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Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


P hilosophy of mind For Leibniz , the unconscious comprises the appetitive intentions of a transcendent nature in the self, which subsequent German idealists called the blind will or the desire of which the mind is ignorant. Freud took over this term for a fundamental concept of his psychology. The unconscious comprises mental items or processes of which we are unaware, but which we can posit through interpretation of their indirect determination of phenomena such as dreams, slips of the tongue, humor, and neurotic behavior. A wide range of experience influences what we think and do although we are not conscious of it. According to Freud, the contents of the unconscious that are most important for his theory of the mind are repressed and unavailable to consciousness. The unconscious, however, is dynamic in the sense that it is active in the determination of behavior. The unconscious contrasts with the preconscious, which comprises latent elements of mind waiting to be discovered. The preconscious is sometimes loosely equated with the unconscious. According to Freud, what is conscious is only a small part of the mind , with most mental contents in the unconscious. The unconscious is a wider concept than the repressed, for while everything that is repressed is unconscious, not everything unconscious is repressed. In his early writings, Freud considered ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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