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Kerz-Rühling, I. (1996). The Validation Of Psychoanalytical Hypotheses In Clinical Practice. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:275-290.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:275-290

The Validation Of Psychoanalytical Hypotheses In Clinical Practice

Ingrid Kerz-Rühling

Grünbaum's critique of the scientific rigour of psychoanalysis has led psychoanalysts to seek validation of its theory in clinical practice. The author argues that it is overlooked, however, that Freud described a method by means of which psychoanalysis is already perfectly able to justify its theoretical assumptions, in accordance with the rules of empirical induction recognised by Grünbaum. This method not only establishes clinical data, but also shows the Tally Argument to be valid, enables a specific cause of neurosis to be retrodictively identified and makes the process of cure peculiar to psychoanalysis intelligible in a new way. The main focus of the article is on Freud's description of a special feature of neurotic illusion or self-deception. Freud equates neurosis with what seventeenth- and eighteenth-century philosophical tradition termed Rationalism, in contrast to Empiricism. If the references scattered throughout Freud's works to rationalistic phenomena in neurotic mental processes are collated, the result will be a catalogue of indicators, the disappearance of which in the course of treatment will confirm the correctness of psychoanalytical statements about the causes of neurosis.

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