Re: Freud is dead but sexy with it (was: Re: Wobble Wobble)

From: Robert Owen (
Date: Sat Jan 29 2000 - 23:50:10 MST

Damien Broderick wrote:

> At 11:28 PM 29/01/00 -0500, Bob Owen wrote:
> >I will restrict myself here to one observation, and wait a bit
> >to see if someone else might not do a much better job than
> >I can in addressing your subtle question.
> My question has subtle implications, but as MMB notes, it was an axe-blow.

Now the question was "...wouldn't it be true to say that, by hypothesis,
Freud observed that *everything human* was eroticized?" I found MMB's
post interesting as a poetic device but much too metaphorical to be
cited as support for the assertion "there is something or other axiomatic
in Freud's work that leads to the conclusion that 'if a thing is human, then
it is eroticized'."

[1] I have no idea how to interpret the logical or semantic meaning of the
     conclusion and therefore I have no way of knowing whether it is a
     valid deduction, i.e. logically true.

[2] I cited Freud's viewpoint as a "one perspective", i.e. one way of
     modeling the phenomenon. The only possible sense in which a model
     is "true" or "false" is either operationally (Bridgman) or analogically
     (Vaihinger). That is, useful therapeutically or instrumentally.

[3] By extension, Freudian theory in my view is a simulation which either
     succeeds or fails to make useful predictions. The material from your
     book demonstrates clearly that the outcome is mixed, about as reliable
     as meteorological simulations of the atmosphere, landmass variables
     and the upper ocean.

[4] Although not directly related to the topic, the efforts to hypostatize
     language which you cite are, as you suggest, not even wrong and
     lead to conclusions that are not even false.


Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:02:58 MDT