Sunday, January 11, 2009

The lingering presence of psychoanalysis

As I was reading C.U.M. Smith's "Brain and Mind in the 'Long' Eighteenth Century" I was thinking about psychoanalysis' lingering presence in the 21th century. Smith writes that "one important reason for the lingering of the old neurophysiology [ie. the one based on animal spirits] was the difficulty of knowing with what to replace it. The traditional understanding of the human being was at least a consistent system. Alexandre Koyré," Smith goes on to point out, said] "… the same of Aristotelian physics. … [Koyré] remarks that it '…forms an admirable and perfectly coherent theory which, to tell the truth, has only one flaw (besides that of being false)… that it is contradicted by the everyday practice of throwing.'"

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