Metapsychology and the Foundations of Psychoanalysis redresses faults in Freud’s original conception to develop a coherent theoretical basis for psychodynamic theory. The book argues that Freud’s much maligned ‘metapsychology’, once revised, can provide a foundation for evaluating and integrating the plethora of psychodynamic perspectives, by developing a philosophically-informed position that addresses the embodied, interconnected relationship between motivation, cognition and affects.
The book centres upon the major concepts in psychoanalysis, including the notion of unconscious mental processes, wish-fulfilment, fantasy, and repression. Both philosophical considerations and empirical evidence are brought to bear upon these topics, and used to extract the valuable insights from major approaches. As a result, this revised general psychology, which stays true to Freud’s intention, addresses psychoanalytic pluralism and shows it is possible to develop a unified account, integrating the insights from attachment theory and object relational approaches and acknowledging the rightful role for neuropsychoanalysis.
Boag, S. (2015). In defence of unconscious mentality. In S. Boag, L. A. W. Brakel, & V. Talvitie (Eds.), Psychoanalysis and Philosophy of Mind (pp. 239-265). London: Karnac.
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This chapter is a response to recent attacks upon the possibility of unconscious mentality and the use of Brentano’s claim that mental acts are necessarily conscious due to Intentionality. The chapter demonstrates that Brentano’s stance against unconscious mentality is an empirical claim and not a logical one. Against the claim that unconscious processes are simply non-cognitive neural processes, this chapter demonstrates that the conclusion that unconscious processes are simply neural processes follows from failing to distinguish between knowing and knowing that one knows. Specifically, the problem follows from reinstating the Cartesian fallacy which confuses consciousness of something with self-consciousness of it. This chapter discusses unconscious processes in terms of psychological relations involving brain processes but which are not reducible to them. Whether any event or process is conscious is unconscious is simply to describe certain relationships and not qualities of mental processes. The implications for the dynamic unconscious, as well as criticisms of the systemic view of unconscious mentality, are further discussed