Summary of “Can neuroscience rehabilitate Freud for the age of the brain?”

Following his death in 1939, the British author W H Auden was able to declare in his poem ‘In Memory of Sigmund Freud’ that Freud had represented ‘a whole climate of opinion’, and the subsequent two decades represented the heyday of psychoanalysis.
Adherents to this amorphous research programme – spearheaded by the South African neuropsychologist and psychoanalyst Mark Solms of the University of Cape Town – are keen to rehabilitate Freud’s reputation for the age of the brain.
‘We don’t need Freud; we need an approach which takes seriously the mental nature of the mind’.
This is why Freud is less important to the field than what Freud represents.
Researching this piece, I kept wondering: why hang on to Freud? He is an intensely polarising figure, so polarising that through the 1980s and ’90s there raged the so-called Freud Wars, fighting on one side of which were a whole team of authors driven by the ‘heartfelt wish that Freud might never have been born or, failing to achieve that end, that all his works and influence be made as nothing’.
Within neuropsychoanalysis Freud symbolises the fact that, to quote the neuroscientist Ramachandran’s Phantoms in the Brain, you can ‘look for laws of mental life in much the same way that a cardiologist might study the heart or an astronomer study planetary motion’.
As Solms himself put it to me: ‘We don’t need Freud; we need an approach which takes seriously the mental nature of the mind.
It feels like, Freud or no Freud, we should try.

The orginal article.