Sigmund Freid's Psychodynamic Theory

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Scientific method, Science Pages: 6 (2156 words) Published: September 13, 2012
Sigmund Freud's Psychodynamic Theory do not constiture proper science? Evaluate this claim.

Sigmund Freud was the founder of the Psychodynamic theory in the 1800’s. During his lifetime and since his death, the scientific world has scrutinized his work and findings. Till this day, there is much debate as to whether Sigmund Freud’s theory constitutes proper science. We shall attempt to evaluate this statement by taking a closer look at the definition of what constitutes “proper science”. In order to define science we will take a look at the history of science in a broader term. Sigmund Freud’s impact on the 20th century has been enormous, he has impacted the way we think and how we think about the workings of the human mind. Psychoanalysis, a method of psychodynamic therapy, suggested new ways of thinking about our emotions and conflicts. We will take a closer look at who Sigmund Freud was and the impact he left on the world after his death. In essence there are many who oppose Freud’s theory as being truly scientific in nature. On the other hand there are many theorists who believe Freud’s theory has been powerfully transformative. We will assess some of these for and against theorist to conclude with an objective stance as to whether or not Freud’s Psychodynamic Theory is proper science. What is Freud’s Psychodynamic theory? The psychodynamic theory created by Freud is focused on revealing unconscious motivations and conflict through a variety of methods, such as; Psychoanalysis, free association, dream analysis and counter transference to name a few. What is science? This question in itself is not as clear cut as it sounds. The scientific nature of the psychodynamic theory has been a controversial and highly debatable topic in and of itself. Langdridge, (2002) defines science as based on facts through observed data and the use of all five senses rather than personal opinions (p. 6-8). Therefore it can be stated that science needs to be objective. The information required through analysis of scientific findings can be acquired through observation, experience and experimentation. Psychology is often empirical in nature, meaning research involves a collection and analysis of data rather than empiricism which believes all knowledge must be derived through direct experience of our five senses. What makes something “proper science”? Chemistry, physics and biology all constitute proper science. What common feature do they share? Okasha, (2002) explained science is an attempt to understand, explain and predict the world we live in. If this is true then religion, astrology and tarot reading also similarly attempt to do the same thing although we know these are not scientific in nature. What then determines true or proper science? Okasa, (2002) goes on to explain that science is the careful observation of experiments or theories and the results generally want to explain the general theory. This philosophy of science is to understand how these techniques have enabled scientists to unravel many of nature’s secrets. In order to understand the philosophy of science it is important to take a brief look at the history of science. The modern scientific period occurred during the years of 1500 and 1750 and is known as the scientific revolution. Aristotelianism was named after the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who had detailed theories in physics, biology, astronomy and cosmology. Aristotle believed earthly bodies are composed of just four elements: earth, fire, air and water. Then came the Copernican revolution in 1542 Nicolas Copernicus from 1473-1543 discussed the geocentric model of the universe. Copernicanism became an established science within 100 years and indirectly lead to the development of modern physics through Johannes Kepler from 1570-1630 and Galileo Galileo from 1564-1642. Kepler discovered planets moved in ellipses rather than circular orbits as Copernicus believed. This became the first law of planetary motion...
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