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Close Reading: Psychoanalysis & Emotion

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  • DJRNews@aol.com
    From Sartre s Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions (1939), The Psychoanalytic Theory . Complete text available at:
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 1, 2000
      From Sartre's Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions (1939), "The Psychoanalytic
      Complete text available at: <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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