It should be stressed, incidentally, that the popular term ' subconscious ' is not a Freudian coinage and is never used in serious psychoanalytic writings. Freud's concept was a more subtle and complex psychological theory than many. Consciousness , in Freud's topographical view which was his first of several psychological models of the mind was a relatively thin perceptual aspect of the mind , whereas the subconscious frequently misused and confused with the unconscious was that merely autonomic function of the brain.
The unconscious was indeed considered by Freud throughout the evolution of his psychoanalytic theory a sentient force of will influenced by human drive and yet operating well below the perceptual conscious mind.
Examples of Psychoanalytic Theory
Hidden, like the man behind the curtain in the " Wizard of Oz ," the unconscious directs the thoughts and feelings of everyone, according to Freud. In another of Freud's systematizations, the mind is divided into the conscious mind or Ego and two parts of the Unconscious: the Id or instincts and the Superego. Freud used the idea of the unconscious in order to explain certain kinds of neurotic behavior.
See psychoanalysis. Freud's theory of the unconscious was substantially transformed by some of his followers, among them Carl Jung and Jacques Lacan. Carl Jung developed the concept further. He divided the unconscious into two parts: the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. The first of these corresponds to Freud's idea of the subconscious, though unlike his mentor, Jung believed that the personal unconscious contained a valuable counter- balance to the conscious mind, as well as childish urges.
As for the collective unconscious, which consists of archetypes , this is the common store of mental building blocks that makes up the psyche of all humans. Evidence for its existence is the universality of certain symbols that appear in the mythologies of nearly all peoples. Jacques Lacan 's psychoanalytic theory contends that the unconscious is structured like a language. The unconscious, Lacan argued, was not a more primitive or archetypal part of the mind separate from the conscious, linguistic ego, but rather, a formation every bit as complex and linguistically sophisticated as consciousness itself.
Compare collective unconscious. If the unconscious is structured like a language, Lacan argues, then the self is denied any point of reference to which to be 'restored' following trauma or ' identity crisis '. In this way, Lacan's thesis of the structurally dynamic unconscious is also a challenge to the ego psychology of Anna Freud and her American followers. Lacan's idea of how language is structured is largely taken from the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson , based on the function of the signifier and signified in signifying chains. This may leave Lacan's entire model of mental functioning open to severe critique, since in mainstream linguistics , Saussurean models have largely been replaced by those of e.
Noam Chomsky. Chapter 4. Chapter 5.
- The Unconscious: A bridge between psychoanalysis and cognitive neuroscience - CRC Press Book.
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Chapter 6. Chapter 7. Chapter 8.
Download it! Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious Quotes in Civilization and Its Discontents Below you will find the important quotes in Civilization and Its Discontents related to the theme of Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious. Chapter 1 Quotes. Related Characters: Sigmund Freud speaker. Related Themes: Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious. Page Number and Citation : 26 Cite this Quote.
Explanation and Analysis:. Plus so much more Page Number and Citation : 29 Cite this Quote. Page Number and Citation : Cite this Quote. Page Number and Citation : 36 Cite this Quote. Chapter 2 Quotes. Page Number and Citation : 54 Cite this Quote. Chapter 3 Quotes.
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Page Number and Citation : 84 Cite this Quote. Page Number and Citation : 86 Cite this Quote. Chapter 5 Quotes. Page Number and Citation : 89 Cite this Quote. Page Number and Citation : 95 Cite this Quote. Chapter 6 Quotes. Chapter 7 Quotes. Chapter 8 Quotes. Cite This Page. MLA Chicago. The Logic of Scientific Discovery. Thus the principle of the conservation of energy physical, not psychic , which influenced Freud so greatly, is a scientific one because it is falsifiable—the discovery of a physical system in which the total amount of physical energy was not constant would conclusively show it to be false.
If the question is asked: "What does this theory imply which, if false, would show the whole theory to be false? Hence it is concluded that the theory is not scientific, and while this does not, as some critics claim, rob it of all value, it certainly diminishes its intellectual status as projected by its strongest advocates, including Freud himself.
A related but perhaps more serious point is that the coherence of the theory is, at the very least, questionable. What is attractive about the theory, even to the layman, is that it seems to offer us long sought-after and much needed causal explanations for conditions which have been a source of a great deal of human misery. However, even this is questionable, and is a matter of much dispute. In general, when it is said that an event X causes another event Y to happen, both X and Y are, and must be, independently identifiable.
At a less theoretical, but no less critical level, it has been alleged that Freud did make a genuine discovery which he was initially prepared to reveal to the world. However, the response he encountered was so ferociously hostile that he masked his findings and offered his theory of the unconscious in its place see Masson, J. What he discovered, it has been suggested, was the extreme prevalence of child sexual abuse, particularly of young girls the vast majority of hysterics are women , even in respectable nineteenth century Vienna.
He did in fact offer an early "seduction theory" of neuroses, which met with fierce animosity, and which he quickly withdrew and replaced with the theory of the unconscious. Questions concerning the traumas suffered by his patients seemed to reveal [to Freud] that Viennese girls were extraordinarily often seduced in very early childhood by older male relatives. Doubt about the actual occurrence of these seductions was soon replaced by certainty that it was descriptions about childhood fantasy that were being offered.
By what standard is this being judged?
The answer can only be: By the standard of what we generally believe—or would like to believe—to be the case. Freud, according to them, had stumbled upon and knowingly suppressed the fact that the level of child sexual abuse in society is much higher than is generally believed or acknowledged.
See a Problem?
If this contention is true—and it must at least be contemplated seriously—then this is undoubtedly the most serious criticism that Freud and his followers have to face. Further, this particular point has taken on an added and even more controversial significance in recent years, with the willingness of some contemporary Freudians to combine the theory of repression with an acceptance of the wide-spread social prevalence of child sexual abuse.
On this basis, parents have been accused and repudiated, and whole families have been divided or destroyed. Victims of Memory.
In this way, the concept of repression, which Freud himself termed "the foundation stone upon which the structure of psychoanalysis rests," has come in for more widespread critical scrutiny than ever before. Here, the fact that, unlike some of his contemporary followers, Freud did not himself ever countenance the extension of the concept of repression to cover actual child sexual abuse, and the fact that we are not necessarily forced to choose between the views that all "recovered memories" are either veridical or falsidical are, perhaps understandably, frequently lost sight of in the extreme heat generated by this debate.
The theory upon which the use of leeches to bleed patients in eighteenth century medicine was based was quite spurious, but patients did sometimes actually benefit from the treatment! And of course even a true theory might be badly applied, leading to negative consequences. One of the problems here is that it is difficult to specify what counts as a cure for a neurotic illness as distinct, say, from a mere alleviation of the symptoms.
In general, however, the efficiency of a given method of treatment is usually clinically measured by means of a control group—the proportion of patients suffering from a given disorder who are cured by treatment X is measured by comparison with those cured by other treatments, or by no treatment at all. Such clinical tests as have been conducted indicate that the proportion of patients who have benefited from psychoanalytic treatment does not diverge significantly from the proportion who recover spontaneously or as a result of other forms of intervention in the control groups used.
So, the question of the therapeutic effectiveness of psychoanalysis remains an open and controversial one. Stephen P. Thornton Email: sfthornton eircom.