Steve Fuller has condemned the continuing narcissism of naturalism on the simple ground that many of our most important scientific theories were created by people whose motivation was not naturalistic but religious, mystical, or hermetic. The paradox is that naturalism if it had been universally espoused would not have led to the discoveries that seem to confirm it. This is the simple Feyerabendian point that the practice of science contains important elements that are repressed or occulted in the presentation of its results, but that are essential to its progress. Feyerabend himself was very favorable to naturalism, but emphasised that it was untestable if not confronted with rival metaphysical research programs. A further point is that Being cannot be exhausted by any one particular worldview, and that taking one’s worldview for the very nature of Being is a form of metaphysical narcissism.
(NB: So when Levi Bryant affirms that « these other orientations have failed to make contributions to our understanding of the natural world », he is just historically wrong. These « other orientations » have been central to figures like Kepler, Newton, and to Einstein, not to mention Schrödinger, Bohr, and Pauli).
Popper regarded the Darwinian theory of evolution as just such a metaphysical programme, perhaps producing hypotheses that themselves are testable, but remaining itself in its generality untestable. It is truly amusing to see an attempt to buttress this ontological myth of the triumph of naturalism with an appeal to the an even more metaphysical theory, Freudian psychoanalysis, and the much lauded and blindly repeated edifying tale of psychoanalysis as the « third blow » to our narcissism. The only narcisssism here is Freud’s, when he compares himself (in 1917!) to Copernicus and Darwin. As Michel Onfray remarks this declaration came soon after Freud learnt that he would not be receiving the Nobel Prize that in his opinion he deserved.
Freudian psychoanalysis is not at all a naturalism. It appeals to non-naturalistic entities such as the « unconscious », the psyche, the id, the ego, and the superego, that Freud makes no attempt to establish as or anchor in material or natural agencies. The birth of Freudian psychoanalysis lies in a retreat from naturalism, and also from testability. The organisation of the psychoanalytic movement was based on the ruthless imposition of Freud’s narcissistic authority in matters theoretical and practical. Rival theorists and rival hypotheses were expelled in as humiliating a manner as possible. Freudian psychoanalysis is narcissistic denial.