Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

In this text I intend to show to what extent a certain epistemological understanding of psychoanalysis (fundamentally Freudian) finds parallels with the so-called liberalization process of epistemological naturalism. My thesis is that the sui generis epistemological modalities created by Freud not only coincide with this process, but to a significant degree were precursors of the methodological and ontological innovations that LN (liberal naturalism) proposes to defend and theorize. I begin by reviewing the process of liberalization of epistemic naturalism, from a predominantly physicalist model to a liberal version that takes into account other parameters and especially the progressive development of the human sciences. In the second part I aim to show that certain methodological modalities of psychoanalysis and the alternative epistemological conceptions that underlie it confirm this process of liberalization, contribute to it, and even, to some extent, were its precursors.

According to the proposal with which Quine (1969) launched contemporary epistemological naturalism, because the only reliable scientific method is that of the natural sciences, any entity that does not figure in the explanations and theorizations derived from it must be discarded. Nevertheless, from the very moment of defining the criterion of ontological commitment (Quine 1948), this definition immediately confronted him with the question of what to do with those entities—such as mathematical objects—that are not explained by the natural sciences but that nevertheless cannot be easily eliminated because…


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