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Darwinian functions and Freudian motivations.

Garvey, B. P. (2003) Darwinian functions and Freudian motivations. Biology and Philosophy, 18 (3). pp. 427-444. ISSN 1572-8404

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Abstract

Badcock, and Nesse and Lloyd, have argued that there are important points of agreement between Freud's theory of the mind and a theory of mind suggested by adaptive reasoning. Buller, on the other hand, draws attention to the need to avoid confusing an adaptive rationale with an unconscious motivation. The present paper attempts to indicate what role adaptive reasoning might have to play in justifying psychoanalytic claims. First, it is argued that psychoanalytic claims cannot be justified by the clinical experience of psychoanalysts alone. It is urged that, to avoid interpretative proliferation, it is necessary to base interpretation on some theory which is external to psychoanalysis. Next, Buller's reservations about using adaptive reasoning to justify claims about a personal unconscious, are summarized. Then an argument for the existence of a personal unconscious, is offered, based on experimental evidence from Gur and Sackeim. Then it is argued that adaptive reasoning, though it cannot itself provide evidence for the existence of any psychological mechanism, can valuably guide the search for such evidence. It is argued that such an approach has borne fruit, both in biology generally and specifically in psychology. Finally, it is argued that psychoanalysis is important enough to justify such a research project.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Biology and Philosophy
Additional Information: RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Philosophy
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adaptation - Folk psychology - Interpretation - Motivation - Psychoanalysis
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
ID Code: 4039
Deposited By: ep_importer
Deposited On: 04 Mar 2008 16:00
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 18:03
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/4039

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