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Gonchar, J. (1992). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIII, 1990: Freud, Truth, and the Wolf Man. Paul Wink. Pp. 365-416.. Psychoanal Q., 61:319.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIII, 1990: Freud, Truth, and the Wolf Man. Paul Wink. Pp. 365-416.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:319

Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIII, 1990: Freud, Truth, and the Wolf Man. Paul Wink. Pp. 365-416.

Joel Gonchar

Wink attempts to clarify the relations between theory and data in psychoanalysis and what consequences the conclusions would have on the correspondence theory of truth. His basic premise is that theories influence basic scientific observations. The author uses Freud's case history of the Wolf Man to examine this issue because Freud claimed to have arrived at the historical truth of what actually "happened" to the Wolf Man as a child. Wink discusses narrative truth versus historical truth and examines how the new philosophy of science has changed our view of theory, from seeing it as absolute to seeing it as relative. Using the Wolf Man's dream and following the process of Freud's reconstruction of the pathogenic primal scene experience, Wink argues that the importance of theory to Freud in arriving at his interpretation of the data makes it difficult to accept Freud's conclusions as historical truth. Making use of Lakatos's views of science, the author then compares two psychoanalytic theories in their explanatory powers of the Wolf Man's neurosis: drive theory, which Freud originally used, and object relations theory. He finds that object relations theory fits the "facts" better. The author further explores object relations theory using Lakatos's criteria that the theory be progressive, lead to expansion, and encourage development.

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Article Citation

Gonchar, J. (1992). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIII, 1990. Psychoanal. Q., 61:319

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