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Talvitie, V. Ihanus, J. (2012). On: Reply to Gilbert Pugh and Brian Johnson. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 93(4):1042-1044.

(2012). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 93(4):1042-1044

On: Reply to Gilbert Pugh and Brian Johnson Related Papers

Vesa Talvitie and Juhani Ihanus

Dear Editor,

In our article, we argued that at the core of neuropsychoanalysis there is a conflict between psychoanalytic and mainstream (neuro)science conceptions. If neuropsychoanalysis adopted the mainstream view of neuroscience, i.e. if it resigned the ‘cornerstone’ (the Freudian mental unconscious), psychoanalysts would probably to a large extent lose interest in neuropsychoanalysis. In our article, we explicated the consequences of the other alternative: in so far as neuropsychoanalysis leans on the Freudian idea of a causally efficacious unconscious that does not become reduced to neurophysiological matters, there is a serious disagreement with the views of mainstream neuroscience. In this issue, neuropsychoanalysis cannot avoid taking sides: it either leans on the Freudian conception or does not.

From the scientific viewpoint it is not crucial to dispute about what polls say about how popular neuroscience is among psychoanalysts, what Freud (who has recently been appointed even a co-founder of neuropsychoanalysis) said a century ago, whether or not one (Blass and Carmeli, Talvitie and Ihanus) is positive enough towards the endeavour of neuropsychoanalysis, and whether one has read the right neuropsychoanalytic texts.

In his letter, Dr Gilbert Pugh starts with heavy labelling rhetoric (“the nihilistic stance”, “factual errors”, “unwarranted assumptions”), positioning us altogether against creative interdisciplinary endeavours.

[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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