Chapter

The Unconscious Self

Anthony Rudd

in Self, Value, and Narrative

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660049
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744976 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660049.003.0010
The Unconscious Self

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Kierkegaard and others have highlighted our tendency to self-deception and lack of self-awareness. But although self-knowledge is hard, it is not impossible, and this chapter argues that psychoanalysis (broadly understood) can be valuable in helping to enlarge our self-knowledge. It argues for a narrative understanding of psychoanalysis as a discipline that can help us to understand the stories we have been living without properly recognizing, and thus help us to take more responsibility for the conscious shaping of our lives. However, this should not simply involve giving the conscious ego more power; following Jung more than Freud, the chapter argues that we should think of the unconscious as complementary to the ego, and a source of positive insight into ourselves. But an adequate psychoanalytically informed account of self-knowledge must recognize an ethical dimension. Ultimately, knowing ourselves means knowing ourselves as oriented to our telos (the Good).

Keywords: ego; Freud; Jung; narrative; psychoanalysis; self-knowledge; unconscious

Chapter.  14557 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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