Unconscious, The

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109 pages, 1958 edition, index, Key Texts

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Unconscious, The

A Conceptual Analysis

MacIntyre, Alasdair

This is one of the most stimulating of MacIntyre’s early writings, in which he distinguishes between the two uses of the Freudian term “unconscious”: the descriptive, where Freud is seen as offering a non-causal description of psychological phenomena; and the explanatory, where he seems to be making correlations between crucial childhood events and adult behavior. Noting that the concept of the unconscious is one that has strongly captured the public mind, MacIntyre seeks to discover what it means to assert the existence of the unconscious rather than assess the empirical grounds for such an assertion. His explanation takes in the nature of psychological theory and the problems raised by our ordinary pre-Freudian view of the mind. “[I]nteresting and very suggestive.” – Philosophical Review