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Talvitie, V. Ihanus, J. (2011). On Neuropsychoanalytic Metaphysics. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 92(6):1583-1601.

(2011). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 92(6):1583-1601

On Neuropsychoanalytic Metaphysics

Vesa Talvitie and Juhani Ihanus

(Final version accepted 24 January 2011)

Neuropsychoanalysis focuses on the neural counterparts of psychoanalytically interesting phenomena and has left the difference in the metaphysical presuppositions between neuroscience and psychoanalysis unexamined. The authors analyse the logical possibilities concerning the relation between the brain and the mental unconscious in terms of the serial, parallel, epiphenomenalist and Kantian conceptions, and conclude that none of them provides a satisfactory ground for neuropsychoanalysis. As far as psychoanalytic explanations refer to the mental unconscious, they cannot be verified with the help of neuroscience. Neither is it possible to form a picture of how a neuro-viewpoint might be of help for psychoanalytic theorizing. Neuropsychoanalysis has occasionally been seen as a reductionist affair, but the authors suggest that neuropsychoanalysts themselves lean on the hybrid conception, which combines neuroscientific and psychoanalytic viewpoints. The authors state arguments in favour of the interfield conception of neuropsychoanalysis that takes seriously the metaphysical tensions between neuroscience and psychoanalysis.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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