Heward Wilkinson – Freud as Philosopher

Date(s) - 03/12/2023
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

The Duke of Battersea

Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) is known as the founder of psychoanalysis.

In his concepts of primary and secondary process Freud takes a step beyond Kant’s theory of the external world.
Freud characterises “primary process” in Beyond the Pleasure Principle at one point, as follows (BPP, chapter 5):

“We found that the processes in the unconscious systems are fundamentally different from those in the (pre-) conscious ones; that within the unconscious, cathexes can easily be completely transferred, displaced, compressed – something that could only produce flawed results is applied to pre-conscious material, and indeed for that very reason produces the familiar peculiarities of manifest dreams, the preconscious residues of the preceding day having been processed according to the laws of the unconscious. I termed this kind of process in the unconscious the “primary” psychic process in contradistinction to the “secondary” process that obtains in our normal waking life.”

Elsewhere (e.g., Interpretation of Dreams, Ch. 7, and elsewhere in Beyond the Pleasure Principle), at the heart of his thinking, he adds that the law of contradiction and temporality do not apply to primary process.
Primary process is pure being in which everything (symmetrically – see I Matte-Blanco’s account in The Unconscious as Infinite Sets) coexists in an eternal now, without linearity of causal-temporal sequence, and is in the realm, broadly, of phenomenology, pure experiencing, whereas secondary process is in the realm of dialectic, experienced conflict seeking resolution, and with linearity of causal sequence, as articulated in Heward’s Freud/Hegel paper. http://hewardwilkinson.co.uk/sites/default/files/Freud-Hegel-and-Dialectics2.pdf

We meet in The Duke of Battersea, but Heward Wilkinson is not London based and will present his talk on Zoom.  For details see SLPC Zoom Meeting

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