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Freud, Psychoanalysis and Symbolism

  • Author: Agnes Petocz, University of Western Sydney Macarthur
  • Date Published: November 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521591522


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About the Authors
  • Freud, Psychoanalysis and Symbolism offers an innovative general theory of symbolism, derived from Freud's psychoanalytic theory and relocated within mainstream scientific psychology. It is the first systematic investigation of the development of Freud's treatment of symbolism throughout his published works, and discovers in those writings a broad theory which is far superior to the widely accepted, narrow, 'official' view. Agnes Petocz argues that the treatment of symbolism must begin with the identification and clarification of a set of logical constraints and psychological requirements which any general theory of symbolism must respect, and that these requirements have been neglected by existing accounts across a number of disciplines. Her newly proposed 'Freudian broad' theory of symbolism, by contrast, does meet these requirements, but only after it has been rehabilitated within a revised psychoanalytic context, encompassing major changes to our understanding of the concepts of unconscious and repression and the role of language.

    • First systematic review of development of Freud's ideas about symbolism
    • New integrated theory of symbolism and radical reconceptualisation of the concept of the unconscious
    • Argues that any general theory of symbolism must be a psychological theory
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Performs a remarkable service to psychoanalytic scholarship in clarifying conceptual confusions with which is has long been bedevilled.' The Times Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1999
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521591522
    • length: 298 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Exegesis and Extraction:
    1. From disorder towards the focus of inquiry
    2. The 'Freudian narrow' theory of symbolism
    3. The 'symbol' in Freud's early writings (1893–9)
    4. Continuation and elaboration (1900–13)
    5. The 'core years' for the Freudian Narrow theory (1914–17)
    6. The treatment of symbolism in Freud's later writings (1918–40)
    Part II. Consolidation and Defence:
    7. The problem of the 'system unconscious'
    8. The problem of language
    9. Ernest Jones's contribution
    10. The 'Freudian Broad' theory of symbolism
    11. Symbolism: logical constraints and psychological requirements

  • Author

    Agnes Petocz, University of Western Sydney Macarthur

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