.

Sigmund freud trauer und melancholy essays

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Essay on Sigmund Freud - 537 Words - StudyMode

The mythological basis for the theory begins to emerge when a sample of the rhetoric in Freud's writing is analyzed. In at least one case, Freud's language, though characterized on the surface by appeals to science, may have been calculated to be persuasive without scientific support. Despite the scientific metaphors with which Freud infuses the discussion -- latent dream thoughts "are contained in the associations like an alkali in the mother-liquid"26 -- he goes on to give the process of wringing the latent dream thoughts from the manifest ones an air of philosophical argument rather than of scientific proof: With respect to formulating the latent dream thoughts from the manifest thoughts and from associations, Freud says, "we intervene on our own; we fill in the hints, draw undeniable conclusions, and give explicit utterance to what the patient has only touched on in his associations."27 The rhetoric contained in this passage -- "fill in the hints," "draw undeniable conclusions," "give explicit utterance to" -- alludes, it seems, more to the argumentative basis for the interpretation than to its scientific basis. Yet, as the passage continues, Freud anticipates this rebuttal and addresses it. But his refutation of persuasion in favor of science is in turn itself based on rhetoric and intuition, not science:

Essays > Essay on Sigmund Freud

The purpose of this work is to expose and critically examine the Freudian concept of man as detailed in his work the Ego and the Id. This examination is necessary in order to assess the contributions of Freud to philosophical knowledge and the excesses of his assumptions.

Philosophical Quotes, Thought-Provoking Sayings

There has been much criticism as well as praise regarding psychoanalysis over the years, but a hard look at both the positive and negative feedback of critics of psychoanalysis shows, in my opinion, that psychoanalysis is indeed a "great idea" in personality that should not be overlooked. Sigmund Freud was the first psychoanalyst and a true pioneer in the recognition of the importance of unconscious mental activity.

Ethics - New World Encyclopedia

Descombes discusses one of the philosophical difficulties that perhaps Wittgenstein had in mind. "What Freud puts into question, according to Lacan, is the very possibility that human beings can claim to be the center of anything. The notion of the unconscious ought to be understood as bearing witness to the impossibility of anyone attaining what the philosophers call the state of satisfaction in harmony with the self (or, in speculative Hegelian terms, self-identity triumphing over all alienations and internal divisions)."41 On Freud's view, at least as interpreted by Descombes, we are doomed: We can never be the center of anything, not even ourselves.

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The ambiguity lies in Wittgenstein's praising of Freud's theory while repeatedly condemning it as unscientific, an ambiguity that has led at least one scholar astray: Grahame Lock concludes, as quoted by Jacques Bouveresse in Wittgenstein Reads Freud, that "Wittgenstein is the 'disciple' of Freud who seems to do nothing but raise objections to his master."9 Even though Wittgenstein indeed raises objections to Freud, many of them are leveled against Freud's view of his own theory, not against the explanatory power of the theory itself. For Wittgenstein, psychoanalysis is based in myth, not science. But this position must not be taken as merely a criticism of Freud, as Lock has done. Although it is an attack on Freud's view that his theory is a science, it is also a glorification of its inventiveness in going beyond a scientific theory to explain the scientifically unexplainable. Wittgenstein believed Freud "had something to say."10 Freud, Wittgenstein would have said, "invented a line of thinking."11 And it is a view of Freud's psychoanalysis that bodes with Wittgenstein's view of his own developed philosophical method, leaving Wittgenstein to see himself as a disciple of Freud, even though he did not believe he had himself invented a new line of thinking.