The Century Of The Self

Kaze Araki

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Freudian psychology is not scientific from the very start, nor did I ever try to picture it as scientific.
Just like any other form of philosophy, Freudian psychology started with a self-evidence thesis that is inherently metaphysical.
And therefore, in line with Hawking, the value of its assertion should be evaluated by its predictions.
When you assert that Psychoanalysis cannot do this, what you are actually doing is explaining the predicted future with a better model.
Whether your model is right or whether Psychoanalysis is wrong, they does not diminish Psychoanalysis ability to predict human behavior.
 

shard2323

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Since obviously we cannot agree to disagree, I'll continue.
~ We both agree that psychoanalysis and Freudian psychology in general is not scientific. I admit that I am going about attempting to disprove Freud's views as if they were scientific, and I apologize for that. Also, I only have heard about Hawking's Model-Dependent Realism, only recently studying it. With that said, I still find error in your claim that psychoanalysis accurately predicts behavior. Some obvious behaviors, known to all those in the world who are apt at socialization, yes. However things such as the stages of psychosexual development, it utterly fails at predicting. You cannot say that “psychoanalysis” predicts behavior, use a few examples of its “successes”, and ignore its obvious failures.
~ Moving on, I accept that you see that psychoanalysis predicts behavior, thus whether it is factually true and represents “reality” is of little importance. Indeed, even though there are other scientific theories that do far better at this job, you still view both as useful, so it seems, and worth keeping (The later part is merely a guess on my part, apologies if it is an incorrect one). I accept all of this, but I do not agree with it. MDR (Mode-Dependent Realism) is your crutch for this sort of reasoning, thankfully, as that leaves room for criticism.
~ In order for your basis to support your main assertion, psychoanalysis must predict human behavior, if not in all cases, than in the majority. In other words, psychoanalysis must be congruent with observation and predict future observations. As you know, I am saying that this is not the case. As aforementioned, I have already shown issue with using a few minority examples from a documentary to support all of psychoanalysis (I never heard you say “This part...”, “This theory”...only the entire word.). When Bernays consulted a psychoanalyst, who said the whole bit about woman wanting a penis for power and independence, why did he go to a bunch of debutantes and have them endorse the product? Because he believed that woman saw the cigarette as a symbol of a man's penis? If so, (Which I personally doubt, but for the sake of argument...) let us say that, hypothetically, he goes to another psychoanalyst, who says that cigarettes represent something else entirely. Yes, I know that is not the case, but just think of the example. There is no objective approach to psychoanalysis, no standard for evaluating such a thing as a woman's perception of a cigarette. Given this, another analyst could have said something entirely contradictory. Where is the predicative power in that? Without an objective standard for evaluation, any predictive powers that psychoanalysis has shown could very well just be a statistical fluke. Combine this with the fact that Bernays often digressed from psychoanalysis, and I think my point becomes clear.
~ Perhaps I am being ignorant to this fact or that, if so, please explain why. But not only has psychoanalysis been historically inaccurate (Read my sources~ one account goes into depth about Freud thinking a certain girl surely wanted sex, even after rejecting a man several times. Not very accurate...), and not only are we only looking at it in parts, but without some sort of standard, I cannot see anyway to even ensure that whatever events in does predict are actually significant. Couple this with Bernays, who often made the situation more murky, and we cannot even be sure if psychoanalysis is being used or not (Which I admit you don't seem to think matters, as we are talking about the “prophetic powers of psychoanalysis”, so to speak). Because of things such as this, I do not even see a reason to keep psychoanalysis in the texts books, other than to provide its historical significance. It has been ousted by other models which better explain observations and predict future one, and that have objective standards. Alas however, such a debate was not even my intentions. I was merely going to vent my grievances and move onto your question, a task I will take up now...


...will there be any chances for democracy, egalitarianism, universal welfare, free and peaceful world - if we ourselves are the most wretched animals mother earth had ever gave birth to?
~ *Given....sorry, it was such a well written passage, this just stuck out like a sore thumb.
~ I have often wondered this for other reasons. There have been documented tribes where almost no government, and a grass-root socialistic system in which, without a monetary system, resources were shared equally according to need. Class still existed, as it often does in traditional societies. but it was merely in the form of man/woman, child/elder format.
~ This all existed on the small scale, regardless of humanity's propensity towards violence. (As a side note, Chomsky on “his” website, talked about this in one writing...I will find that for you and link it if you don't know which one I am talking about). Moreover, most tribal communities exist in a state of harmony not matched by larger society. This is because, while being naturally selfish at time, human beings are innately social animals. Thus things like compassion, altruism, and love exist on equal playing fields as other more “dark” adaptations, such as selfishness, violence, and hate. The key thing to remember is that these seem (as observing any traditional tribe will show) to be only in small, tight-knit communities, closer to the “natural” standard of things. Modern societies that have thousands of people jam-packed into a square-mile are not natural, and the result is more environmental influence in the form of violence, apathy, and the like. And while this is merely environmental, and thus can be counteracted (there surely are cases of altruism in city environments), such feelings almost always foster in a tight-knit social setting. Namely because in said settings, there is a universal interdependence, and evolutionarily speaking, altruism in such an environment raises the collective survival rates of all those in the tribe or group. Ergo, positive emotions have largely developed from the need to have a cohesive social unit. Such units being in the benefit of the species overall.
~ Freud's theories apply only to modern man (If anything), and to some degree, Freud has some good points. We are constantly struggling with more instinctual, impulse drives desires. I deny that these are unconscious most of the times, and I deny they need a social vent (They can be cognitively “over-ridden” so to speak). However, it would be a lie to assert that humans do not desire power and that this gets in the way of a purely democratic society. Instead, I assert that the craving for power and selfish gratification that we see today is largely the result of our environment capitalizing on our “genes”, not our natural instinctual behavior per se. Consequently, this process is theoretically reversible given the proper social-cultural influences are present or the negative influences removed. For example, the elimination of the capitalistic system, which shows greed as a medium for social acceptance, dominance, and success.
~ Only after man has been sufficiently made ready for such a egalitarian, democratic society, do I think one will have any chance of existing. Present society prevents this; us humans have been far to poisoned by it to recover overnight. Nevertheless, there may still be some marginal hope for the future. After all, with modern technology, we are quickly gaining the means to show modern society for what it is. I think that this is a definite first step in the right direction, Freudian psychology or no Freudian psychology.
 

Kaze Araki

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Alas, there's seems to be language barrier between us, I care none about modern psychology and its "empirical" approach - of which I believe I had told you long before as dead boring. Nor do I really understand what is it that you are trying to debunk here. While you are hell bend to win a debate against me, you failed to realize that I am not even attempting to refute any of your empirical claims at all. If we stand on the side of science, ignoring the debate whether Psychology is indeed science or not - it is as easy as taking candy from a baby to assert beyond reasonable doubts that Psychoanalysis is not science. There's really nothing worthy of valor for you to win here, it's not like I have blind faith that everything Freud said must be right. All I am doing is merely reinterpreting Freud's idea as such that it fits with my cosmological views.

But if you read my previous posts carefully, you should understand that Psychoanalysis can never be debunked (due to its inherent metaphysical axioms). The reason why Psychoanalysis is left behind is simply because its model become difficult and cumbersome to reconcile with modern empirical experiments. That being said, creative minds are always there to harmonize the discrepancies, and therefore the unfalsifiable nature in the religions of Freud, Jung or Reich. Take a look at the fundamental axiom of Psychoanalysis; the unconscious irrational drive - now tell me, how on earth (literally) are you going to debunk this metaphysical statement. Your empirical evidences means zilch in front of the unfalsifiable statement.

All being said, despite mainstream science criticism, I still find Freud's ideas as original and fascinating, and hence the reason why I am attached to it in many degree.
 

Core

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Actually you both have been arguing in circles for awhile now.

@shard2323 You've made an excellent attempt to debunk freud and if we let this go one for awhile longer you can only make your case stronger based on scientific empirical evidence. However if it was 100% obvious that freud was wrong there would be no need to go against it so passionately.

Freud's theories and in particular the ones that are up for debate here can only be made less likely or less probable. It cannot yet.. and might not ever be completely debunked. As stated before Kaze and I share the same ideas when it comes to this particular subject.

Neither side can win this argument.
 

Kaze Araki

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@Core
If we try to look at Psychoanalysis from scientific perspective, then it is clear that it is not science.
But this also has another meaning, that is science does not attempt to falsify metaphysical theses.
Therefore, while failed Freudian prediction can be debunked by science (as the prediction tied itself with incorrect empirical results),
a successful prediction cannot be debunked, albeit it can still be explained via other more empirically oriented models.
 

Core

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@Core
If we try to look at Psychoanalysis from scientific perspective, then it is clear that it is not science.
But this also has another meaning, that is science does not attempt to falsify metaphysical theses.
Therefore, while failed Freudian prediction can be debunked by science (as the prediction tied itself with incorrect empirical results),
a successful prediction cannot be debunked, albeit it can still be explained via other more empirically oriented models.

Yea thats what I said -.-
 

shard2323

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Alas, there's seems to be language barrier between us, I care none about modern psychology and its "empirical" approach - of which I believe I had told you long before as dead boring. Nor do I really understand what is it that you are trying to debunk here.
I am trying to show Freudian psychology to be bullshit. Arguably because I think it is, but more so because it is something to argue about. Go figure~
While you are hell bend to win a debate against me, you failed to realize that I am not even attempting to refute any of your empirical claims at all.


Attempts? Sure, you're not. However you said that Freudian psychology (Or at least how you inteurpret it) is inherently prophetic. Since recently, this is what I have been taking issue with. You cited Bernays successes as detailed by The Century of the Self as evidence of this; I showed the evidence to be null and void. At least to me, anyhow. But explanations aren't getting me anywhere, I apologize for annoying you :p But this is quite fun, seeing you give a slightly aggressive reply for once.
If we stand on the side of science, ignoring the debate whether Psychology is indeed science or not - it is as easy as taking candy from a baby to assert beyond reasonable doubts that Psychoanalysis is not science.


This is were you have blatantly ignored my words. We have already come to terms that psychoanalysis is NOT a science. No debate needed. I stopped trying to prove or disprove that ever since you stated your views regarding this. Nice simile though, very cliche, but it adds a wonderfully literary touch to an otherwise dull paragraph ;3



There's really nothing worthy of valor for you to win here, it's not like I have blind faith that everything Freud said must be right. All I am doing is merely reinterpreting Freud's idea as such that it fits with my cosmological views.


Fair enough, I submit. Not because I think psychoanalysis is predicative, but because I seem to be getting nowhere and misinterpreting you. Thus is the issue when you debate about something which you have always hated, I suppose.

But if you read my previous posts carefully, you should understand that Psychoanalysis can never be debunked (due to its inherent metaphysical axioms). The reason why Psychoanalysis is left behind is simply because its model become difficult and cumbersome to reconcile with modern empirical experiments.


Axiom: an unproven premise assumed to be true. i.e., in the case of psychoanalysis, the irrational, unconscious drives as they relate the tenets of psychoanalysis. I think this can be debunked, reagrdless of what “metaphysical” nature you imbue it with.
That being said, creative minds are always there to harmonize the discrepancies, and therefore the unfalsifiable nature in the religions of Freud, Jung or Reich. Take a look at the fundamental axiom of Psychoanalysis; the unconscious irrational drive - now tell me, how on earth (literally) are you going to debunk this metaphysical statement. Your empirical evidences means zilch in front of the unfalsifiable statement.


So it is like I am debating against the existence of god then? It cannot be proven in any way, shape or form, nor can it be disprovable. What worth does such a theory even have then? Just to be harmonized into the world like god was with Berkeley, Aquinas, and Descartes. Bad examples, but I hope you understand my grievances.



As for disproving that irrational, unconscious desires exist, I need only to point out that mental activity is observable on at least some level. Thoughts, so to speak, regarding anything, cause spikes in neural activity within certain regions of the brain. Sexual desires cause places to light up, as do destructive one's. Furthermore, for such unconscious motivators to hold sway, they would have to interact physiologically with the body; i.e., via the release of neurotransmitters and/or through neural activity in the brain. All of which can be monitored. The only escape a Freudian has is to claim that such motivators are inherently undetectable to modern science. Possible, but seeing how every other animalistic desire is, I see no reason why the one's in the form of psychoanalysis should be given any exemption.

All being said, despite mainstream science criticism, I still find Freud's ideas as original and fascinating, and hence the reason why I am attached to it in many degree.


Fair enough, fair enough. I posted my views relating to the topic itself, that is, whether democracy, equality, and such idealistic desires are possible in modern society. I'd really like to hear your opinions regarding that, if possible.
 

Kaze Araki

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1. Axiom is a priori.
2. a. Psychoanalysis predict.
__b. Bernays interpret and works based upon a.
__c. Prediction proven (prophetic claim validated).
Hawking's model is satisfied.
 

shard2323

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~ If I may? I have thought about this when time has permitted me to, and I think it is time to let you know the outcome. I still think psychoanalysis is a load of BS, likely always will. However, I have to admit that you logic below is sound for the predictions Bernays made. They do not seem to prove psychoanalysis on the whole to me, but they show that at the very least, for Bernays, it provided a model in which he seemed to make accurate predictions from. Whether or not he actually made predictions based on what psychoanalysis said is another thing, and I admit it at this point.
~ Given this, you and Core are, more-or-less, right about the pointlessness in the debate. I can bring all the empirical evidence to the table, but at the end of the day, if psychoanalysis is still a model which can be made congruent with observations, what good does it do? I might as well be spitting in the wind, to use that metaphor again.
~ If, however, I may vent one last grievance. This is merely something for you to answer (You do so love getting the last word in, it seems :p ), and if I am satisfied with the answer, I won't reply (Namely because after today, it'll be hard to >.>). As mentioned in my previous post, I take issue with using a marginal set of examples to prove that psychoanalysis is a “valid” model (That is, that it satisfies the conditions laid out by Model-Dependent Realism). To add more detail to this, I think that using a set of instances taken from a single (Or small group) of people using a single (Or small number) of the predictions laid out by a certain model does not constitute the validation of the entire model via Model-Dependent Realism. Am I wrong to assume this? Am I missing something?
 

Kaze Araki

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Model-dependent Realism imply that it is meaningless for us to debate reality. Therefore, validating the entire model is a pointless task. What is important is the usefulness of the model itself. So long as the model still consistence with the majority of the empirical observations, then it is still useful - otherwise it will become useless.