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Mills, J. (2015). Psychoanalysis and the Ideologies of Science. Psychoanal. Inq., 35S(Supplement):24-44.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 35S(Supplement):24-44

Psychoanalysis and the Ideologies of Science

Jon Mills, Psy.D., Ph.D., C.Psych., ABPP

Despite burgeoning interest in psychoanalytic thought throughout many disciplines in the humanities, psychoanalysis today is facing a crisis. Confronted with methodological, discursive, epistemological, and empirical challenges to theory and practice, not to mention waning public interest in psychoanalytic treatment, psychoanalysis continues to find itself displaced from mainstream scientific and therapeutic approaches within the behavioral sciences. Not only is psychoanalysis questioned on its scientific credibility and therapeutic efficacy from other disciplines, it is even disputed within contemporary psychoanalysis itself. Criticized for its theoretical models and scientific questionability, psychoanalysis faces critique by the new empiricists who are at once eager to legitimize and refine the discipline, yet are radical in their dismissal of many of the cardinal elements that have historically defined the profession. In this article, I challenge the ideologies of science, which are reflective of a privileged, hegemonic master discourse. The force of this discourse is built upon a fantasized objectivist epistemology and reductionist framework that is far removed from the human condition. I attempt to argue that science lacks true explanation as it artificially reduces the human being to simplistic, naive theories of parsimony that carry dogmatic ontological assertions about mind, human nature, and behavior. Such reductive paradigms further ignore the role of theoretics and subjectivity that by definition saturate any empirical method, and hence color its results; not to mention import an inflated valuation of the alleged virtue of empiricism itself.

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