People sometimes say Freud has been discredited, that his “theories” have been “tested” and found objectively wanting according to the “data.” It seems like a very strange way to approach what “Freud” represents, to test the scientific accuracy of his knowledge; though it probably helps that I mainly get Freud second-hand, what I’ve always found useful is the extent to which we don’t even know things, nor theorize; we act, and then, afterwards, we come up with post facto explanations for what and why we did. Testing and data seem beside the point, “Freud” is, at least—if not only—a word for the extent to which we do strange things without knowing why, responding without theories, and cherry-picking the data to match subjective impulses. And when I use a word like “unconscious” or “confabulate” or “repress”—when I fill in the dark matter with a word for the gravitational force of its un-knowledge—what could matter less than whether his theories are true?

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