Heythrop College Publications

Lacewing, Michael (2012) Inferring motives in psychology and psychoanalysis. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, 19 (3), pp. 197-212. [Journal Article]

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    Grünbaum (1984) argues that psychoanalysis cannot justify its inferences regarding motives using its own methodology, as only the employment of Mill’s canons can justify causal inferences (which inferences to motives are). I consider an argument offered by Hopkins (1988) regarding the nature and status of our everyday inferences from other people’s behavior to their motives that seeks to rebut Grünbaum’s charge by defending a form of inference to the best explanation that makes use of connections in intentional content between behavior and motives. I argue that Hopkins succeeds in defeating Grünbaum’s objection as it is presented, but that work in social psychology presents a further challenge. I discuss the extent to which the challenge can be met, and conclude that certain types of inference in psychoanalysis are justifiable, but others, including those which are the target of Grünbaum’s objection, cannot be justified by the methods defended by Hopkins.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology
    Department: Philosophy
    Depositing User: Dr Michael Lacewing
    Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2012 20:54
    Last Modified: 15 Nov 2012 11:18
    URI: http://publications.heythrop.ac.uk/id/eprint/1488

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