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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Wittgenstein proposes an Aesthetic Model for psychoanalytic interpretation to replace Freud’s Causal Model. When we assent to such interpretations of our dreams, for example, he claimed that we are not making inferences based on evidence about the causes of our dreams; instead, our assent is comparable to more dreaming, or ‘redreaming’ our dreams, as Wittgenstein called it. That assent is part of Freud’s criterion of interpretive correctness, which would not be possible if recognizing causal laws were involved, Wittgenstein claims. For causal inferences need to be based on inductive evidence, which, with dreams, is non-existent or unavailable. Since for Freud, interpreting dreams shows how neurotic symptoms, jokes, slips, and much else can be interpreted, i.e. by free association, this non-causal character distinguishes Wittgenstein’s Aesthetic Model for psychoanalytic interpretation quite generally—in which dreams and symptoms cannot be assumed to cause the associations we ascribe to them—from Freud’s Causal Model.

Keywords: Aesthetic Model, assent, Causal Model, criterion, free association, inductive evidence, interpretive correctness, non-causal, psychoanalytic interpretation, redreaming

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