Freud’s metapsychology has been interpreted in a number of different ways. Some scholars see him committed to classical scientism, others to genuine hermeneutics. Many Freud philologists suggest that he moved from an early scientism to hermeneutic methods in his later writings, and some think he misunderstood his own angle, thinking himself to be a natural scientist, but actually practising hermeneutics. The article first looks at Freud’s model of the soul and his remarks about psychoanalytic explanations and concludes that there is overwhelming evidence for the contention that he conceived of psychoanalytic explanations in terms of causal explanations and that his metapsychology is, all things considered, scientistic. However, it seems that Freud did not clearly distinguish between causal and rational explanations (i. e. genuine interpretations). The article emphasizes that he could have found this distinction in the writings of Max Weber. In the last two sections, the article turns to a meticulous analysis of two vignettes describing Freud’s own treatment of two cases that he takes to be fine examples of the technique used in psychoanalytic treatment. It turns out that Freud himself looks at these cases and their treatment, throughout, in terms of rationality and irrationality. In particular, he seems to distinguish between an “external” irrationality and an “internal” rationality of neurotic diseases. He also seems to point to functions of neuroses representing certain solutions for mental disturbances. Thus, there is much evidence for assuming that in his psychoanalytic technique, Freud relied on genuine hermeneutic and functional methods; and therefore, Freud’s official metapsychology seems to be methodologically inconsistent with his analytic technique.