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Barratt, B.B. (1976). Freud's Psychology as Interpretation. Psychoanal. Contemp. Sci., 5:443-478.

(1976). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Science, 5:443-478

Freud's Psychology as Interpretation

Barnaby B. Barratt, Ph.D.

Freud's psychology is proving remarkably difficult to relegate to history. For Freud's proponents, his theories still represent the opus magnum of the social sciences; for the anti-Freudians, they present a recurrent challenge. Despite the rapid expansion of psychology, Freudianism retains a provocative allure partly because, being little understood and much maligned, it has never been properly assimilated into the main body of the discipline. To a certain extent, that is because the majority of mainstream psychologists fail to comprehend the metaphorical level on which psychoanalytic concepts are articulated. Moreover, they misconstrue the object and the intentions of the psychoanalytic endeavor. Despite an immense critical and explicatory literature, Freud's psychology is continually being reread and re-evaluated. Its epistemological status is still a matter for debate and its fundamentals are still open to reinterpretation. Although it may be virtually unattainable, a definitive assessment of Freudianism might augur its obsolescence. What is the mode of discourse appropriate for such an assessment, and within what epistemological and philosophical framework does Freud's psychology reach its apotheosis?

The protracted and wearisome debate over Freud within the English-speaking world has largely concerned the scientific status of psychoanalysis (see, for example, Pumpian-Mindlin, 1952; Hook, 1959).

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