The remarks reported in Lectures and Conversations, make it clear that Wittgenstein thought both there to be "a way of thinking" in Freud's work that needed combatting, and also there to be something valuable that needed preserving. This thesis explores what underlies these remarks. The negative part of the thesis examines exactly what are the "ways of thinking" that need combatting. I argue that these include the confusion of reasons with causes and the related confusion of the "grammar" of physiology with the "grammar" of psychology. The positive part of the thesis argues that Freudian psychoanalysis can be better understood by a proper understanding of the way patients are persuaded to see their behaviour as falling under new descriptions, descriptions which are secondary or metaphorical applications of the ordinary language.
In the course of my argument I examine and criticise the claims made by such writers and would -be defenders of Freud as Donald Davidson and Marcia Cavell. I further explore the work of David Pears and Jean -Paul Sartre on self -deception, and the bearing that their views have on an understanding of Freudian psychoanalysis. I also invoke contributions by Sabina Lovibond and Peter Winch to illuminate my thesis that psychoanalytic explanations can be true, even though parasitic on acceptance by the patient.
Others who have written on these matters have tended to focus on the direct, though elliptical, comments reported in Wittgenstein's Lectures and Conversations. I contend, however, that some of the fundamental ideas of Wittgenstein's later thinking, notably in the Philosophical Investigations and The Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology are also crucial to a proper understanding of Freudian psychoanalysis.