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Counterproposition: Psychology as Discourse

  • Katherine Arens
Chapter
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Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 113)

Abstract

The brief outline of the accepted canon of psychology betrays the overriding weaknesses found in many modern histories of the discipline. Their continuities are provisory, and the assessments of influence incomplete or topical (as “x continued y’s experiments”). These histories, in general, do not address the conceptual underpinnings of psychologists’ works, but rather tend to trace back twentieth-century terminology and experiments to their roots. Even when they turn to intellectual history, they often overlook that terminology favored by the twentieth century was often peripheral to the core thought patterns of the nineteenth century in which it originated.1

Keywords

Nineteenth Century Discursive Practice Conceptual Psychology Present Volume Institutional Identity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Two books on Wilhelm Griesinger are examples of attempts to correct such assumptions by placing their subject in his natural context. See Bettina Wahrig-Schmidt, Der junge Wilhelm Griesinger im Spannungsfeld zwischen Philosophie und Physiologie (Tübingen: Gunter Narr, 1985), and Gerlof Verwey, Psychiatry in an Anthropological and Biomedical Context (Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1985). For Griesinger’s original, see Medical Pathology and Therapeutics (New York: William Wood & Co., 1882 [1865]).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For an overview of the post-structuralists’ work, see Richard Harland, Superstructuralism: The Philosophy of Structuralism and Post-Structuralism (London: Methuen, 1987)Google Scholar
  3. 2a.
    for an introduction to the Annales historians, including Fernand Braudel, see The Return of Grand Theory in the Human Sciences, ed. Quentin Skinner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    The term “discourse” refers to the developments in linguistics of the last ten years; see Michael Stubbs, Discourse Analysis: The Sociolinguistic Analysis of Natural Language (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983). The perspectives of discourse analysis stress the inter-sentential aspects of communication, as introduced first in the notion of the linguistic sign by Ferdinand de Saussure. For an introduction to the history of linguistics, see Arthur L. Blumenthal, Language and Psychology: Historical Aspects of Psycholinguistics (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1970).Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    For an example of discourse approaches to the sociology of knowledge, stressing the influences of groups on knowledge, see Jaeger and Staeuble, op. cit., and Pierre Bourdieu, “The Field of Cultural Production, Or: The Economic World Reversed,” Poetics, 12 (1983): 311–356.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    The literature on the French post-structuralists and psychoanalysts is growing rapidly as the translations of major works become available. See also Foucault’s The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception, trans. A.M. Sheridan Smith (New York: Vintage/Random House, 1975 [1963]), and Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Vintage/Random House, 1965 [1961]). On Foucault, see also Charles C. Lemert and Garth Gillan, Michel Foucault: Social Theory and Transgression (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), which has an appendix of Foucault’s terminology.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    Jacques Derrida, Writing and Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1978) [=SW in text].Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    Paul Ricoeur, Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation, trans. Denis Savage (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970) [originally in French as “the Terry Lectures” = FP in text].Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    Most prominently, Jacques Lacan, Écrits: A Selection (New York: Norton, 1977).Google Scholar
  10. 9.
    Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (New York: Harper and Row, 1972) [=AK in text].Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    For Lacan, see also: Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis, trans, and commentary by Anthony Wilden (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1968), andGoogle Scholar
  12. 10a.
    Lacan, Returning to Freud: Clinical Psychoanalysis in the School of Lacan, trans, and ed. by Stuart Schneiderman (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  13. 10b.
    On Lacan as a public figure and teacher, see Stuart Schneiderman, Jacques Lacan: The Death of an Intellectual Hero (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983)Google Scholar
  14. 10c.
    Catherine Clément, The Lives and Legends of Jacques Lacan, trans. Arthur Goldhammer (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  15. 10d.
    For introductions into Lacan’s work, see Ellie Ragland-Sullivan, Jacques Lacan and the Philosophy of Psychoanalysis (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986)Google Scholar
  16. 10e.
    Jane Gallop, The Daughter’s Seduction: Feminism and Psychoanalysis (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982) and Reading Lacan (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  17. 11.
    Other than a linguistic expansion of the post-structuralist model, there is also a psychoanalytic extension. Treatments of the relationships between Lacan’s work and other fields of note are Shoshana Felman, Jacques Lacan and the Adventure of Insight: Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987)Google Scholar
  18. 11a.
    Joseph H. Smith and William Kerrigan, eds., Interpreting Lacan (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983) [= Psychiatry and the Humanities, Vol. 6]. The work of Julia Kristeva draws on both post-structuralism and Lacan to speak of relationships between speech, power, and self-identification.Google Scholar
  19. 10b.
    See for an introduction: Toril Moi, ed. The Kristeva Reader (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986)Google Scholar
  20. 10c.
    Toril Moi, Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory (London: Methuen, 1985).Google Scholar
  21. 10d.
    See also: Julia Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language, trans. Margaret Waller (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984),Google Scholar
  22. 10e.
    Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, trans. Leon S. Roudiez (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982).Google Scholar
  23. 12.
    John Forrester, Language and the Origins of Psychoanalysis, op. cit.Google Scholar
  24. 13.
    It is true that the Project was not published, and so had no influence. This is, however, not the issue in the determination of a discourse paradigm, which argues typicality instead of overt influence. As another example, the biological paradigm presented in Sulloway’s Freud: Biologist of the Mind (to be discussed below) was not a position for Freud, the neurologist, to overcome, but rather served as an avenue for Freud to accommodate a historical-genetic aspect of the paradigm in which he was working. The Project was not isolated; it was accompanied by a set of papers in metapsychology which were presumed lost until a draft for one was rediscovered and published as: Sigmund Freud, Übersicht der Übertragungsneurosen: Ein bisher unbekanntes Manuskript, ed. Ilse Grubrich-Simitis (Frankfurt/M: S. Fischer, 1985)Google Scholar
  25. 13a.
    Sigmund Freud, A Phylogenetic Fantasy: Overview of the Transference Neuroses, trans. Axel Hoffer and Peter T. Hoffer (Cambridge, MA: Belknap/Harvard University Press, 1987).Google Scholar
  26. 14.
    This aspect of Freud’s work had been noted by Mach, the early behaviorists, and perhaps Piaget. See William R. Woodward, “The ‘Discovery’ of Social Behaviorism and Social Learning Theory, 1870–1980,” American Psychologist, 37, No. 4 (April 1982): 396–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 15.
    Sigmund, Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, Vols. 4 and 5 in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (London: Hogarth Press, 1953)Google Scholar
  28. 15a.
    Sigmund, Freud, “Project for a Scientific Psychology” in The Origins of Psycho-Analysis: Letters to Wilhelm Fliess, Drafts and Notes: 1887–1902 (New York: Basic Books, 1954): 347–446 [=OPA in text].Google Scholar
  29. 16.
    It is possible that Freud turned further to ego psychology and social psychology in his late works under the influence of his students and colleagues, such as The Ego and the Id (1923). Representative for early ego psychology is Anna Freud, The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense (New York: International Universities Press, 1966 [1936 in German])Google Scholar
  30. 16a.
    for a more socially-oriented ego psychology, Erik H. Erikson, Identity and the Life Cycle (New York: International Universities Press, 1959). A second trend of the time that may have influenced Freud is the ever-widening split between psychology, psychoanalysis, and psychophysiology. Representive of the latter would be Lotze, William James, James Ward (c.f. Psychological Principles [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1918], especially for Ward’s critique of Kant on the grounds of immediate experience), and Theodule Ribot in France (c.f. The Diseases of Personality [Chicago: Open Court, 1910; 1884/91 in French]; The Psychology of Attention [Chicago: Open Court, 1903 {1890}]; and La Psychologie Allemande contemporaraine [École expérimentale] [Paris: Germer Bailliére, 1885]Google Scholar
  31. 16b.
    an essay introducing his work by Daniel N. Robinson in The Mind Unfolded: Essays on Psychology’s Historic Texts [Washington, D.C.: University Publications of America, 1978]: 275–292)Google Scholar
  32. 16c.
    F.E. Beneke in Germany (Die neue Psychologie [Berlin: Mittler, 1845]). These psychologists were interested in a more physiological approach to mind, especially in constructing higher-order thought out of sense impressions.Google Scholar
  33. 17.
    Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976) [=GR in text].Google Scholar
  34. 18.
    See J.T. Merz, A History of European Thought in the Nineteenth Century (op. cit.)Google Scholar
  35. 18a.
    Alfred Kelly, The Descent of Darwin: The Polularization of Darwinism in Germany, 1860–1914 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981), for suggestions that biological and cultural metaphors arose in proximity in the nineteenth century.Google Scholar
  36. 20.
    Michel Foucault, “History of Systems of Thought” in Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977) [=HST in text].Google Scholar
  37. 21.
    For an overview of the most modern canon of nineteenth-century psychology, adding Dilthey and Spranger to more familiar names, see Die Psychologie des 20. Jahrhunderts, Bd.I: Die europäische Tradition, ed. Balmer (op. cit.).Google Scholar
  38. 22.
    Frank J. Sulloway, Freud: Biologist of the Mind (New York: Basic Books, 1979): 87 [=BM in text].Google Scholar
  39. 25.
    This cover-up did not go unnoticed. See Philip Rieff’s Freud: The Mind of the Moralist (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979 [1959, 1961]), in which he stresses that Freud did not abandon physiology. Moreover, Freud used the idea of cultural conflicts as a basis to seek the genetic causes of mental illness — a historical approach that was underplayed in the descriptions of neuroses, at least.Google Scholar
  40. 25a.
    See also Rieff’s student Edwin R. Wallace IV, Historiography and Causation in Psychoanalysis: An Essay on Psychoanalytic and Historical Epistemology (Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press/Lawrence Erlbaum, 1985).Google Scholar
  41. 26.
    Most are cited above; see also Adolf Trendelenburg, Geschichte der Kategorienlehre (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1963 [1846]), who redoes Kant’s table of categories to accommodate biological categories such as feelings and apperception.Google Scholar
  42. 27.
    See particularly Kristeva, cited above, Luce Irigaray, This Sex Which Is Not One, trans. Catherine Porter (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985 [1977])Google Scholar
  43. 27a.
    Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, and Helen R. Lane (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983 [L’Anti-Oedipe, 1972]).Google Scholar
  44. 28.
    See Martin Jay, The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923–1950 (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1973)Google Scholar
  45. 28a.
    Alexander Mitscherlich, Society without the Father: A Contribution to Social Psychology, trans. Eric Mosbacher (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1969 [1963]Google Scholar
  46. 28b.
    Alexander Mitscherlich, Massenpsychologie ohne Ressentiment: Soziologische Betrachtungen (Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp, 1972)Google Scholar
  47. 28c.
    Alexander Mitscherlich, The Essential Frankfurt School Reader, eds. Andrew Arato and Eike Gebhardt (New York: Continuum, 1982)Google Scholar
  48. 28d.
    Wolf Lepenies and Helmut Nolte, Kritik der Anthropologie (München: Carl Hanser Verlag, 1971).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Arens
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Germanic LanguagesUniversity of TexasAustinUSA

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