A new piece in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences will interest AHP readers: “Psychoanalysizing science itself: Psychoanalysis, philosophy of science and scientific research in the institutionalization of Argentinian psychology (1962–1983),” Catriel Fierro, Saulo de Freitas Araujo. Abstract:
To clarify the historical origins of theoretical and methodological problems faced by Argentinian psychology today, this article describes the philosophical and epistemological ideas held by psychoanalytically oriented professors and transmitted to undergraduate students during the institutionalization and professionalization of psychology at Argentinian universities between 1962 and 1983. Drawing from primary sources such as official publications and undergraduate syllabi, we analyze the systematic and normative perspective of those psychoanalysts on issues such as the nature of science, the scientific method, and the legitimate ways to do research. We argue that the philosophical approach they defended within psychology programs was markedly relativistic, solipsistic, and often recursive, leading them to conceive of psychoanalysis both as a meta-theory and a self-sufficient science. The fact that this “theory-laden” philosophy of science was gradually adopted by psychology graduates (or undergraduates) throughout their education could thus help explain several epistemological beliefs currently held by a majority of Argentinian psychologists.