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unconscious, the


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DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


Although the notion of unconscious thoughts or impulses has a long history in both philosophy and psychology (see Ellenberger, 1970), the modern concept of the unconscious derives from the theory and practice of P sychoanalysis , as defined by F reud and his followers. A distinction should be made between Freudian usage and the notion of a collective unconscious, as elaborated by J ung . Freud uses both the adjective “unconscious,” which describes phenomena that are not within the field of consciousness at any given moment, and the noun “the unconscious.” The latter term is used in a topographical sense to refer to one of the three S ystems that constitute the psychical apparatus, the others being the preconscious and conscious systems. After the introduction, from 1920 onwards (see in particular Freud, 1923a ), of the second or so-called structural topography of id, ego, and superego, Freud tends to revert to the adjectival usage, though the id does display many of the characteristics previously ascribed to the unconscious. The term “id” (German Es) is borrowed from Groddeck (1923) , a psychiatrist close to the Viennese psychonalytic milieu; Groddeck himself claims to have taken the term from N ietzsche . The topographical concept of a systemic unconscious is operative in Freud's earliest works and especially in his great study of dreams ( Freud, 1900 ), but it is in a metapsychological ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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