Sigmund Freud
The Interpretation of Dreams
The Unconscious

Area: History of Rhetoric and Memory Studies

Interpretation of Dreams
•    Patient: Irma
•    Previously day—starting point
•    Reproduction of an earlier event
•    Mind connected to past events with the ability to recall with precision
•    Fulfillment of wishes started by the events of the previous evening

The Unconscious
•    Repression lies not in annihilation, but in the preventing of ideas becoming conscious
•    572: “Freud can confidently assert that the mind, which appears so chaotic, contradictory, beyond causation, is ruled by inexorable laws.  Mental events are like pearls on an invisible chain, a chain largely invisible precisely because many of the links are unconscious.”
•    574: “In support of there being an unconscious psychical state, that at any given moment consciousness includes only a small content, so that the greater part of what we call conscious knowledge must in any case be for very considerable periods of time in a state of latency, that is to say, of being psychically unconscious.”
•    Latent memories
o    “Latent recollections can no longer be described as psychical, but that they correspond to residues of somatic processes from which what is psychical can be once more arrive.”
•    Are latent states of mental life conceived of as conscious mental or physical ones?
•    Other people’s consciousness can only be considered through analogy
•    “We understand very well how to interpret in other people the same acts which we refuse to acknowledge as being mental in ourselves.”
•    The “psychical”
•    When a thought passes from unconscious → conscious, the first reaction will be a rejection of the repressed idea
•    Unconscious is timeless—time is bound up in the conscious


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October 2008
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