An Epistemological Introduction and a General Overview

An Epistemological Introduction and a General Overview

Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 37
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4128-8.ch001
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Abstract

We mention the main foundations and elements of philosophy of sciences to have a rough yet quite complete view of the epistemological framework in which to lay out our discussion on the possible formalizations attempts of psychoanalysis. In particular, we have highlighted the possible relations between exact/natural sciences and humanities, with a special emphasis on those intertwinements already established between humanities and informatics. We have however chosen to assume a new epistemological stance mainly based on a structuralistic view coming from Claude Lévi-Strauss' pioneering work, which, as reconsidered by the French school of psychoanalysis (above all, Jacques Lacan and Jean Laplanche), has led to identify a universally shared logical structure, irreducible per se, which basically rules human thought; this is the phallic logic (or Ur-logic).
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1.1. Introduction

In this first chapter, we provide, although very briefly, the right epistemological placement of the arguments treated in this book, in such a manner to have a general overview of the philosophical framework within which we shall develop and lay out our work mainly centred on some possible relationships among psychoanalysis and exact/natural sciences, turned toward possible applications to informatics and computer sciences. One of the main aims of this chapter, is to try to justify, from a philosophical standpoint, the work done in the subsequent chapters. Indeed, seen the very little consideration and scant reputation which nowadays unfortunately psychoanalysis has in regard to other psychological sciences, with the few but enough epistemological arguments herein exposed, we hope to make quite clear that, contrarily to these wrong and unjustified prejudices1, it is possible to start a new treatment of theoretical psychoanalysis with a reformulation of some its main ideas through exact and natural sciences, so conferring a certain scientific status just meant in the terms briefly recalled in this chapter, above all in the last sections. All this, will make also possible to have a first formal elementary basis which will turn out to be useful for possible computational implementations of these psychoanalytic concepts.

According to certain pessimistic opinions, the psychoanalysis seems to be destined by now to a net failure (Kernberg, 2011; Zepf & Gerlach, 2012) from either the therapeutic and the theoretical standpoint: in the first case, because it is unable to adequately face the personal requests of individuals belonging to an ever-changing society; in the second case, because it basically lacks suitable scientific criteria of validation (Imbasciati 2015, p. 10). To remedy to this unhappy destiny, new ways have to be found. Antonio Imbasciati (2015) has tried to keep alive psychoanalysis trying to integrate it with other discipline, like experimental psychology, developmental psychology and neurosciences, yet not falling into a sterile and full reductionism (Funari, 2007); likewise, Mauro Mancia (2006), Alberto Oliverio (2016), and so others. All these attempts are essentially linked by the common view to see Freudian theory not as given once and for all, but liable to be modified according to the evolution of general culture.

Along the last century, considerable changes have occurred in the epistemological setting of psychoanalysis. At the same time, philosophy of sciences and epistemology have also undergone notable changes of stance, perspective, point of view. All that, has allowed to cast interesting and unexpected bridges between psychoanalysis and exact/natural sciences. Out of these, we are first interested in the relationships between psychoanalysis and logic, as suggested by the work of Ignacio Matte Blanco. Therefore, our perspective is that turned to look at the possible relationships between psychoanalysis and logic, or else toward the unconscious influences in the rational thought within Freudian framework as seen by Matte Blanco, examined formally by means of algebraic methods; at the same time, the searching for these formal bases underlying such psychoanalytic concepts, will lead naturally to a parallel comparison with natural sciences, physics in particular, but ever looking for to the underlying formal structures.

Our main aim, is to provide a minimal formal framework to some chief concepts and notions of Freudian psychoanalysis, in agreement with certain epistemological stances, like those put forward by Evandro Agazzi (1976, 1979, 1985a,b, 2014) just in reference to humanities, according to which, just on the basis of the models provided by mathematics, one of the main basic requisites to be owned by a corpus of knowledge, is its internal coherence and unity, as well as its capability to give a reasonable justification of what is asserted by it. Now, just in relation to psychoanalytic context, from a theoretical viewpoint, a possible formalization through exact and natural sciences (like mathematics and physics), also built up on the basis of an analogical similarity in the meaning, may accomplish to these latter requests of logical coherence and unity, independently of any other question, yet crucial, regarding clinical and therapeutic contexts. So, what we have tried to do, is to give a possible mathematical outlook to some aspects of psychoanalysis and its linguistic structure.

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