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Levy, D. (1983). Wittgenstein on the Form of Psychoanalytic Interpretation. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 10:105-109.

(1983). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 10:105-109

Wittgenstein on the Form of Psychoanalytic Interpretation

Donald Levy


Wittgenstein objected to psychoanalysis not simply or mainly because its interpretations are unverifiable, but because they constitute a mythology imposed upon the patient; in form, such interpretations are instances of the genetic fallacy, he claimed. That is, such statements are reductive in an eliminative way. However, the passages in Freud's works alluded to do not support this charge, nor do others examined from this point of view. Freud's interpretations do not instantiate the defective form Wittgenstein had in mind, nor did Freud suppose that they did. So in the sense of mythology Wittgenstein employs, psychoanalytic interpretations do not impose a mythology.

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