A conversation about pseudoscience, psychoanalysis, clarity of language

a conversation with “I said stupid things so i dont want my name here”

[04:22:58] Isstsidwmnh: Did I tell you I read “Civilization and its Discontents” by Freud?
[04:23:07] Isstsidwmnh: It seemed like a work of good quality.
[04:23:17] Isstsidwmnh: I dont understand why individuals (like I suspect you) dislike freud.
[04:39:10] Emil – Deleet: becuz its pseudoscience
[04:39:49] Isstsidwmnh: What is pseudoscience? Lots of good things are not science.
[04:39:57] Emil – Deleet: google
[04:40:51] Isstsidwmnh: I know the word. Its an invitation to be percise.
[04:40:53] Isstsidwmnh: “Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method”
[04:41:24] Isstsidwmnh: So you are saying Freud is bad because he is dishonest representing himself as science?
[04:41:42] Emil – Deleet: <pseudoscience> is not a precise term
[04:42:01] Isstsidwmnh: I mean, I am inviting you to be more precise.
[04:42:05] Isstsidwmnh: Given your term.
[04:43:43] Emil – Deleet: its a family resemblence term. i use it like Martin Gardner – Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science does
[04:47:27] Emil – Deleet: but see also Popper on psychoanalysis
[04:47:37] Isstsidwmnh: Popper!
[04:47:41] Isstsidwmnh: Do you like Popper?
[04:47:42] Emil – Deleet: Popper, K. R. (1990). “Science: Conjectures and Refutations”
[04:48:37] Emil – Deleet: sometimes his thinking seems simplistic, but he has impressed me b4
[05:39:24] Emil – Deleet: http://keck.ucsf.edu/~craig/Karl_Popper_Science_Conjectures_and_Refutations.pdf
[05:51:00] Isstsidwmnh: I am reading this now. I dont know how to take these criticisms. I feel that Freud is perhaps greatly misunderstood.
[05:52:19] Isstsidwmnh: Supposedly psychoanalysis lacks falsifiability. Such a statement implies some silly things to begin with, but given that it lacks falsifiability… so what? We have no capacity to falsify the existence of reality. That does not mean we throw away reality. In fact… that means we embrace it!
[05:52:32] Isstsidwmnh: If something is too obviously true, then my only criticism is that it will get boring too soon.
[05:57:04] Isstsidwmnh: But, anyway, all this seems to be scientific values projected onto what can be acceptable described as a non-scientific work.
[05:58:02] Emil – Deleet: spoken like a true first year student in filosofy
[05:58:19] Emil – Deleet: im sure u can find writings about that specific objection
[05:58:30 | Edited 05:58:36] Emil – Deleet: must be the most common one
[05:58:49] Isstsidwmnh: Haha, yeah. I am sorry. I know my comments are foolish.
[05:58:59] Isstsidwmnh: I hope it is healthy to make them.
[05:59:03] Emil – Deleet: me too
[05:59:07 | Edited 05:59:24] Emil – Deleet: otherwise they wud annoy me for no good reason!
[05:59:11] Emil – Deleet: :D
[05:59:40] Emil – Deleet: srsly tho, u must really get into the habit of not writing like that
[05:59:42] Emil – Deleet: clouded thinking
[06:01:14] Isstsidwmnh: I am not quite sure what “writing like that” is but I am developing a sense when I am  “writing like that”. In the last few days I have written a lot of personal notes. And I think I making great progress in clarity of statement.
[06:01:37] Isstsidwmnh: I dont even quite remember what it was like reading Freud, so I should read everything before making any real statements.
[06:03:35] Emil – Deleet: <We have no capacity to falsify the existence of reality.>
reality isnt a theory, and were talking about theories. u shud have written <the theory of the existence of reality> or somesuch. but even then its a bad move since were talking about scientific theories as opposed to pseudoscientific theories, not what might be called filosofical theories.
[06:03:54] Emil – Deleet: altho i dont think thats a theory at all, since theories are just explanations.
[06:04:16] Emil – Deleet: what is the supposed theory of the existence of reality supposed to explain?
[06:05:44] Emil – Deleet: <That does not mean we throw away reality. In fact… that means we embrace it!>
nonliteral language in an inappropriate way. since the writing can also be taken literally, and together with the previous sentence makes it rather difficult to interpret. at the very least, it makes confusion due to language use likely.
[06:08:04] Emil – Deleet: i also think that psychoanalysis can be tested, and has failed tests. it also doesnt fit with other scientific theories at all – it doesnt fit into the grand web of belief of an informed person. this shud make us suspicious, becus either it means that it is a great new area of research, or it means that its not true. of the two options, the first one is MUCH more likely. great leaps forward in science are very rare. most attempts are wrong.
[06:08:44] Emil – Deleet: i also think that falsifiability is often misused, the concept. ppl claiming that things are not falsifiable, when they are indeed. it annoys me.
[06:10:18] Emil – Deleet: fx, Miao wrote somewhere that she didnt like string theory for the usual falsifiability reasons. i immediately thought that perhaps she just wasnt aware of any way to test it. this doesnt mean that its untestable, especially not untestable in principle. a quick search reveals that it seems to be testable, altho perhaps not at our technological level –  yet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory#Testability_and_experimental_predictions
[06:11:01] Isstsidwmnh: What would be a psychoanalytic hypothesis?
[06:11:13] Emil – Deleet: the stages of childhood
[06:11:32] Emil – Deleet: interpretation of dreams
[06:11:36] Emil – Deleet: repressed memories
[06:12:02] Emil – Deleet: neuroscience will eventually figure out how the mind/brain works
[06:12:15] Emil – Deleet: which has so far not revealed anything related to psychoanalysis
[06:12:30 | Edited 06:12:49] Emil – Deleet: and psychoanalysis gives comically bad explanations for some things – or at the least, psychoanalytic inspired explanations.
[06:14:13] Emil – Deleet: Ramachandran mentions it in one of his talks

[06:14:46] Emil – Deleet: i think Lilienfeld also discusses it in his book about pseudoscience in psychology, altho i havent read the book.
[06:14:48] Emil – Deleet: (yet)
[06:16:06 | Edited 06:16:49] Emil – Deleet: the theory he mentions in this case is also testable. one can just test for sexual arousals for the mothers of people with the imposter complex.

and the theory doesnt generalize to cases where it isnt the mother or father (but someone else). R. mentions a case with a pet poodle.
[06:21:40] Isstsidwmnh: I dont mean to defend Freud anymore, because I agree, stuff like the stages of childhood are stupid. But, I remember in Civilization and its Discontents, it never seemed like he was literally talking about sexual lust for one’s mother.
[06:22:58] Isstsidwmnh: If he did make such claims, which I know he is famous for making, then I agree its non-sense. I have always ignored those criticisms because they have been consistently been made by people who use science as a vessel for self-satisfaction.
[06:23:38 | Edited 06:25:43] Isstsidwmnh: What I liked about CaiD, was its depiction of internal struggle between individuals and society. Which, I never felt was a scientific depiction to begin with.
[06:25:31] Emil – Deleet: i dont know about that particular work
[06:26:02] Emil – Deleet: given his bad reputation, i rather not read anything by him
[06:26:22] Emil – Deleet: since in the meanwhile i cud hav read somthing else more likely to be good

Leave a Reply