Posted: Mar 29, 2010 11:13 am
by Lazar
katja z wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote: whereas Freud was an antiscientific idiot

And here I used to think I was just too thick to really understand him :grin:

Still, at least he did case studies in psychology. His forays into anthropology seem even worse to me, and they still get taken seriously by serious thinkers :what:

Im not as hard on Freud as Samsa is. I think he was a good writer. As I say often when Freud comes up here or at RDF, much of his work is based on the evolutionary biology idea of recapitulation. Unfortunately Freud based his stages theory on a theory of recapitulation that is at best wrong and at worst based on malfeasance. Thus Freud is stuck with a theory of human recapitulation the basis of which has been destroyed by more modern biology.

Speaking of teaching Freud as history. I think Freud's example does have two implications for modern evolutionary psychology. The first is captured by the statement 'evolution is so simple almost anyone can misunderstand it ' (cant remember the source) thus its simplicity and scientific rigour are seductive to psychologists hoping to root their theories in harder science. Unfortunately, like Freud if you dont know the field of evolution well enough to evaluate various biologists claims for yourself, you risk of basing your theories on fringe aspects of the field that may have fatal flaws. Second, Freuds example shows Evo Psychs that it is not enough to let the biologists do the work and expect that you can ride on their coat tails. Integrating evolution with psychology must be more than just a literary exercise of using legitimate science from one field in order to develop theories in another based on analogy. There must be a requirement to not just hypothesis metaphors but to undertake the research to explain the mechanisms and processes for the phenomena you are interested in.