Freud’s Cognitive Revolution

The received wisdom amongst scientifically-minded psychologists is that Freud is passé – a sad case of theoretical speculation gone wild. There is something right about this bleak assessment, but there is also more than a little wrong with it. Compare it with the view of Freud offered by Clark Glymour, a noted philosopher of science, in a paper entitled “Freud’s androids.” “Freud’s writings contain a philosophy of mind,” writes Glymour in a paper, “and indeed a philosophy of mind that addresses many of the issues about the mental that nowadays concern philosophers and ought to concern psychologists.”

“Freud’s thinking about the issues in philosophy of mind is often better than much of what goes on in contemporary philosophy, and it is sometimes ad good as the best. Some of this is dated, of course, by the limits of Freud’s scientific knowledge, but even when Freud had the wrong answer to a question, or refused to give an answer, he knew what the question was. And when he was deeply wrong, it was often for reasons that still make parts of cognitive psychology wrong.”


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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