Mod+ 235. DR. TODD DUFRESNE ON FREUD’S LOOMING SHADOW OF DECEPTION

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by alex.tsakiris, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    I agree that not all psychological therapy is to do with self-actualisation, even though the strong impression I get is that Freudian psychotherapy is meant to be. There was a very interesting British TV series recently on the day-to-day work that goes on with people with psychiatric disorders at what used to be called Bedlam (Bethlem) hospital, founded in 1330: search for "Bedlam" on YouTube and you will see a few clips. They use a combination of drug, cognitive and even electroshock therapy to treat people in psychological crisis or with actual mental illness, and that looks fine to me. Actually, many moons ago I had a period of depression for which taking drugs for a while definitely helped, so I'm not arguing against psychiatric treatment (although some of that has also been dubious in the past).
     
  2. Reece

    Reece Member

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    Just listened to the podcast . . .

    Freud was right about Shakespeare: the stuff wasn't written by the man from Stratford . . .

    Also, what kept coming to mind was something Kripal mentioned in Authors of the Impossible, which is that Freud was "offered up" as a response to mesmerism . . .
     
  3. Alex

    Alex New

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    yea, I remember that :) I think this is why folks in the Liberal Arts have been so slow to let go of Freud. One thing Todd said stuck with me -- Freud wanted to be a scientist... and wanted his theories to be scientific. It therefore seems funny that the literary folks are the ones who want to hold on to the ideas when the more science oriented folks were able to move on once the science/methods proved to be bogus.
     
  4. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris New

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    I don't know. I know that the way Dr. Dufresne has presented his case it makes anyone who questions writing off Freud an ideologue that is just too heavily invested in the concept of psychoanalysis to see the truth - but I just don't buy this. I think as a pioneer Freud no doubt made all kinds of mistakes - but so do all pioneers. Look at all the early scientists who believed the Christian God was behind all the science they were discovering. Does that mean their insights should be discarded? I think you can criticize Freud's failings as a researcher and as a person without denying his work all validity. Dufresne seems a little bit angry and condescending to me....in fact, to me he comes across a lot like the various hard core skeptics that Alex usually tears into. Indeed, he seems like a standard scientific materialist. And I think most people on this forum acknowledge that it is impossible to scientifically demonstrate non-physical phenomena in a manner that appeases the materialist model. Perhaps this was exactly Freud's undoing: that he himself was struggling to make the contents of consciousness conform to the physical sciences of the time...and resorted to fudging the facts to fit the model.
    Also, if Freud's insights were completely fraudulent, how do we account for the profound influence of his nephew Edward Bernays' application of his theories in creating the field of public relations and his influence on advertising and propaganda?
     
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  5. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Interesting point. But what was Newton (a very religious man), say, dealing with in his work in physics? What is normally thought of as physical laws. He was modelling what is thought of as the physical world, where the model can be checked against empirical observations. I'd say that's different than trying to model human psychology, where it's more difficult to do empirical checks. There's more scope for wishful thinking and implanted suggestions. I'm not saying that psychoanalysis can't help in some circumstances, but still, scientifically speaking, it's not in the same league as physics.
     
  6. Alex

    Alex New

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    I think we have to draw a hard line when it comes to scientific results. If you say I did this experiment and got this result and we later find out you faked it then you're outta the game. Freud deliberately built his reputation on his experimental/clinical results -- they were all fake.
     
  7. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    In the recent issue of the Edge Science magazine, published by the Society for the Scientific Exploration, parapsychologist, paranthropologist and Lacanian-Zizekian psychoanalyst Eric Wargo looks at the psi research data with the lenses provided by
    (meta-)psychological/(meta-)sociological/philosophical works of Jacues Lacan and Slavoj Zizek. In his article, he approaches the hard issue of (non-)existence of some form of higher spiritual morality. In Waldo's opinion, ultimate spiritual reality, as described by experiencers, correspond with Lacanian concept of "jouissance", ullimited and unrestrained transcendent unity of pleasure and pain, bliss and distress - the unity wihich is "beyond good and evil":

    What do you think about his position, as it was expressed in the article?

    BTW, his blog seems to be an interesting reading...
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
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  8. Alex

    Alex New

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    would make a great Skeptiko guest... would you invite him on my behalf.
     
  9. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    Yes, I suppose he would be a great interviewee, with all his mind-bending Lacan-style semiotic-psychoanalytic stuff... :D I will try to contact him in a few days.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  10. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    I contacted Eric Wargo, and he agreed to participate! The details in a private conversation...
     
  11. Mishelle

    Mishelle Member

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    I believe I have read all the comments here about Freud's influence without any mention of how much of his work was initially publicized in the States, which was through his nephew, 'the father of public relations' Edward Bernays, and not through academic circles. This was also not mentioned in the interview, which makes me concerned about the sheltered and often misguided 'academic bubble' from where academics perceive 'influence' to be coming from. Follow the money, right? At what point did Freud hit the marketplace, and how, and why? If you want to understand influence you have to see the forest, not just the trees.

    There was quite a bit of contradiction in this interview, on one hand "the world has adjusted itself to Freudian ideals" and 'modern film cannot be understood without a knowledge of psychoanalysis' and yet, he does not understand the history of this influence or its infusion into current culture? Did Freud really deny getting influence from previous history and cultures? So he does not have merit in the strict sense of scientist, but was that really a role he was pursuing? I remember reading he had serious ethical concerns about his work, which was certainly mirrored by his culture, but felt compelled to pursue it against the odds--does that count for so little today that he at least attempted to stand against his milieu?
     

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