Psychoanalysis as Epistemic Battlefield

Published: 9 January 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/p3fz82gxy6.1
Levas Kovarskis


The scientific worldview, which prevails in today’s Western culture, contains the value system, оne of most important values being rationality. However, used as a value, rationality soon reveals its etymological meaning [1] – relativity: the value of things depends on their ratio. Psychoanalysis as a rational approach to the mind has contributed substantially to the scientific Episteme. However, nowadays Psychoanalysis itself got lost in a rapidly changing moral environment. As a social institution it has to be politically correct and comply with the postmodern episteme. This forces it into the middle of the argument about morality of certain relational patterns to the emergence of which Psychoanalysis itself had contributed more than 100 years ago, in the age of early modernity. At that time the moral attitudes where bound to the self-evident (epistemic) concepts – family, child, social rules, sanity, maturity, sexual normality, clear cut gender identity, self-evident attribution of guilt and shame, causality and matter. On these “facts” of human life the coordinates of good-bad and normal-abnormal could be easily superimposed. Psychoanalysis and psychotherapy were supposed to move the person along such coordinates as insane-sane, bad-good, abnormal-normal, immature-mature, inhibited-free. These “facts” as well as co-ordinates hardly exist anymore. While Psychoanalysis is reconsidering its findings in a social and moral context of postmodern society, religion fights back, filling the power vacuum of moral Authority.



Psychoanalysis, Clinical Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychiatry