SOCI 2660 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Karl Popper, Antireligion, Pseudoscience
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GL SOCI 2660 6.0
1 VOYAGES INTO THE INTERIOR – FREUDIAN THEOLOGY
The absence of experimental counter-evidence in any modern instance gives it no status
among proper scientific models. It is what Sir Karl Popper refers to as, “pseudoscience”.
Freud’s determination to give psychoanalysis a biological foundation testified to an
intense fear of becoming separated from the natural sciences.
Resolutely anti-religious as are Freud’s teachings, they too constitute a form of post-
theology, of surrogate or substitute theology, and theirs is also a mythological structure.
Psychoanalysis has a threefold involvement with myth: (1) Freud made use of myths and
of the poetic fictive material in literature to provide crucial evidence for his theory. (2) He
came to associate his own life work and the difficult history of the psychoanalytical
movement with a mythical model. (3) He developed a profoundly moving mythology of
human creation and extinction through which to make understandable, the conclusions
which he had arrived at concerning the nature of man.
Like Moses, Freud too was a great leader, severe, unyielding, and destined to lead
mankind to a promised land of rationality, of psychic equilibrium and scientific proof. He
too was seeking to reform a small, recalcitrant band of the faithful into a great
Freud sought to banish the archaic shadows of irrationalism, of faith in the supernatural.
Like Marx, his promise was one of light. It has not been fulfilled.
Jung’s psychology, unlike Freud’s agnosticism, sees religion as a necessity. The
Freudian quarrel with the Jungian model is a duel between a new mythology, a surrogate
belief, and a system which wants to restore the ancient rival gods.
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