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Abstract

If we are to understand why psychoanalysis extends ordinary psychology in the precise ways that it does, we must take account of the existence of, and the interplay between, two distinct kinds of explanatory concern: functional and idiographic. The form and content of psychoanalytic explanation and its unusual methodology can, at least in part, be viewed as emerging out of Freud's attempt to reconcile these two types of explanatory concern. We must also acknowledge the role of the background theoretical context that shapes Freud's functional thinking about the mind. A neglect of the role of the background theory in shaping the extension of ordinary psychology leaves us with puzzles about the nature and direction of the psychoanalytic extension and gives rise to an unbelievable history of psychoanalysis.