Freuds psykoanalyses videnskabelige legitimitet

Patrick Alexander Raaby Sloan, Oliver Elmkvist Barington, Antonia Jersild Moreira, Cecilia Lykke Løsekraut & Mie La Cour Sell

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


In this Project we examine the scientific legitimacy of Freud’s psychoanalysis through two dimensions. The first dimension deals with reasons behind the recurring assumption put forward by some academic circles and paradigms claiming that Freud's psychoanalysis is non-academic. In order to understand and analyse this assumption we sketched the development and change of Freud’s scientific standpoint in psychoanalysis mainly through historian Peter Gay’s contextualisation and interpretation. This task was carried out by taking into account philosopher of science Karl Popper’s approach to which theories that qualify as scientific and relating this to the level of science in psychoanalysis. Thereafter, we compare practices within psychoanalytic psychotherapy with cognitive psychotherapy, which in some ways can be seen as more accepted within psychological practice. Last but not least, we investigate the problems brought forth of issues related to subjectivity and ‘lack of professionalism’ there might occur between analytic and analysand. The second dimension of the project deals with other perspectives on scientific legitimacy of psychoanalysis which can enforce its utility. The understanding of the subject in psychoanalysis plays an important role in the question of the scientific legitimacy of the psychoanalysis. We investigate the understanding of subject as ‘decentered’ and time-less, making the subject unfamiliar with itself. The psychoanalysis can be seen as antihumanistic, since it is interested in the subject as isolated and not as synonymous with the ego whereby recovery is not necessarily achieved. Furthermore, we investigate whether psychoanalysis can be seen as an ethic rather than a scientific discipline proper, since one may argue that there is scant empirical evidence upon which one can safely claim that the unconscious exist. Popper’s approach towards science is discussed in relation to the scientific legitimacy of psychoanalysis. Thereafter, we discuss how we experience the unconscious, and if it is reasonable to assume that the unconscious exists when we experience its insisting. Finally, we discuss whether the symptoms occurring at Freud’s time, such as hysteria, are prevalent in the same way today. There are approaches, mainly drawing on critical rationalistic lines of reasoning, which deem the Freudian psychoana-lytical legacy as unscientific. However, there are a myriad of approaches that set out to show that psychoanalytical efficacy will not necessarily stem from its scientific status, making room for a small revolution in the understanding of human emotions and ontology in general.

UddannelserPsykologi, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato17 maj 2016


  • Karl Popper
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Psykoterapi
  • Scientific legitimacy
  • Freud
  • Lacan
  • Akademisk psykologi
  • Det ubevidste
  • Videnskabelighed