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Close Reading: Psychoanalysis & Emotion

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  • DJRNews@aol.com
    Close Reading from Sartre s Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions (1939), The Psychoanalytic Theory . Complete text available at:
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 21, 2000
      Close Reading from Sartre's Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions (1939), "The
      Psychoanalytic Theory".
      Complete text available at: <A
      HREF="http://members.aol.com/DonJohnR/Philosophy/S_Sketch.html">http://members
      .aol.com/DonJohnR/Philosophy/S_Sketch.html</A>
      Please feel free to raise any questions or comments.

      The psychoanalytic interpretation conceives the conscious phenomenon as the
      symbolic realization of a desire repressed by the censor. Note that, for
      consciousness, the desire is not involved in its symbolic realization. In so
      far as it exists by and in our consciousness it is only what it gives itself
      out to be: emotion, desire for sleep, theft, laurel-phobia, etc. If it were
      otherwise, if we had any consciousness, even only implicit, of the real
      desire, we should be in bad faith, and that is not what the psychoanalyst
      means. It follows that the signification of our conscious behaviour lies
      wholly outside that behaviour itself or, if one prefers it so, what is
      signified is entirely cut off from the signifier. This behaviour of the
      subject is, in itself, just what it is (if by 'in itself' we mean for
      itself), but it can be deciphered by the appropriate techniques as one would
      decipher a given language. In a word, the conscious fact is related to what
      it signifies, as a thing which is the effect of a certain event is related to
      that event: as, for example, the ashes of a fire extinct upon a mountain are
      related to the human beings who lit the fire. Their presence is not contained
      in the remaining cinders, but connected with them by a relation of causality:
      the relation is external, the ashes of the fire are passive considered in
      that causal relation, as every effect is in relation to its cause. A
      consciousness which had not acquired the necessary technical knowledge could
      not grasp these remains as signs. At the same time, the remains are what they
      are; that is, they exist in themselves, irrespective of all significant
      interpretation: they are fragments of half-burnt wood, and that is all.
    • DJRNews@aol.com
      From Sartre s Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions (1939), The Psychoanalytic Theory . Complete text available at:
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 1, 2000
        From Sartre's Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions (1939), "The Psychoanalytic
        Theory".
        Complete text available at: <A
        HREF="http://members.aol.com/DonJohnR/Philosophy/S_Sketch.html">http://members
        .aol.com/DonJohnR/Philosophy/S_Sketch.html</A>
        Please feel free to raise any questions or comments.

        Can we admit that a fact of consciousness could be like a thing in relation
        to its signification -that is, receive its meaning from outside like an
        external quality- as, for instance, this having been burnt by men who wanted
        to warm themselves is a quality external to the burnt wood? It would seem,
        first and foremost, that the effect of such an interpretation is to make
        consciousness into a thing in relation to what is signified: it is to admit
        that consciousness can constitute itself into a meaning without being aware
        of the meaning that it constitutes. There is a flagrant contradiction in
        this, unless we are to regard consciousness as an existent of the same type
        as a stone, or a pond. But in that case we must finally give up the Cartesian
        cogito and treat consciousness as a secondary and passive phenomenon. In so
        far as a consciousness makes itself it is never anything other than what it
        appears to be. If, then, it has a signification, it must contain this within
        itself as a structure of consciousness. This does not mean that the
        signification must be perfectly explicit. There are many possible degrees of
        condensation and of clarity. It only means that we should not interrogate
        consciousness from outside, as one would study the remains of the fire or the
        encampment, but from within; that we should look into it for the
        signification. The consciousness, if the cogito is to be possible, is itself
        the fact, the signification and what is signified.

        ________________________________________
        You are invited to visit the following websites:

        Jean-Paul Sartre Homepage - <A HREF="www.sartre.org.uk">Click here</A>
        Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy UK - <A
        HREF="http://members.aol.com/DonJohnR/Hypnosis/Hypnohome.html">Click here</A>
        Psychoanalysis UK - <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/DonJohnR/Freud/main.html">
        Click here</A>
        Philosophy & Counselling UK - <A
        HREF="http://members.aol.com/DonJohnR/PhilCouns/PhilCouns.html">Click here</A>
        Merton YAP Drugs Project - <A HREF="www.yap.org.uk">Click here</A>
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