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Wallerstein, R.S. (1986). Psychoanalysis as a Science: A Response to the New Challenges. Psychoanal Q., 55:414-451.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 55:414-451

Psychoanalysis as a Science: A Response to the New Challenges

Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D.


Few theoretical issues in psychoanalysis have been more constantly argued than the status of our discipline as a science. For long the attack has been from the logical positivists and the extensions of their argument by Karl Popper. Over recent decades the debate about the place of our metapsychology has intensified the concerns about our scientific status. In this paper I respond briefly to the logical positivist, the Popperian, and the information-processing systems theory arguments and then develop at greater length a response to the two current, most widespread philosophy-of-science assaults upon our credibility as science, that of the hermeneuticists (Ricoeur, Habermas, Gadamer, and others), and the newest, that of the philosopher, Adolf Grünbaum.

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