Wishful thinking and the unconscious: A reply to Gouws

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2005

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South African Journal of Philosophy

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University of Cape Town

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This paper argues against the view that the Freudian unconscious can be understood as an extension of ordinary belief-desire psychology. The paper argues that Freud’s picture of the mind challenges the paradigm of folk psychology, as it is understood by much contemporary philosophy of psychology and cognitive science. The dynamic unconscious postulated by psychoanalysis operates according to rules and principles that are distinct in kind from those rules that organise rational and conscious thought. Psychoanalysis offers us a radical reconception of our ordinary way of thinking about our own minds.
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