The introduction concerns itself with the current constellation of the dialogue between psychoanalysis and the neurosciences, identifies the areas where the most productive exchanges are occurring, and views the ongoing use of the hyphen in the word “neuro-psychoanalysis” as a telling symptom that invites questions about the problems inherent in the dialogues as well as their epistemological premises. This affects not only the various methods and techniques involved in the analysis of the psychological apparatus and its relation to physiological functions, but also, crucially, the terminology employed. The translation of Freud’s works plays a central role here, as the transfer of his concepts into English coincides with the empirical methods used in the neurosciences, while the reception of psychoanalysis as a theory on how meaning is constructed concentrates on Freud’s purposeful language. From a history of science perspective, the constellations around 2000 and 1900 will thereby be interpreted as a reverse mirror situation: a foundation of psychoanalysis based on neurology, while renouncing the localization-based paradigm (around 1900) and the rediscovery of Freud and the subconscious through neuropsychology, experimental psychology, and neuroscience (around 2000).


Psychoanalysis Neurosciences Neuro-Psychoanalysis Freud History of Science 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung BerlinBerlinGermany

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