Sigmund Freud began university intending to study both medicine
and philosophy. But he was ambivalent about philosophy, regarding
it as metaphysical, too limited to the conscious mind, and ignorant
of empirical knowledge.
Yet his private correspondence and his writings on culture and
history reveal that he never forsook his original philosophical
ambitions. Indeed, while Freud remained firmly committed to
positivist ideals, his thought was permeated with other aspects of
Placed in dialogue with his intellectual contemporaries, Freud
appears as a reluctant philosopher who failed to recognize his own
metaphysical commitments, thereby crippling the defense of his
theory and misrepresenting his true achievement.
Recasting Freud as an inspired humanist and reconceiving
psychoanalysis as a form of moral inquiry, Alfred Tauber argues
that Freudianism still offers a rich approach to self-inquiry, one
that reaffirms the enduring task of philosophy and many of the
abiding ethical values of Western civilization.
Alfred I. Tauber is professor of philosophy and the Zoltan Kohn
Professor of Medicine at Boston University, where he is also
director of the Center for Philosophy and History of Science. His
books include Science and the Quest for Meaning, Patient Autonomy
and the Ethics of Responsibility, and Henry David Thoreau and the
Moral Agency of Knowing.
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Source: FS – All – Interesting – News
What We Are Reading Today: Freud, the Reluctant Philosopher by Alfred I. Tauber