Posts Tagged ‘Psychoanalysis’

On December 3, 2022, my PhD supervisor Willibald Steinmetz turned 65. At a small reception for colleagues and friends in Bielefeld, he was presented with a celebratory edited volume of essays on dreams titled Erträumte Geschichte(n): Zur Historizität von Träumen, Visionen und Utopien.

In my contribution, titled

Der Traum der quantitativen Psychologie und die Geschichte: neue Perspektiven für die Digital Humanities

[The Dream of Quantitative Psychology and History: New Perspectives for Digital Humanities]

I consider some recent developments in the field of historical dream research against the background of the new tools recently emerging from the field of digital humanities. As very extensive databases of dream reports have become available (some including more than 50.000 reports), the question of their analysis has come to the fore in new ways. In a first step, I sketch the historical development of the quantitative historical dream research that has been booming in recent years. Second, I critically examine the field’s methods, which have increasingly moved into areas of sophisticated data mining on the basis of self-learning algorhithms.

My text not only considers an area of research that Willibald Steinmetz has been active in (e.g. here) recently, but also re-engages with some fundamental questions of heuristics and hermeneutics that he addressed in his own PhD thesis, Das Sagbare und das Machbare. I’m grateful to Willibald Steinmetz for his unwavering support and friendship throughout the years and to the editors, Jens Elberfeld, Kristoffer Klammer, Sandra Maß and Benno Nietzel, for their excellent work organizing the volume and the whole celebration.

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