Psychoanalysis as an Interdisciplinary Science: From 19th Century Neuropsychology to Modern Neuropsychoanalysis
Harper, Katherine Anne
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This dissertation explores interdisciplinarity from three perspectives. It emphasizes the intellectual foundations of Sigmund Freuds Project for a Scientific Psychology (1895) and Alexander Bains Mind and Body (1872). It argues that these neural networks were similar and created via borrowed and integrated knowledge. This thesis contributes to the scholarship on Bain and Freud by presenting an analysis of their models, thus, providing a qualitative comparative analysis to make explicit the continuities and discontinuities in their ideas. In comparing their works, this study finds that there is no evidence that Freud borrowed directly from Bain when he created the Project; the similarities in their models are likely due the common academic milieus they emerged from. The discontinuities, however, were due to the neuron doctrine and the new scientific methods that emerged between 1872 and 1895. Part two of this thesis posits that psychoanalysis began as an interdisciplinary field founded on the Project, and that this interdisciplinarity continues today in the field of neuropsychoanalysis. This study finds that psychoanalysis has had a long history of interaction with the various psy-disciplines, particularly experimental psychology, and that the connection between the creation of the Project and the emergence of the field of neuropsychoanalysis was not a linear one. A conceptual bibliometric citation analysis demonstrates that, while experimental academic psychologists were testing the validity of Freudian concepts via empirical methods, they were actually borrowing knowledge from psychoanalysis. This analysis expands on the work of Hornstein (1992) and presents the first quantitative analysis of the intense relationship between psychology and psychoanalysis as psychologists were testing Freudian concepts. This thesis ends with an exploration of the recently created field of neuropsychoanalysis and provides the scholarship with the first bibliometric citation analysis of the field. In so doing, this portrait of the discipline presents an analysis of the psychological concepts this field is interested in studying, the methods used, and an examination of the extent of collaboration between psychoanalysts and neuroscientists. This is followed with a brief discussion on the clinical and theoretical relevance of neuroscience to psychoanalysis and the increasing concern regarding the validity of imaging techniques.