The concept of the unconscious: Some analytic preliminaries

Philosophy of Science 31 (January):18-33 (1964)
To illustrate one way in which philosophy may be helpful rather than merely critical in the present state of psychoanalytic theorizing, an attempt is made to disentangle issues in controversies about the unconscious. Eleven questions are distinguished and discussed. Logical, linguistic, methodological, metaphysical, empirical, and pragmatic components are set apart. It is found that there are no logical barriers to a construct of the unconscious, that it is linguistically feasible, need violate no methodological concepts, nor foreclose a metaphysical issue, nor have deleterious pragmatic effect. Feasibility and desirability of the construct in all these respects will depend on the character and extent of the scientific findings. Some issues are also raised concerning desirable types of models in the explanation of conduct, and concerning the relevance of recent studies of consciousness
Keywords Materialism  Mind  Psychoanalysis  Science  Unconscious  Unobservable
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DOI 10.1086/287974
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