Hegel and Freud on Psychic Reality
JON MILLS, Psy.D., Ph.D.
Mills, Jon (2000). Hegel and Freud on Psychic Reality. Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis, 12(1), 159-183.
Hegel's philosophy of subjective spirit is a treatise on psychic reality. Presented in the third division of the Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences,(1) Hegel's discussion of the subjective mind is subdivided into three sections: Anthropology, Phenomenology, and Psychology. Each subdivision is concerned with explicating a specific feature and function of mental life, each standing in relation to Spirit as a dynamic self-articulated complex whole. By today's standards, Hegel's treatment of subjective spirit constitutes a theory on psychodynamic psychology.
Central to Hegel's theory of psychic development is the role and function of the unconscious. Hegel's notion of the unconscious remains an underappreciated aspect of his philosophy. This is rather surprising given that the unconscious is responsible for the generative activity that makes rational self-conscious understanding possible. When juxtaposed to more contemporary views on the nature and structure of the psyche, Hegel's ideas on the unconscious share many compatibilities with psychoanalysis. In fact, Hegel in many remarkable ways anticipates several key concepts that Freud was to make more intelligible nearly a hundred years later.
Throughout this project, I will examine Hegel's and Freud's views on psychic structure with a special emphasis on the nature of the soul. While I do not stress a complete convergence between their respective systems, I will attempt to show points of intersection between Hegel's theory of the unconscious and Freud's metapsychology. By bringing Hegel into dialogue with Freud, new vistas emerge that can strengthen our understanding of psychic reality.
Anticipating the Abyss
Hegel uses the German nouns Schacht (pit, mine, or shaft) and Abgrund (abyss) to refer to the unconscious in several key passages in his psychological treatment of theoretical spirit each carrying with it different meanings, but most of the time he simply uses the word "unconscious" (bewutlos). Petry informs us that Hegel may have taken over the reference to an 'unconscious abyss' from the works of J.F. Herbart (1776-1841), a contemporary whose work Hegel was familiar with.(2) However, the introduction of the abyss may be properly said to have been motivated by multiple philosophical sources including neo-Platonism, Boehme, and Schelling,(3) and thus its sole attribution to Herbart seems unlikely. When Hegel does mention the word 'abyss,' he is often referring to psychic space, a place where images are "preserved unconsciously" in the bowels of the mind. The use of this imagery may be interpreted as Hegel's abbreviated attempt to propose a depth psychology that Freud was later to provide, because Hegel allows the abyss to serve many psychic functions that traverse the plane of mental topography thus bringing forth images, affect, and presentations to bear upon the operations of imagination, fantasy, and memory that hover within the spheres of preconsciousness and conscious awareness. But he also equates the abyss with an agency or entity which is spirit's original being--"intelligence as this unconscious abyss (bewutlos Schacht)" (EG § 453)--where "images of the past [lie] latent in the dark depth of our inner being" (EG § 454, Zusätz). In fact, Hegel recognizes the significance of unconscious agency as early as the Phenomenology (4) where he equates "unconscious Spirit" with the "force and element"--the Trieb behind the maturation of "universal self-conscious Spirit"(PS § 463).
In order to see how Hegel's treatment of the abyss approaches a concept similar to the psychoanalytic unconscious, we must extrapolate back to Hegel's discussion of what is truly pre-conscious in his system, viz. the ontology and inner organization of psychic life prior to the appearance of conscious spirit. Hegel's anthropological analysis of the feeling soul provides us with the most uncontested evidence that he had anticipated a dynamic unconscious agency which was later made intelligible by Freud at the turn of the century. For Hegel, spirit is an epigenetic construct, a "progressive development" (EG § 387) that dynamically evolves and becomes more structurally self-elaborate, and not simply an expansion of a preformed entity. It emerges from within itself and develops out of its most elementary foundation, its Ungrund. By Hegel's own textual account of the soul, the abyss becomes the original ground of spirit.
The Epigenesis of Unconscious Spirit
Hegel's anthropology begins with a detailed analysis of natural spirit or the emergence of the soul; hence the anthropology becomes an engagement with the question of nature. Here Hegel is concerned with the problem of beginning, the "immediacy of spirit," spirit that is "involved in nature, related to its corporeality. This foundation of humanity . . . is the general object of anthropology" (EG § 387, Zusätz). This "foundation" that Hegel is concerned with imports a universal ontological claim--spirit is first and foremost an unconscious embodiment. Spirit is originally fused with its material nature which it seeks to overcome as an immaterial hence spiritual embodiment. This initial instantiation of spirit has the character of negativity and conflict for spirit is confined to the form of nature. In fact, the question of the meaning of nature for Hegel is central to our understanding of the abyss. The implications of spirit's natural foundation are significant for understanding the general negative organization of the dialectical drive toward vanquishing opposition as well as providing a conceptual framework for a theory of abnormal psychology. Hegel explains: "Out of this immediate union with its naturality, the soul enters into opposition and conflict with it. It is here that the conditions of derangement and somnambulism belong. This follows from the triumph of the soul over its corporeity" (EG § 387, Zusätz). Unconscious spirit is at first a bodily incipient ego that enters into opposition with its immediate symbiotic unity as nature. Its task is to become immaterial to itself, that is, materiality must be sublated, hence surpassed yet retained in its higher structure; but this result is a labored achievement. In its initial natural state, soul is "not yet spirit"(EG § 388), it has to mature, yet it is spirit "implicit," thus presupposed. It is only by "achieving immateriality" that the soul "passes over into spirit" (EG § 389, Zusätz) as concrete subjectivity.
Hegel outlines the soul's progression from its (a) natural embodiment to (b) feeling its "individuality" with its "immediate being" where it is merely for itself abstractly to (c) an actuality where its immediate being is "formed within it" as corporeality (EG § 390). Therefore, the natural soul, feeling soul, and actual soul, are three moments of spirit's genesis. Initially, the unconscious soul is the "sleep of spirit," a "passive nous" as the "possibility of all things"which is a singular substance or the particularizing of spirit (EG § 389). Yet this passivity is itself immediately active as spirit "rouses itself from the somnolent state in which it finds itself as soul, since in this state difference is still shrouded in the form of lack of difference and hence unconsciousness"(EG § 389, Zusätz).
It is in this initial state of indifference that Hegel situates the generic condition for both health and madness which hinges on spirit's ability to manage opposition and conflict, as well as its relation to external reality. Spirit awakens to find itself as the "life of nature" enthroned within its unconscious corporeality. Here Hegel recognizes a base materialism; spirit is thrown into the brute givenness of the body, a facticity spirit cannot deny but only surpass. Spirit is at first a complete unity or totality which lacks difference. It is an entirely universal, self-enclosed psychotic immersion in nature which is the "immediate substance" of spirit as a "pulsation, the mere inner stirring of the soul"(EG § 390, Zusätz). At this stage there is no positing of difference or individuality that is opposed to the natural and hence is not determined nor determinate nor is it a particular or actual being. This requires unconscious spirit to move from a state of undifferentiation to differentiation. Just as being must pass over into determinate being in the Logic, the natural soul must pass over from indeterminateness to a determinateness. This initial form of determinateness is itself naturality, but it is merely a "transitory condition," spirit asleep. Sleeping spirit is not in a totally passive or peaceful state, however; there is an internal "stirring" that gives rise to a "natural awakening, to the opening out of the soul" (EG § 390, Zusätz). Hegel explains that this awakening is not the activity that fills waking consciousness, but rather it is merely the natural condition of the soul being awake.
Hegel's metaphorical use of sleep and awakening allows him to account for the soul as a restless activity. "It is just this unrest that is the self" (PS § 22). In its sleeping nature, the soul is simply unconscious--not awake--but sleep does not imply there is no mental activity. Spirit is always active even when it is only implicit to itself--it thinks, senses, and feels while it dreams. "Thinking remains the basis of spirit in all its forms" (EG § 398, Zusätz). Its restlessness compels itself to awake because it cannot rest, its nature is activity as such. In some ways unconscious spirit is like an anxious insomniac who is never able to sleep peacefully for it is plagued by a profound negativity. It is precisely this negativity that impels spirit to surface from its depths, a hibernation from within which its night thoughts take flight.
The awakened soul eventually comes to feel itself as life, as a sensuous actual being. This progression involves a series of sublated movements that constitute the coming into being of subjective spirit as an intuiting, self-determining ego. This unconscious ego as determinate being-for-self is a "thinking being and subject"(EG § 412, fn) which precedes its transition to consciousness. In this transition to consciousness, however, the ego forges an even wider gap, an expansive abyss between its unconscious life and its now newly experienced conscious sensuousness. Unconscious spirit is never abandoned for consciousness, but rather is co-extensive with consciousness as both realms influence the activity of the other. This is evident from Hegel's understanding of recollection, where images, thoughts, and affects are retrieved from the dark cellar of the abyss, as well as his conception of psychopathology, and the law of the heart which informs our actions and character. But as I will show, unconscious spirit assumes a primacy in Hegel's system. The unconscious as original ground informs and paves the shapes of consciousness toward a higher unity, a unity it fights within itself. This is the "tremendous power of the negative"(PS § 32) that is itself the positive life force of the psyche.
Hegel's architectonic theory of unconscious spirit plays an indispensable role in his system as the abyss dynamically informs the dialectical unfolding of the soul. Hegel painstakingly delineates how the soul evolves from an original unconscious unity. Through a series of internal mediated dynamics, the unconscious soul undergoes development through its own dialectical divisions, projections, and re-incorporations as the process of sublation, entering into opposition with its natural embodiment and elevating its unconscious structure to the form of ego. The abyss continues to be integral to spirit's constitution and plays a central role in the normative psychological operations of intelligence. But the abyss is also responsible for the primal activity behind all appearances of spirit which Hegel affirms is always "unconsciously busy."(5) Thus the unconscious becomes the indispensable psychic foundation of mind.(6) While the unconscious soul is sublated as ego, it nevertheless remains a repository for lost, alienated, or conflicted shapes of spirit. Therefore the soul becomes the locus in both mental health and psychopathology, a dynamic that brings Hegel in close proximity to Freud.
Hegel's Anthropology delineates the necessary ontological preconditions for the coming into being of consciousness: the ego is the modified instantiation of unconscious structure. Although Hegel treats consciousness separately from the psychological processes of intelligence, they are ontologically inseparable and thus suffused in the very fabric of sensation, perception, and the logical operations of thought. In fact, Hegel's psychology is a more detailed analysis of the phenomenology of conscious perception, expatiating how intuition, attention, presentation, imagination, memory, and conceptual judgment mediate objects of experience.
One of the most significant aspects of Hegel's logic is the way in which a mediated dynamic begets a new immediate. Hegel's dialectical articulation of how mediation forms new immediacy provides us with the logical model for understanding the activity of unconscious spirit. This is of special significance as we begin to turn our attention toward the psychological operations of consciousness, imagination, and the process of cognition itself. The logical and phenomenal description of the unconscious represented in the Anthropology provides us with a necessary ontological ground that makes all subsequent shapes and the higher activities of spirit possible. Like in the Logic, immediate being becomes determinate being, and so the unconscious soul moves from undifferentiation to differentiation, implicitness to explicitness, immediacy to mediacy as determinate being. As implicit spirit in its immediacy, being transitions into nothing--its negative, and therefore divides itself and separates itself out from its other, which is also being that is in relation to what it is not, and hence the soul becomes a determinate being-for-self as the affirmation of the negative which is spirit made explicit. The positive significance of the negative is the process of its own becoming as unconscious spirit wakes into free determinacy. Also in the Logic, the universal always determines itself into particulars, just as the soul awakens from its simple unity and disperses its being into particularities, only to incorporate its plurality back into its internal structure.
Hegel sees the dynamic of mediatory immediacy throughout all progressions of unconscious spirit, each stage becoming more intricate and labyrinthine as the soul moves from sensuousness to cognition. Spirit is first and foremost an unconscious embodiment that must subjugate its corporeality and emerge as subjective thought. Negativity comprises its original unity, for implicit spirit is first of all a "stirring" "pulsation," simply restless "vital activity." Spirit must raise itself from its conflictual implicitness to actual feeling ego, internal tension being the very instrument of progression. The negative character of drive sets the soul to engage in an internal division. There is a primordial hostility to the negative, a discord responsible for spiritual health as well as psychopathology. The ability to contain, mediate, and utilize conflict in its abyss is the power of the spiritual harnessing the unconscious soul has in its initial moments of life.
Because spirit exists first as activity--its essential force as drive--spirit has within it the self-determining desire to "rouse" itself into wakefulness and thus pass over from indeterminateness to determinateness. In its initial division and externality, unconscious spirit already has the seed of an inchoate ego that thinks even at the stage of sensuous feeling. Recall what Hegel himself says: "Thinking remains the basis of spirit in all its forms" (EG § 398, Zusätze). The very activity of internal division requires the presence of ego, even if at this stage it is merely a simple composite, because differentiation necessitates an agency performing such functions; and if there were no agency, separation and individuation could not be possible let alone made actual. The real issue for Hegel becomes showing how the primitive features of mind gain sophistication through a cognizing activity. We may say that the real question of differentiation involves distinguishing between drive and ego. If drive or desire is internal impulse, force, or pressure as pure activity, then ego must assume its form, because as Hegel carefully takes means to prepare, spirit is an epigenetic achievement with each shape evolving out of lower ones.
Desire is first natural desire in the bodily form of sensations, affect, and feeling, but in order to perform an internal division and project itself into externality to begin with, the soul must have a preliminary psychic organization that we may call ego. In order to successfully make the conversion from undifferentiated symbiosis to differentiated subjective being, a crude subjective ego must already exist so to act at all, let alone acquire a provisional understanding of itself as a determinate being. Perhaps we should call this crude mental organization the pre-ego, for it is only a matter of making the ego more actual and cognizant which is Hegel's task. However, this is a grey area for Hegel because he situates these primal telic operations within the heart of darkness, within the pit of unconscious spirit under the name soul. Presumably the soul at this level is a quasi-agent as the unifying unifier; it is not until the ego appears that spirit attains true personality. However, the natural soul already possesses "individuality" as "subjectivity," an agent teeming with quiescent potentiality, thus unconscious ego is its presupposition. In this sense we may advance the claim that drive and ego are equiprimordial constructs within the abyss of the soul and ontologically undifferentiated. In its transformation to feeling and concrete ego, the abyss swells and expands until it is divided into a firm and irreversible polarity brought on by a second awakening, the bursting forth of consciousness proper. Consciousness becomes the day while the unconscious remains the night, alternating moments of mental life each slipping into one another, each the dawn of a new found horizon.
Hegel's Philosophical Psychology
In the Psychology section of the Encyclopaedia, Hegel gives full consideration to the cognitive processes of consciousness, namely: attention, perception, imagination, fantasy, memory, conceptual thought, and understanding. For Hegel, psychology is primarily delimited to the domain of intelligence under the direction of reason, but this does not impede the psychological significance of the soul and the phenomenology of consciousness. Intelligence is what Hegel calls a "spiritual faculty" (EG § 445), not as a fixed or ossified agglomeration, but as a malleable and determining process of cognition. Intelligence finds itself as naturally determined, insofar as it cannot will itself not to think, and is concerned with the empty form of finding reason. Cognition is therefore the concrete dialectical activity of mediating and unifying objects with concepts.
As the psychological forms of subjective spirit unfold, the unconscious abyss remains a key player in constituting this activity. Hegel points out that intelligence follows a formal course of development to cognition beginning with (a) intuition of an immediate object (EG § 446), to (b) presentation (EG § 451) as a withdrawal into the unconscious from the relationship to the singularity of the object and thus relating such object to a universal, leading to (c) thought (EG § 465) in which intelligence grasps the concrete universals of thinking and being as objectivity. In the stage of intuition or sensation as immediate cognizing, intelligence begins with the sensation of the immediate object, then alters itself by fixing attention on the object while differentiating itself from it, and then posits the material as external to itself which becomes intuition proper. The second main stage of intelligence as presentation is concerned with recollection, imagination, and memory, while the final stage in the unfolding of intelligence is thought which has its content in understanding, judgement, and reason.
While Hegel isolates the contingent events of each intellectual maneuver, he stresses the point that each operation of intuiting, representing, etc. is merely a moment of the totality of cognizing itself which underscores the necessity of rational thought (EG § 445). Throughout the various sub-stages of each operation, he shows the mutual relations between contingency and necessity and how one dialectically prepares the path for the other.(7) First, intelligence has an immediate object; second, material is recollected, and third, it is rendered objective.
Intuition (Anschauung) is immediate cognizing, a direct and simple apprehension of immediate objects which can be derived from internal or external sensations. Intuition falls into three subdivisions or movements of cognition: (a) sensation, (b) attention, and (c) intuition proper. With the sensation of immediate material, feeling is the initial form spirit assumes which is the truth and unity of the soul and consciousness. Recall that feeling first appears within the soul, and second within consciousness as a separated or independent object from the soul (EG §§ 446-447). In intuition, feeling is free from its dual one-sidedness as soul and consciousness respectively, and now has the implicit determination of being objective as it is subjective, which is the immediate unity of the subject intuiting and the object intuited. Hegel tells us that with respect to content, "there is more in feeling than there is in thought," (EG § 447) particularly moral and religious feelings, for all that is rational and spiritual in content enters into feelings. "The whole of reason, the entire material of spirit, is present within sensation. All our presentations, thoughts and Concepts, of external nature, of what is right, of the ethical, and of the content of religion, develop from our sentient intelligence" (EG § 447, Zusätz). Here lies the compendium of what is in the soul, namely, the sentiments that subjective spirit holds in the heart which comprises the character of the individual. In sensation, the ego intuits its soul, soul being the reservoir of feelings.
Because intelligence as intuition finds itself determined as the content of feeling, it does not reflect upon its immediate characteristics. This occurs through attention. Attention brings further clarity to the content of intuition, thus the content that is present in its own activity as feeling is brought to consciousness. Attention is the initial act of sublation, an overcoming of the simplicity of sensation which Hegel situates as the beginning of spirit's "education" (EG § 448, Zusätz). There is both a separation and a unity of the subjective and the objective as a single process, yet the difference between these two moments is indeterminate. At this stage, intelligence advances to distinguish subject from object and thus achieves intuition proper.
Intelligence moves from sensation of its immediate material to attention, whereby it fixes the object as well as separates it from itself, to intuition as positing the object externally. At this point, the presentation of a certain object thrusts intelligence into its second main movement which has three corresponding sub-stages: (a) recollection, (b) imagination, and (c) memory. Presentation (Vorstellung) is implicit within intuition because attention is paid to two moments, namely feeling and the attending act, whereby an object is isolated and related to externally. Attention now becomes introspective and must re-collect the content intuited within itself, "within its own space and its own time" (EG § 452). This content initially appears as an image (Bild) which is taken up by the ego and disassociated from its external context in which intuition had occurred. Abstracted from the concrete immediacy of intuition, the image becomes contingent or arbitrary and is but a fleeting moment since attention may focus on only one thing at a time.
Essentially, the ego internalizes its presented content by gathering up and separating the external image or impression and then making it part of its internal structure, but being only a transient impression it vanishes quickly from consciousness. "Intelligence is not, however, only the consciousness and the determinate being . . .; recollected within it, the image is no longer existent, but is preserved unconsciously" (EG § 453). Here Hegel points to the underworld of spirit; intelligence is not only consciousness but is a "nocturnal abyss (nachtlichen Schacht) within which a world of infinitely numerous images and presentations is preserved without being in consciousness." Hegel specifically equates "intelligence as this unconscious abyss," thus forming the domains of two fundamental realities, the world of the abyss and the world of consciousness.
This is the first textual mention of the abyss within the Psychology, § 453, thus pointing to its relationship to consciousness. Hegel explains how unconscious presentations are preserved within certain "fibers" and "localities" of the abyss, recalcitrant, as they were, to the tangibility of conscious processes, subsisting as intrinsically concrete yet simple universals. Intelligence has "imperfect control of the images slumbering within the abyss" that cannot be recalled at will (EG § 453, Zusätz). Hegel himself even concedes that we have no means of knowing the full extent of all that which lies within the unconscious, suggesting that there are certain elements to psychic life that may resist incorporation into the dialectic. "No one knows what an infinite host of images of the past slumbers within him. Although they certainly awaken by chance on various occasions, one cannot, -- as it is said, -- call them to mind" (EG § 453, Zusätz). This concession on Hegel's part points to the inner autonomy of unconscious processes and organizations, presumably belonging to the soul--the unconscious ego, and how, from the standpoint of consciousness, they share a divided existence within spirit.
Hegel explains that the act of relating an image to an intuition is what is properly called recollection, hence fitting a particular with a universal. Intelligence collects or gathers into itself what it renders through intuition and then posits its own content distinct from what is external in space and time. In intuition we are directly aware of what is presented in the senses, but the image has to be separated from that given presence of sensation before it can be deposited into the pit. Internalization is taking the image out of the space and time of its immediate presentation and incorporating it into spirit's own internal space and time. If that were not performed as part of spirit's conscious activity, the image would never be able to be universalized and transposed into the unconscious. As a result, the previous moments of intuition lose their original spatio-temporal structure which are collapsed within an unconscious unity. Unconscious activity provides a counterpart to conscious attention. As John Burbidge puts it: "The one relates; the other distinguishes. The one universalizes; the other particularizes. The one responds to intrinsic characteristics; the other introduces extrinsic relations of space and time."(8)
The images and impressions that are internalized, deposited, and preserved within the unconscious are later brought forth and reissued from within the abyss itself, and thereby related to subsequent intuitions and recollections which are redeposited back into the pit as attention directs itself elsewhere. This process has particular implications for imagination and fantasy, because conscious perception triggers a free play of associative images and material that are unleashed from the interior of the soul and re-presented to consciousness. In these situations, the unconscious ego responds to its intuited content by re-presenting previous images and impressions it gathers up from the bowels of the mind. Here the past comes to present as the surfacing of latent content, but being only a transient recollection it can vanish quickly back into its lair.
The images of the past lying latent in the dark depth of our inner being become our actual possession in that they come before intelligence in the bright, plastic shape of an intuition, a determinate being of equivalent content, and we, helped by the presence of this intuition, recognize them as intuitions we have already had (EG § 454, Zusätz).
We are beginning to get a picture of intelligence as a metapsychological process spanning over two distinct but interconnected landscapes undulating through a divided yet inextricable domain, each division the inversion of the other. Hegel's metapsychology of the abyss points to that seemingly featureless void which lies beyond or behind the conscious operations of spirit but is indeed responsible for its dynamic operative force. Beneath the perceptual surface hides a complex underworld, each behaving like two different agencies: an observing layer where the nuances of sense perception function over a deep, dark yawning chasm with unknown psychic communities and wild underground weather.
The images generated within the abyss have their own dynamic beyond conscious control. The diverse multiplicity of presentations may generate isolated aspects of vastly different images which may have some nebulous similarity or may be completely disparate to immediate intuition, thus the network of spatio-temporal relations generated by the unconscious may be insignificant or crucial. It is through attention that consciousness acquires the discriminating capacity to discern and introduce significant relations.
To recall an image is to repeat or re-present an intuition, and this is why it is free of immediate intuition because it is "preserved unconsciously." We recognize in immediate intuitions images we have experienced before. While consciousness isolates a specific feature, it relates it to the universality of unconscious recollection. Representation is therefore the synthesized product of relating an immediate intuition to an unconscious universal which becomes an object for consciousness. It is in imagination, however, where the process of relating one representation to others is intellectually carried out.
In imagination, representations are related to one another in the flow of consciousness which becomes linked with other images, affects, and thoughts as they are generated and manipulated by the ego's activity. Retrieved from the abyss, they are now technically under the ego's control, but with qualifications. Imagination also assumes three forms or sub-stages, namely: (a) reproductive imagination, (b) associative imagination, and (c) fantasy. First, representations are reproduced from the abyss but fall under the direction of the ego as "the issuing forth of images from the ego's own inwardness" which it now governs (EG § 455). The line of demarcation that divides the unconscious ego from the conscious ego is now breached. Images are not only retrieved but issued forth from the ego itself, assuming that unconscious material is externalized into conscious apprehension, or as Hegel puts it, "excogitated . . . from the generality of the abyss." This process immediately initiates an association of variegated images and features that are related to further presentations which may be either abstract or concrete and varying in content and form, thereby the range of intellectual connections expands. Within this multiplicity of associations, the synthetic functions of intelligence are already operative as thought implicit within intelligence. Imagination in general determines images. As a formal activity, the reproduction of images occurs "voluntarily" (EG § 455, Zusätz); it does not require the aid of an immediate intuition to effect this process as in the case of recollection which is dependent upon the presence of an intuition. Distinguished from recollection, intelligence is now "self-activating."
In the stream of consciousness, images saturate our mind from many directions, triggering associations that may be trivial or imbued with residual meaning. We are not consciously constructing, determining, or willing the spate of images, they are merely presented in the theater of the mind as though they were being generated by a film projector. But associative imagination involves interrelating images and is as such a higher activity of intelligence that goes beyond their mere reproduction to actually positing them and relating images to one another. The ego slips in and out of consciousness; when attention wanes it withdraws back into its interior as if it were lost in its own muse, only to resurface in another form. From this account, it must allot certain portions of its presence and force to multiple domains within psychic reality, and through splitting and division hover within its bifurcated terrains while maintaining its dual existence through its multiple organizations and intellectual processes.
Fantasy is the third movement of imagination where the ego fully manipulates its representations and images, drawing lines of interconnection where particulars are subsumed under universals and given the richer elaboration of symbols and signs which effect the ego's transition to memory, the third stage of presentation. Fantasy is a subjective bond the ego has with its contents, and with the introduction of symbolization, allegory, and sign, imagination gains increased synthetic mastery over it presentations that are imbued with "reason." Fantasy becomes a central operation in unconscious production, a spewing forth of impulses and desires from the wishing well of the abyss. It may be suspended in space and time, conform to the abyss's will through regression or withdrawal irrespective of the ego's counter-intentions, and warp objective reality to the tone of the ego's own subjective caprice. This is why images may be either disturbing or pleasing.
With each new immediate intuition, intelligence moves from unconscious determinateness which transforms intuitions into images, images into representations, representations into associations, and is thus raised to the level of objective existence and self-determining being as sublatedness. We have seen intelligence move from its initial task of internalizing intuitions, to its externalization of the abyss through imagination, to which it takes its next shape as memory, the task of which is to integrate its previous two movements. While intelligence gains greater dynamic unity in verbal, reproductive, and mechanical memory, Hegel sees theoretical spirit through to its end, viz. to thought as understanding, judgement, and formal reason. Thought knows itself, it re-cognizes itself which achieves its fullest logical elaboration as pure thinking: thought thinking about itself and its operations. While these are the greater faculties of spirit, they need not concern us here. We have seen the overwhelming presence and indispensable function of the nocturnal abyss throughout the stage of presentation, the necessary precondition for higher activities of spirit to become manifest. Presentations are fleeting and much of memory fades, but it becomes imprinted within the soul and wells up from imagination. Hegel explains:
The power of memory is replaced by an unchanging tableau of a series of images fixed in the imagination . . . Not only is spirit put to the torment of being pestered with a deranged subject matter, but whatever is learnt by rote in this manner is as a matter of course soon forgotten again. . . . What is mnemonically imprinted is as it were read off from the tableau of the imagination . . . and so really brought forth from within, rehearsed from the deep abyss of the ego" (EG § 462).
As Hegel reminds us once again, intelligence is unconsciously constituted as ego. There can be no doubt about the importance of imagination and its relation to the abyss; spirit is as much dependent on imagination--especially fantasy--as it is on reason. In fact, their relationship is so intimate that it leads Hegel to say, even with stipulations, that "phantasy is reason" (EG § 457).
Comparisons with Psychoanalysis
Hegel's treatment of the unconscious processes of theoretical spirit brings us in closer dialogue with Freud. Like Hegel, Freud was concerned about offering an integrative and coherent theory of Geist; what Hegel called subjective spirit, Freud called soul (Seele). Led astray by inaccurate translations of the German term Seele rendered as "mental apparatus," "mental organization" or "mind" in English, Freud's humanistic commitments are often eclipsed by a cold and detached scientific lexicon thus misrepresenting his original text.(9) Like Hegel in his attempt to capture all the complex psychological processes of spirit, Freud spoke of the "structure of the soul" (die Struktur des Seele) and "the organization of the soul" (die seelische Organisation). For example, in New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis,(10) Freud specifically refers to the three psychic agencies and their structural relations as "the three provinces of the apparatus of the soul" (die drei Provinzen des seelischen Apparatus), not "the three provinces of the mental apparatus" (SE, 22, p. 72). In fact, Freud saw psychoanalysis as "the science of the life of the soul" (die Wissenschaft vom Seelenleben) (SE, 22, p. 6) and regarded the soul as synonymous with the Greek word psyche--not merely mind or intellect which he situated with the ego, but the unification of the temporal processes of passion or desire (eros), morality (ethos) and reason or mind (nous). Although more robust and intricately defined, Freud's notion of the soul mirrors the Platonic notion(11) with one exceptionally important added feature--the unconscious. It may be said that Hegel offers his own version of the psyche as spirit, whereas Freud used the term "soul" to describe the complex structures and operations that correspond to spirit's activity.
Built on the unconscious features of the soul, Hegel's theory of spirit shows remarkable similarity with Freud's tripartite structural model of the mind. While I do not intend to advance the thesis that Hegel's theory of spirit or his account of the abyss and its unconscious operations is identical with Freud's model, there are some striking resemblances between ego development, psychic topography, and the role of negativity in their respective systems.
Freud's theories of human nature and most importantly his theory of mind underwent many significant transformations throughout his lifetime. As he moved away from his depth psychology introduced in The Interpretation of Dreams toward his metapsychology, the centrality of the ego became the cornerstone for understanding the complexities of the self and abnormal development. The centrality of the ego marks the turning point in Freud's transformation period leading to the introduction of the death drive and his final paradigm regarding the structures and functional operations of the psyche. In fact, Freud's conception of the ego underwent more theoretical adjustments than any other construct. By the time Freud published The Ego and the Id, his original topographic model became subsumed within a new functional-tripartite framework emphasizing the dynamic interplay between passion, rationality, and moral judgment.
Freud's eventual inclusion of the ego within the unconscious prompted his abandonment of the reference to the system Ucs.' and instead replaced it with reference to the it. Adopted from Nietzsche's usage and following the suggestion of Georg Groddeck, a German physician who was attracted to Freud's ideas, the it was designated as that region of the mind which is completely unknowable in itself and alienated from the ego (SE, 19, p. 23; 22, p. 72). The German word 'Es' which is the ordinary word for 'it' was rendered id in English, an invented term. I will retain the use of id simply for conventional purposes, but the notion of a foreign entity residing within the night of the mind has particular significance for addressing the question of alienation. In New Introductory Lectures, Freud himself says: "This impersonal pronoun seems particularly well suited for expressing the main characteristic of this province of the mind--the fact of its being alien to the ego" (SE, 22, p. 72). As we have seen, Hegel situates the ego within the unconscious soul and conscious spirit, thus sharing a common theoretical bond with Freud, but concerning the abyss being alienated from the ego, Hegel says nothing. Presumably it is, for each new appearance of spirit is the alienation of its prior shape. But as each new shape, its old form is preserved within it. However, there are times when Hegel clearly equates the abyss with the ego--he speaks of "the deep abyss of the ego"(EG § 462). Perhaps it is fair to say that the abyss is only alienated from its moments, for it is the primordial ground of spirit, a home that spirit retreats to in both the normal operations of thought and intelligence and in the terrors of the sick soul.(12)
The id is so impersonal and foreign that it does not know and it does not say no, it knows no negation--is timeless--a purely alienated void. Only the ego may have these mediatory privileges. "It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality . . . a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations" (SE, 22, p. 73). Desire is unbounded, an unbridled current--it gushes. The id simply wants to discharge. This assessment may not sit well with Hegel, but since he did not formally attend to this matter in a systematic treatment of the abyss, we are left only to speculate about its proper place and role in the anatomy of spirit. The abyss may in fact be the reservoir of the repressed and the wishing-well in which all forms of passions and impulses and untamed desires spring forth without mediation, only to be apprehended and mediated by the ego. But it is certainly true that the unconscious ego also resides in the abyss and brings images and content from its bowels to the light of consciousness, because if the ego was completely alienated from the abyss, nothing would shine forth into conscious awareness. Here there seems to be a merger of the ego and the abyss. And for Freud: "The ego is not sharply separated from the id; its lower portion merges into it" (SE, 19, p. 24). For Hegel, perhaps it is more accurate to think of the ego and its abyss--its own alienated self, rather than viewing the ego and the abyss as two distinct entities.
Freud's final model of the mind is as follows: (1) The id (Es) is that which can never be known directly and contains the primal libidinal and destructive drives and passions solely belonging to the unconscious under the influence of primary process mentation and the pleasure-principle. It contains all that is inherited at birth and that which is constitutionally inlaid, as well as wishful impulses, and the residue of repressed content (SE, 19, p. 24; 22, pp. 74-75; 23, p. 145); (2) The ego (Ich) is the central organizing feature of the mind standing in relation to sensuous consciousness and perception as well as having transcendental access to preconsciousness and the unconscious proper. With its task of self-preservation, the ego serves as mediator, controls motility, is a protective or defensive shield against internal and external stimuli, and is a censor for id impulses and the conscious self, bringing the reality-principle and secondary process thinking to bear upon the drives (SE, 19, p. 25; 22, pp. 75-77; 23, pp. 145-146); and (3) The superego (ÜberIch) is an assignment or modification of the ego as the critical faculty and harbinger of ideals. As the product of identification, the superego also has the capacity to reside in all three domains of psychic topography under the direction of the ego representing moral conscience, punitive judgment, guilt, and shame (SE, 19, pp. 28-39; 22, pp. 60-69; 23, p. 146).
Freud's trinity of the id, ego, and superego is a fundamental and familiar pillar of psychoanalytic lore. Freud frequently refers to them as psychical "agencies," "provinces," "regions," "realms," "instances," "systems," and "powers." (SE, 5, p. 537; 22, p. 72; 23, p. 146). Taken together, these agencies comprise the necessary features of personality as the ontological fabric of mind. It is important to note that these provinces or agencies are frequently interpreted as three (ontologically) distinct psychical agents, hence separate entities, when they are in fact epigenetic achievements that derive from the same monistic ontology. While Freud himself was ambiguous through much of his early writings with regards to psychic ontology, in his mature theory he is, like Hegel, very clear that the ego develops out of its natural immediacy. "The ego is first and foremost a bodily ego; it is not merely a surface entity, but is itself the projection of a surface" (SE, 19, p.26). In Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety, Freud (1926) states:
We were justified, I think, in dividing the ego from the id, for there are certain considerations which necessitate that step. On the other hand the ego is identical with the id, and is merely a specially differentiated part of it. If we think of this part by itself in contradistinction to the whole, or if a real split has occurred between the two, the weakness of the ego becomes apparent. But if the ego remains bound up with the id and indistinguishable from it, then it displays its strength. The same is true of the relation between the ego and the super-ego. In many situations the two are merged; and as a rule we can only distinguish one from the other when there is a tension or conflict between them. . . . [T]he ego is an organization and the id is not. The ego is, indeed, the organized portion of the id (SE, 20, p. 97, italics added).
Freud clearly explains that the ego is a modally differentiated aspect of the id that becomes the mental organization of its prior shape--in Hegel's terms, its sublated identity. Elsewhere he says: "the ego is that portion of the id that was modified . . . tak[ing] on the task of representing the external world to the id" (SE, 22, p. 75). This may be said to correspond to Hegel's ego of consciousness, where the material of sensuous perception is mediated, stored, and retrieved from the inner mine.
The ego's main feature is that it is a mediatory synthesizing agent: "what distinguishes the ego from the id quite especially is a tendency to synthesis in its contents, to a combination and unification in its mental processes." (SE, 22, p. 76, italics added). Both Hegel and Freud adhere to a developmental ontology: the mind acquires increased dynamic complexity and organization as modally differentiated shapes of earlier processes assume new forms. Freud's recognition that organized psychic processes develop from unorganized hence undifferentiated natural determinations insulates him from criticism that his theory of mind purports three ontologically distinct agents that participate in mutual causal relations. Because the trinity of the three provinces are modally differentiated forms or shapes of its original undifferentiated being, each participates in the same essence and thus none is an independent nominal agent. Rather they are interdependent forces that appear as separate entities, when they in fact together form the unification of the dynamic temporal processes that govern mental life.
While Freud's theoretical model was crafted and repeatedly recast based on clinical case evidence falling under the constraint of empirical observation, his theory of mind also has a logical coherency that may in part be compared to Hegel's developmental treatment of the soul. Freud shows, like Hegel, that the ego must develop out of its natural corporiety, thus it undergoes differentiation and modification. The move from the unorganized and undifferentiated immediacy of the id to the organized and differentiated mediacy of the ego and then the superego shows the logical transition in the ego's increased capacities as determinate freedom and negation. As Hegel was discontent with the limitedness of the soul's materiality, Freud "remain[s] on psychological ground" (SE, 5, p. 536), thus making several attempts to distance himself from earlier materialist commitments advanced in the unofficial and unpublished Project for a Scientific Psychology (SE, 1, p. 295). By 1900 he had officially abandoned his materialism for a psychological corpus and was careful not to conceive of the mind in the reductionist terms of anatomy, chemistry, or physiology (SE, 15, pp. 20-21).(13) Psychoanalysis was to be the investigation of "psychical reality" (SE, 5, p. 620), a point Hegel would applaud as a more proper estimate of Geist.
To what degree is all that which corresponds in Hegel to Freud's id merely alienated forms of unconscious spirit, therefore disassociated ego states cast into the shaft of the soul? What theoretical relation does the abyss have toward the id? It would appear that the two are identical: the repressed most certainly, as well as the stockpile of life experiences, images, presentations, and memories that survive decay, but also conflicted psychic states, especially those belonging to the tormented soul. But whether we may attribute an impersonal agency to the abyss that remains alienated from spirit, Hegel would probably say no. Following the logic of the dialectic, the abyss must be subsumed within spirit, it devolves into absolute knowing. Yet Freud always maintained an epistemological boundary surrounding the nature of absolute knowledge claims. In An Outline of Psycho-Analysis, one of his final publications, he avouched the limitations to the powers of human consciousness with elegant simplicity: "Reality will always remain 'unknowable'" (SE, 23, p. 196). This could have been Kant speaking.(14)
Hegel would have frowned upon this: the unconscious is known by virtue of the fact that we posit it. Freud repeatedly informs us of the unknowability of the unconscious (SE, 19, p. 23; 23, pp. 144-145) which he maintained from the start: "The unconscious is the true psychical reality; in its innermost nature it is as much unknown to us as the reality of the external world" (SE, 5, p. 613). Yet what we know is that it appears and also presumably how it appears, which is on common ground with Hegel. The unconscious abyss--the soul--appears as ego, to which Freud's famous epigram echoes: "Where id was, there ego shall be."(SE, 22, p. 80). A more appropriate translation of Freud's Wo Es war, soll Ich werden is "Where it was, there I shall become." Here Freud points to the significance of the transformation of the relation the ego has with its instinctual life,(15) a mediated differentiation that restructures intrapsychic relations--the task of psychoanalytic treatment itself. This process of the coming to presence of the I constitutes the self-liberating dynamic of the mind. Like Hegel who describes spirit as the self-articulated determinant freedom over its natural immediacy, the task of ego development for Freud is to achieve freedom over the alien forces harbored within its instinctual nature.
While Hegel saw the soul as being the most elementary aspect of spirit, for him the soul always remains that deeply hidden dimension of our common humanity--"the deep abyss," what Freud thought was largely unconscious. It is important to note that both Hegel and Freud, while offering differing accounts, provide closely similar conceptualizations of the role of the unconscious in mental life and the structures and processes of human subjectivity. It is not my intention to provide an exclusive comparison between Hegel's psychological account of theoretical spirit and Freud's treatment of the soul, but there are some further remarkable resemblances between Freud's understanding of perceptual processes and Hegel's description of presentation.
In Chapter VII of The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud offers his first formalized theory of the organization of the soul and its conscious-unconscious relations. Referring to consciousness and the unconscious as two distinct "instances" (Instanzen) or "systems," he specifies that they need not stand in such a relationship to one another as one would expect if they were arranged in some spatial order. But "the excitation passes through the systems in a particular temporal sequence" (SE, 5, p. 537). Thus, the soul has a "sense or direction" in that all "psychical activity starts from stimuli (whether internal or external) and ends in innervations" or a process tended toward discharge (SE, 5, p. 537). For Freud, the soul is an apparatus comprised of two poles, with sensory capacities on one end and motor activity on the other. As sensations and perceptions enter the systems, they impinge upon the psychical apparatus which leaves a memory trace before traveling to the motor end which activates physical activity. "Psychical processes advance in general from the perceptual end to the motor end" in which "a trace is left in our psychical apparatus of the perceptions which impinge upon it" (SE, 5, pp. 537-538). This memory trace, however, does not take place at the perceptual end of the system, but rather behind the back of immediate consciousness where "a second system transforms the momentary excitations of the first system into permanent traces" (SE, 5, p. 538).
We may already observe a general similarity between Hegel's account of intuition as the internalization of sensations and Freud's account of the perceptual system. While Hegel's elaboration of the intuitive functions of sensation are more meticulously defined than Freud's, they may both be said to account for the same process, namely internalization. We have already determined for Freud, as well as for Hegel, that perceptual consciousness is a phenomenon that arises within the ego (SE, 22, p. 75), consciousness being the manifestation of the unconscious soul. In his mature theory of mind, Freud states: "We have said that consciousness is the surface of the apparatus of the soul [des seelischen Apparatus]; that is, we have ascribed it as a function to a system which is spatially the first one reached from the external world" (SE, 19, p. 19). Consciousness for him is a developmental achievement with sensory-perceptual capacities as its definitive term. Within this context, both Freud and Hegel are realists, that is, they presume the existence of the external world. For Hegel, intuition is the direct apprehension of objects; for Freud, objects of perception impinge upon consciousness, the conditions for which arise within the ego. Note here that Freud does not subscribe to a Lockean model of the universe where active forces impinge on a passive nous, but rather thinks that a priori organizations make perception possible, a theoretical position that is consistent with Hegel.
Recall that with the sensation of immediate material, feeling is the initial form spirit assumes which is the unity of the soul and consciousness. Freud further concurs with Hegel on this point: "All perceptions which are received from without (sense-perceptions) and from within--what we call sensations and feelings--are Cs. from the start" (SE, 19, p. 19). Hegel first situates feeling within the anthropological soul which is reconstituted again in sensation. Freud also came to recognize "unconscious feelings" (SE, 19, p. 22) which may further be brought to consciousness. For Hegel, intuitions must be incorporated, organized as representations through imagination, recorded in memory, and externalized or re-cognized in consciousness as unconscious processes generate synthetic associations that are properly comprehended. Freud acknowledges a similar process:
Our perceptions are linked with one another in our memory--first and foremost according to simultaneity of occurrence. We speak of this fact as 'association'. . . We must therefore assume the basis of association lies in the mnemic systems (SE, 5, p. 539).
For Freud and Hegel, the perceptual system has no capacity for memory and it is only through the mediation of another system (imagination) that associative traces are retained. While Freud does not speak of imagination, association is the result of excitations being transmitted from certain mnemonic points to others that open facilitating pathways toward more unconscious processes. "It would of course be a waste of time to try to put the psychical significance of a system of this kind into words. Its character would lie in the intimate details of its relations to the different elements of the raw material of memory" (SE, 5, p. 539). Freud uses association in terms of denoting the relations between various images and memory traces that may be further imbued with word-presentations, symbols, signs, and ideational and emotive derivatives such as wishes. While the perceptual system is without memory capacities, thus freeing sensuous consciousness to attend to the multitude of sensory qualities, the associative elements are processed, retained--leaving "a variety of permanent records," and are "in themselves unconscious." While they can be made conscious, "there can be no doubt that they can produce all their effects while in an unconscious condition" (SE, 5, p. 539).
Hegel and Freud both underscore the mediating activities of the unconscious underlying the encoding processes of sensations, associations, and memory. In his early depth psychology Freud simply refers to this activity within the system Ucs.; Hegel on the other hand, locates this activity within imagination, thus unconsciously producing "all their effects." Hegel tells us: "What is mnemonically imprinted is . . . read off from the tableau of the imagination . . . [and] brought forth from within, rehearsed from the deep abyss of the ego" (EG § 462). For Hegel, the actual ego--individuated soul--is the birthplace of consciousness endowed with the capacities for receiving sensations and perceptions. Perceptual consciousness for Freud is also attributed to the ego's activities by its relation to the system Pcpt.-Cs. (sense-perception) which he tells us is "the outermost superficial portion of the apparatus of the soul" (SE, 22, p. 75). This position may be compared to Hegel's on two accounts: first, the actual ego is an individuated or modified portion of the soul, and second, sense perception is an elementary hence superficial aspect of spirit's mental structure. Sense perception is directed toward the external world, perception arising within the ego itself. As we addressed earlier, the ego is the modified portion of the id adapted to receive stimuli as well as to defend against stimuli. "The relation to the external world has become the decisive factor for the ego; it has taken on the task of representing the external world to the id" (SE, 22, p. 75). Here again we may see two parallel streams of thought overlap with Hegel's conception of the abyss. First, the ego emerges out of the abyss (id) into consciousness while a portion of it remains buried within the underworld; and second, the liberated ego represents external images, impressions, and experiences within its deep inwardness, therefore it relates externality to its own internality.
Throughout this article we have examined the range and intelligence of the unconscious abyss as well as its relation to ego development, consciousness, and psychological spirit. From its natural determinacy the soul awakens as a steady ego progression breaching into consciousness and thus raising its intelligence through intuition, presentation, and thought. Unconscious spirit constitutes the burgeoning life of the ego which severs its domains through its puncturing into consciousness leaving an aperture in the inner vortex of the soul. As a steady ego expansion, spirit attains two worlds within one: consciousness is the decisive point of psychic fracture--the splitting of psychic topography. Spirit now attains for itself two mediums and two realms of mental life, sensuous and perceptual consciousness mediated by the ego's relation to the external world, and the inwardizing of the abyss mediated by the unconscious ego's relation to its prehistory and the fecundity of images, linguistic processes, and sensory contents derived from its new found existence outside of its interior. The ego's relation to the abyss is a relation to its own self and that psychic space within itself. What appears foreign to itself is what is estranged from itself: it can be alienated and unrecognizable--the it--or it can be intimate and personal, but in any event it is still "mine."
When the boundaries between the inner and the outer dissipate, the ego returns home, back into its original unity. In imagination--fantasy--the thin line between the inner and the outer begins to fade: the I of the abyss is the silent dialogue the soul has with itself. The same is true for the dreaming soul, asleep within its original lost unity, recovered, reconstituted--even only for a moment--a confluence between the inner and outer is subsumed within the nether-regions of the unconscious. In imagination--the artist of the dream--there is a contraction of the ego back into its interior bringing the wealth of its experiences to bear upon the soul. And for Hegel,
the human soul in the state of dreaming is not merely filled with single affections, . . . it attains to a profound and powerful feeling of the entirety of its individual nature, of the complete compass of its past, present and future, and that it is precisely on account of this sensing of the individual totality that mention has to be made of dreaming when the self-awareness of the soul is being considered (EG § 405, Zusätz).
The dreaming soul knows its totality, the ego is reunited with itself and recovered from its external breach. And like Freud who also tells us, "the dream is a result of the activity of our own soul" (der Traum ein Ergebnis unserer eigenen Seelentätigkeit ist), Hegel shows that in dreaming we possess the "complete compass" of our being, the deep apprehension and feeling of our "entirety." It is in the centers of our imagination where the union between the abyss and the ego is effected, and this imagination is at once both the synthesizing agency behind the scenes of consciousness and the amplitude of the inner soul.
Hegel's philosophy of subjective spirit adds to our understanding of psychic reality. While Freud contends that the ego develops out of the id as a differentiated and modified process, Hegel articulates how this process is carried out. He further shows how the abyss becomes a key feature in the organization of psychic economy. Hegel's psychodynamic theory of the unconscious soul not only adds to our understanding of the human mind, but the role and function of the abyss adds to our understanding of Hegel. Psychoanalysis is in a fortuitous position to inherit the wisdom of the dialectic, thereby extending logical credibility to a discipline claiming the status of empirical science. With mutual recognition, both disciplines may enjoy adventures of change that advance our appreciation of the underworld; for each discipline--like psychic reality itself--is a process of becoming.
1. From the Encyclopaedia, M.J. Petry (Ed.), outlines Hegel's Philosophy of Spirit in Hegel's Philosophy of Subjective Spirit, Vol.1: Introductions; Vol.2: Anthropology; and Vol.3: Phenomenology and Psychology, (Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1978). Petry's edition provides a photographic reproduction of Hegel's original text published in 1830 along with the Zusätze added by Boumann when the material was republished in 1845. Petry's edition also indicates variations between the 1927 and 1830 editions of the Encyclopaedia. His edition has several decisive advantages over A.V. Miller's edition of the Philosophie des Geistes translated as the Philosophy of Mind. In addition to having the original German text and his notations of the variations between the 1827 and 1830 editions, Petry also provides notes from the Griesheim and Kehler manuscripts. He further provides an accurate translation of the word "unconscious" (bewutlos) whereas Miller refers to the "subconscious." For these reasons Petry's edition is a superior text to the Miller translation. For comparison, I have also examined Hegel's 1827-28 lectures on the Philosophy of Spirit: Vorlesungen über die Philosophie des Geistes (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1994). I have mainly relied on Petry's translation but provide my own in places that warrant changes. Hereafter, references to the Philosophy of Spirit (Die Philosophie des Geistes), which is the third part of Hegel's Enzyklopädia, will refer to EG followed by the section number. References to the Zusätze are identified as such.
2. See Petry's discussion, Vol.3, p. 405, note 153, 33.
3. Cf. Eric von der Luft's "Comment," in History and System: Hegel's Philosophy of History, ed. Robert L. Perkins, (Albany: SUNY, 1994); David Walsh's, "The Historical Dialectic of Spirit: Jocob Boehme's Influence on Hegel," in Perkins' History and System; Edward Allen Beach, The Potencies of God(s): Schelling's Philosophy of Mythology, (Albany: SUNY, 1994).
4. All references to the Phenomenology, trans. A.V. Miller (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977),will refer to PS followed by the section number.
5. Science of Logic, trans. A.V. Miller (London: George Allen & Unwin LTD, 1812/1969), p. 36. Hereafter, all references to the Science of Logic will refer to SL followed by the page number.
6. For a full account of the role of the unconscious in Hegel's theory of subjective spirit, see my article, "Hegel on the Unconscious Abyss: Implications for Psychoanalysis." The Owl of Minerva, 1996, 28 (1), 59-75.
7. See John Burbidge's detailed commentary on Hegel's psychology of theoretical spirit in, On Hegel's Logic (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1981), pp. 7-21.
8. Ibid, p. 12.
9. Bruno Bettelheim points this out with precision in Freud and Man's Soul (New York: Vintage Books, 1982), pp. 70-78.
10. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, 24 Vols., trans. James Strachey. (London: Hogarth Press, 1886-1940). All references to the Standard Edition will refer to SE followed by the volume and page number. I have generally relied on Strachey's translation but provide my own in places that warrant changes.
11. Compare from Plato's Republic: ". . . in the soul whereby it reckons and reasons the rational, and that with which it loves, hungers, thirsts, and feels the flutter and titillation of other desires, the irrational and appetitive--companion of various repletions and pleasures" (4: 439d; also see Laws, ib. 9: 863b sq.; ib. 5:727c). Plato also ascribes to the soul the cause of moral qualities (Laws, 10: 896d), ends and virtues (Republic, ib. I: 353d sq.), and the influence of character (Laws, 10: 904c sq.), as well as mental sickness (Gorgias, 479b). But perhaps the best allusion to Plato's notion of the soul by Freud is his analogy of the ego and the id as a rider on horseback (SE, 19, p. 25), whereas Plato refers to the soul as a charioteer with a pair of steeds (Phaedrus, 246 sq.). Cf. The Collected Dialogues of Plato, eds. Edith Hamilton & Huntington Cairns. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961).
12. Hegel offers a cursory description of thought disorder and insanity (EG §§ 403-408, especially see the Zusätze), however, a critical discussion of his contributions is beyond the scope of this immediate project. For a more detailed analysis of Hegel's theory of abnormal psychology, see Berthold-Bond's, Hegel's Theory of Madness (Albany: SUNY Press, 1995).
13. At one stage in his theoretical development, Freud thought that perhaps one day the mind could be explained in quantitative, neurological-physiological terms. Freud's materialism and scientific realism is reinforced when he addresses the question of "quantity" as the ultimate substance of the world. Freud's quantitative analyses of the mind permeates his early metapsychology which he struggles to differentiate from qualitative accounts. See Freud, "Hysteria" and "Hystero-Epilepsy," SE, 1888, 1, pp. 39-59; "Some Points for a Comparative Study of Organic and Hysterical Motor Paralyses," SE, 1893, 1, pp. 160-172; Project for a Scientific Psychology, SE, 1895, 1, pp. 305-306/307-311; and Volney Gay's commentary in, Freud on Sublimation: Reconsiderations (Albany: SUNY Press, 1992), pp. 71-74. But Freud abandoned this line of thinking and all attempts to characterize the mind in a reductive manner were aborted. Freud would want to claim that while biology, chemistry, neurology, or physiology is a necessary condition, it could never be a sufficient condition for explaining the mind and human nature.
14. Supported by passages in the early part of the first Critique, I am interpreting Kant here as a critical realist, who presumed the existence of objects behind their appearances but thus are nevertheless epistemologically inaccessible to the faculties of pure reason. A competing view is that Kant thought reality was knowable and the Ding-an-sich was not real, which he calls an empty concept in the section on phenomena and noumena. The problem Kant faces is that he can't commit to a knowledge claim about the thing-in-itself such that it is possible, actual, or necessary because those are categories which would convert it into an object for the understanding. Furthermore, reality claims conform to empirical consciousness and the thing-in-itself cannot be perceived.
15. See Jonathan Lear's discussion, Love and Its Place in Nature (New York: Noonday Press, 1990), pp. 168-169.