The normal approach to the study of the foundations of psychoanalysis is to focus on Sigmund Freud's classical texts. In this book, however, the author approaches the issue from the perspective of the foundations of behavioural sciences in general. He studies the nature of psychological terms and explanations, and the relation between neuroscience and psychology. Due to the wide perspective, the author is able to create a fresh view to the stubborn debate concerning the scientific status of psychoanalysis. The author shows that both advocates and critics of psychoanalysis have a tendency to misconstrue the nature of psychoanalytic theorizing, and thus have had unrealistic expectations of psychoanalytic explanations. The book tries to differentiate between those aspects of psychoanalysis which should be considered scientific, and those aspects of psychotherapies in general which should not come into the scientific category. This books will be found to be a valuable contribution to the field of psychoanalytic studies.
Introduction -- Psychoanalysis and its concepts I: on the essence of psychological concepts -- Psychoanalysis and its concepts II: the mereological fallacy and Freud's structural model -- What are psychological and psychoanalytic explanations like? (And how that should change the way we see psychoanalytic theories) -- On the relation between neural and psychological mechanisms—neuropsychoanalysis and the "new mechanists" -- The unconscious, the brain, and self-consciousness—on psychoanalytic metaphysics -- Narration, the Wittgensteinian revolution(s), and becoming conscious of the repressed—why psychoanalysis is more about the language, and less about the brain -- Is it possible to be scientific (enough) outside of the scientific community?