Toward Process Psychology
Mills, Jon (2000). Dialectical Psychoanalysis: Toward Process Psychology. Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 23(3), 20-54.
While claiming allegiance to empirical science, psychoanalysis can further profit from philosophical fortification. Largely unknown to psychoanalytic discourse, Hegel's process philosophy has direct applications for advancing contemporary psychoanalytic thought. Through a proper appreciation of his dialectical method, Hegel's philosophy enriches current theoretical innovations and adds to our understanding of psychic reality. Throughout this project, I will outline Hegel's logic of the dialectic and show its intimate relationship to psychoanalytic inquiry. Hegel's dialectic gains descriptive and explanatory power in articulating the dynamic activities of mind as well as tracing the historical development of psychoanalysis itself. With the adoption of process psychology, dialectical psychoanalysis may offer future advances in psychoanalytic theory, clinical investigation, and applied technique.
The field of psychoanalysis has gone through many theoretical evolutions since the time of Freud, from drive theory to our current preoccupation with intersubjectivity. As psychoanalysis flirts with the arrival of postmodernism, new vistas emerge that bring psychoanalysis into dialogue with philosophy. Largely overlooked for his strong commitment to rationalism, the philosophy of G.W.F. Hegel remains relatively unknown to psychoanalytic discourse. Surprisingly, Hegel was one of the first philosophers to provide a reasonably well articulated theory of the unconscious mind and show how it is responsible for both mental health and disease (Mills, 1996). In fact, his theory of the unconscious in multiple and remarkable ways parallels several pivotal ideas established by Freud almost a century later, a discovery that is of value to psychoanalysis today.
What is central to Hegel's overall philosophy is the notion of process, a thesis which has direct implications for understanding the structure and functional operations of the psyche. Throughout this article, it is my intention to introduce Hegel's logic of the dialectic and show how it has promising new appeal for advancing psychoanalytic doctrine. One does not have to espouse Hegel's entire philosophical system, which is neither necessary nor desirable, in order to appreciate the dialectic and its application to psychoanalysis and contemporary thought. The adoption of his dialectical method may compliment or augment existing theoretical innovations that enrich our understanding of mind and human nature. More auspiciously, a proper appreciation of Hegel's dialectic may pave the way toward a new movement within psychoanalysis today: namely, that of process psychology, or what we may call dialectical psychoanalysis. Juxtaposed to current paradigms, Hegel's dialectic has profound significance for the future of psychoanalytic inquiry.
Hegel's Dialectical Method
Although Hegel is one of the most prodigious and influential thinkers in the history of philosophy, his dialectical method remains one of his least well understood philosophical contributions. While philosophers have made scores of commentaries and interpretations of Hegel's dialectic (Beiser, 1993; Hibben, 1984; McTaggart, 1964), some interpreters have gone so far as to deny Hegel's method (see Solomon, 1983), or else they have rendered it opaque, simplistic, and imprecise (Forster, 1993). Hegel's dialectical method governs all three dimensions of his overall philosophical system, namely, the Logic, the Philosophy of Spirit, as well as the Phenomenology, and the Philosophy of Nature. The dialectic serves as the quintessential method not only for explicating the fundamental operations of mind, but also for expounding the structure of reality.
Hegel's philosophy of mind or spirit (Geist) rests on a proper understanding of the ontology of the dialectic. Hegel refers to the unrest of Aufhebung--customarily translated as 'sublation,' a dialectical process entering into opposition within its own determinations and thus raising this opposition to a higher unity continuously annulled, preserved, and transmuted. Hegel's use of Aufhebung, a term he borrowed from Schiller but also an ordinary German word, is to be distinguished from its purely negative function whereby there is a complete canceling or drowning of the lower relation in the higher, to also encompass a preservative aspect. Therefore, the term aufheben has a threefold meaning: (1) to suspend or cancel, (2) to surpass or transcend, and (3) to preserve. In the Encylopaedia Logic,(1) Hegel (1817) makes this clear: "On the one hand, we understand it to mean 'clear away' or 'cancel,' and in that sense we say that a law or regulation is canceled (aufgehoben). But the word also means 'to preserve.'" (EL § 96, Zusätz).
Unlike Fichte's (1794) meaning of the verb aufheben, defined as: to eliminate, annihilate, abolish, or destroy, Hegel's designation signifies a threefold activity by which mental operations at once cancel or annul opposition, preserve or retain it, and surpass or elevate its previous shape to a higher structure. This process of the dialectic underlies all operations of mind and is seen as the thrust behind world history and culture. It may be said that the dialectic is the essence of psychic life, for if it were to be removed, consciousness and unconscious structure would evaporate.
Aufhebung is itself a contradiction; the word contradicts itself. Thought as a contradiction is constituted in and through bifurcation, a rigid opposition as antithesis. Thus, as a process, reason cancels the rigid opposition, surpasses the opposition by transcending or moving beyond it in a higher unity, and simultaneously preserving the opposition in the higher unity rather than simply dissolving it. The preservation is a validating function under which opposition is subsumed within a new shape of consciousness. Reason does not merely set up over and against these antitheses; it does not only set up a higher unity but also reasons a unity precisely through these opposites. Thus, the dialectic has a negative and a positive side. This is echoed in Hegel's (1812) Science of Logic:
"To sublate" has a twofold meaning in the language: on the one hand it means to preserve, to maintain, and equally it also means to cause to cease, to put an end to. Even "to preserve" includes a negative element, namely, that something is removed from its immediacy and so from an existence which is open to external influences, in order to preserve it. Thus what is sublated is at the same time preserved; it has only lost its immediacy but is not on that account annihilated (p. 107).
When psychoanalysis refers to dialectics, it often uses Fichte's (1794) threefold movement of thought in the form of thetic, analytic or antithetic, and synthetic judgments giving rise to the popularized (if not bastardized) phrase: thesis-antithesis-synthesis(2) --a process normally and inaccurately attributed to Hegel;(3) or it describes unresolvable contradictions or mutual oppositions that are analogous to Kant's (1781) antinomies or paralogisms of the self.(4) It is important to note that Hegel's dialectic is not the same as Kant's, who takes contradiction and conflict as signs of the breakdown of reason, nor is it Fichte's, who does not explicate the preservative function of the lower relation remaining embedded in the higher. Furthermore, when psychoanalysts and social scientists apply something like the Fichtean dialectic to their respective disciplines, the details of this process are omitted. The presumptive conclusion is that a synthesis cancels the previous moments and initiates a new moment that is once again opposed and reorganized. But the synthesis does not mean that all previous elements are preserved, or that psychic structure is elevated. In fact, this form of dialectic may lead to an infinite repetition of contradictions and conflict that meets with no resolve.
Hegel's dialectic essentially describes the process by which a mediated dynamic begets a new immediate. This process not only informs the basic structure of his Logic which may further be attributed to the general principle of Aufhebung, but this process also provides the logical basis to account for the role of negativity within a progressive unitary drive. The process by which mediation collapses into a new immediate provides us with the logical model for understanding the dynamics of the mind. An architectonic process, spirit invigorates itself and breaths its own life as a self-determining generative activity that builds upon its successive phases and layers which form its appearances. Spirit educates itself as it passes through its various dialectical configurations ascending toward higher shapes of self-conscious awareness. What spirit takes to be truth in its earlier forms is realized to be merely a moment. It is not until the stage of Absolute Knowing as conceiving or conceptual understanding that spirit finally integrates its previous movements into a synthetic unity as a dynamic self-articulated complex whole.
The Dialectical Structure of Mind
It is beyond the scope of this immediate project to give a comprehensive overview of Hegel's philosophy of mind; rather I will provide a terse introduction that is germane to our discussion at hand. Hegel's Philosophy of Geist is presented in the third division of the Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences,(5) which is further subdivided into three sections: namely, Anthropology, Phenomenology, and Psychology. Each subdivision is concerned with explicating a specific feature and function of the mind. Because Hegel's dialectical method is suffused throughout every aspect of his philosophy--the dialectic being the force and substance of spirit, each domain of psychic life may only be properly understood in relation to the whole. For our purposes, however, it becomes important to see how the epigenesis of the mind proceeds from its most primordial unconscious configurations to the higher order functions of rational self-conscious understanding. Hegel's treatise on mind in many remarkable ways parallels the psychoanalytic account of psychic development.
As the general object of anthropology, Hegel is first concerned with the universal significance of the soul (Seele). Here, the role of the unconscious in Hegel's conceptualization of the mind is an integral aspect to his philosophy. In fact, the higher forms of mental life emanate from and are the phenomenological development of an original unconscious ground. For Hegel, as too for psychoanalysis, the unconscious is the foundation of the soul which is the foundation of consciousness and self-conscious Geist. In the Anthropology, Hegel painstakingly delineates how the soul dialectically evolves from an original unconscious unity. Through a series of internal mediated dynamics beginning as natural soul (EG § 391), spirit "awakens" as a sentient feeling subject (EG § 403) which further becomes actual (EG § 411) as the ego of consciousness, the initial subject matter of the Phenomenology of Spirit.(6) The unconscious soul undergoes development through its own dialectical divisions, projections, and reconstitutions as the mediated process of sublation, entering into opposition with its natural corporeality and elevating its unconscious structure to the form of ego. Thus ego development is constituted through unconscious process.
Hegel refers to the unconscious as a nocturnal "abyss" (Abgrund) or "mine" (Schacht) "within which a world of infinitely numerous images and presentations is preserved without being in consciousness" (EG § 453). The abyss is 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."(7) Thus the unconscious becomes the indispensable psychic foundation of mind.(8) 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.
The Encyclopaedia Phenomenology presents Hegel's mature theory of consciousness. For Hegel, consciousness (Bewutsein) is distinct from the soul (Seele) and the unconscious (Unbewute), yet consciousness is an outgrowth of the unconscious soul and is hence the soul's appearance as ego (EG § 413). As self-certainty, the ego is an immediate being or subject that must confront its otherness, namely its object. Before the ego encounters the sensuous world, the ego's object is the natural soul itself, what the ego was but no longer is in its presently evolved shape. By confronting the natural soul and denying its suffocating restriction to the corporeal, the ego attains its own independence, no longer belonging to the soul but to itself. Because the ego thinks in a form that is now proper to it, its determinations are no longer of the soul but are determinations of consciousness.
Hegel states that the goal of spirit as consciousness is to raise its self-certainty to truth (EG § 416). Like the soul's progressive dialectical unfolding, this requires spirit to advance through a series of mediated shapes beginning with (a) consciousness as such, where sense, perception, and understanding have a general external object, then (b) self-consciousness, where desire, self-recognition, and universal self-consciousness have the ego as its general object, culminating in (c) reason as the unity of consciousness and self-consciousness determined in and for itself--the Concept of spirit (EG § 417).
Like the natural soul's initial apprehension of its immediacy as feeling, Hegel consistently views the initiation of consciousness as the manifestation of "the sheer being of [a] thing" (PS § 91) to a subject that only knows its simple and immediate sense-certainty. Consciousness as such is sensuous consciousness of a presence or impression with spatial and temporal singularity, simply the "here and now." But as Hegel continues to describe this process: "Strictly speaking this belongs to intuition" (EG § 418). Here we may see the inextricable interrelatedness between consciousness and the psychological operations of theoretical spirit that preoccupies Hegel's later psychological analysis of the ego. The ego senses that something is external to it by reflecting into itself, thus separating the material from itself and thereby giving it the determination of being.
Hegel sees three primary stages of consciousness: (a) sensuous, (b) perceptive, and (c) understanding, with consciousness itself being the first of three developmental stages of the phenomenological unfolding of spirit resulting in self-consciousness and reason respectively. In immediate sensuousness--the empty or abstract recognition of being, consciousness then proceeds to grasp the essence of the object which it accomplishes through perception. The essence becomes the general object of perceptive consciousness where singularity is referred to universality. There is in fact a multiplicity of relations, reflectional-determinations, and range of objects with their many properties that perceptive consciousness apprehends, discerns, and brings into acuity (EG § 419). Having mediated the immediacy of sense-certainty, sensuous thought-determinations are brought into relation with concrete connections to universals which constitutes "knowledge" (EG § 420). This linking of singulars to universals is what Hegel calls a "mixture" that contains their mutual contradictions (EG § 421). Because singularity at this juncture is fused with universality, contradictions are superceded in understanding consciousness. Understanding consciousness is the unity of the singular and the universal in which the general object is now raised to the appearance of being for the ego. In the next stage, self-consciousness arises where the ego takes itself as its own object, and the process continues until spirit wins its truth in pure reason.
Hegel's exposition of consciousness is essentially an exposition of the functions of the ego which Freud, although conceived differently, also finds as the object of science.(9) Both Hegel and Freud were preoccupied with the science of subjectivity and articulating the universal processes that govern mental functioning. It is for these reasons that psychology becomes an essential ingredient in our appreciation of the abyss and why Hegel needed to address the psychological processes of intelligence within his Philosophy of Spirit.
In the Psychology section of the Encyclopaedia, Hegel gives greater consideration to the cognitive processes of attention, perception, imagination, fantasy, memory, 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 is the primary domain of 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.(10) First, intelligence has an immediate object; second, material is recollected, and third, it is rendered objective.
In Hegel's anthropological, phenomenological, and psychological treatment of spirit, the dialectic becomes the underlying dynamic force behind all activities of mind. Hegel cogently shows how the mind undergoes a formal and logical process of development starting from the most primitive features of unconscious activity which further sublate into higher cognitive organizations. Because the dialectic informs every aspect of mental life--from the normative to the pathological, Hegel underscores the notion that psychic reality is a process of becoming.
The notion of process becomes an essential component of psychodynamic thought. Because the dialectic remains the rudimentary force behind the appearances of mind, Hegel's process philosophy bears direct relation to psychoanalytic psychology. Psychoanalysis may profit from adopting a dialectical approach to theory and method, and with the introduction of process psychology it can move toward actualizing new possibilities.
If Freud Read Hegel
We do not know if Freud actually ever read Hegel. By Jean Hyppolite's (1971) account, "seemingly, Freud had not read Hegel" (p. 57); but we do know that he was at least acquainted with his philosophy. In a paper titled, "The Importance of Philosophy for the Further Development of Psychoanalysis," delivered at the International Congress for Psychoanalysis at Weimar in 1911, James Putnum advocated the need for philosophical integration within psychoanalytic investigation. From Ernest Jones' (1955) biography on Freud, he states:
[Putnum's] burning plea for the introduction of philosophy--but only his own Hegelian brand--into psychoanalysis did not meet with much success. Most of us did not see the necessity of adopting any particular system. Freud was of course very polite in the matter, but remarked to me afterwards: "Putnum's philosophy reminds me of a decorative centerpiece; everyone admires it but no one touches it" (pp. 85-86).
While Freud's dismissal of Hegel is tacit in his remark, it is well documented that Freud sincerely did admire philosophy.(11) After all, he seriously considered becoming a philosopher. In fact, while attending the University of Vienna, Freud and Husserl were in the same class together under the tutelage of Franz Brentano.
Being a studious and passionate reader of the humanities, it is not only possible but probable that he actually did have formal textual exposure to Hegel.(12) In the footsteps of Kant, whom Freud knew well, Hegel was a monolith of German culture. Just as Freud was exposed to Natural Philosophy, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche within the same era, it seems very unlikely that Hegel would have eluded his intellectual attention. The question then becomes: If Freud read Hegel, then why didn't he take him seriously? Perhaps this is obvious: Hegel was a rationalist, a theist, and a systematic metaphysician, while Freud was an empiricist and a vociferous atheist who canonized irrationality as the primary force behind the human mind, not to mention the fact that he loathed metaphysics. But perhaps Freud was not exposed to Hegel's concept of madness (EG §§ 403-408) and the soul (EG §§ 388-412), for if he had been, he could not have ignored Hegel's implicit thesis of the primacy of the unconscious. For Hegel, as for Freud, there is a primordial nature to man that precedes reason, namely, the underworld.
Openings to Mutual Recognition
Philosophy and psychoanalysis have historically embraced ambivalent and at times antagonistic attitudes toward one another. Psychoanalysis has been called "mythology" by Wittgenstein (1958, 1966),(13) and "unscientific" and "incongruent" by MacIntyre (1958) and Grünbaum (1984). James (1890) called the notion of the unconscious "unintelligible."(14) In turn, for Freud (1923), any philosophical position that denies the ontology of the unconscious is simply "absurd" (SE, 19, p. 16). We may say there is a great deal of resistance on both sides to broach an amicable conversation on the origins of the self and the psychic processes that govern mental life and human behavior. Philosophers tend to question the epistemic status of the concept of the unconscious, while psychoanalysts tend to dismiss much of philosophy as intellectual masturbation, a discipline fixed in a rationalized defense. There is a culture of narcissism that has formed around and entrenched each discipline, each claiming to have acquired a truth that the other lacks. Perhaps it is this rigid identification with one's own group narcissism that keeps both fields from acknowledging and appreciating the other more fully. In the spirit of Hegel, philosophy and psychoanalysis may profit from the recognition that each can understand psychical reality more fully by taking the other seriously, a process which neither discipline could ever achieve alone.
But we may ask: Why does there need to be a compatibility between Hegel and psychoanalysis? They have different agendas, so what value does their convergence serve? I am of the opinion that truth and wisdom are to be found in the realm of process and dialogue, and that the continued independence of philosophy and psychoanalysis does not have to preclude their useful confluence. Recognizing kinship between the ideas of Hegel and psychoanalytic thought leads to a better understanding of both. In general, psychoanalysis is probably more guilty of closing off discourse than is philosophy. But the attitude of practitioners does not imply that psychoanalysis must in principle remain distant from philosophical inquiry, or that philosophy cannot avail itself of the insights of psychoanalysis. In fact, psychology is historically the child of philosophy; although psychology has grown up and flown from the nest, philosophy will always remain its Gracious Mother (alma mater). Like spirit which emerges from the abyss, as does the ego from the id,(15) psychology is merely a differentiated and modified form of its original philosophical constitution.
There are of course many points of difference between Hegel, Freud, and post-Freudians. Hegel had a great respect and reverence for religiosity, while Freud saw it as an illusion and as an infantile way of coping with an austere reality.(16) Hegel was an optimist who envisioned Spirit as a dynamically self-articulated complex whole, while Freud is often interpreted as a pessimist who was against wholeness and who saw the ego's desire for self-completion as a defensive process fueled by repetition compulsion.(17) Freud's pessimism is reflected in his cultural works primarily represented in Civilization and its Discontents, where the degenerative threat of humanity's inability to control its destructive inclinations leads one to envisage a dismal view of human relations.(18) Hegel, on the other hand, sees destruction and negation as the engines that fuel unity, the positive significance of the negative.(19) Freud was also an empiricist who had little use for philosophical speculation,(20) while speculation was the queen of science for Hegel.(21)
There are still other areas of disagreement, but when examined closely, their differences are overshadowed by their common focus. Both share a disdain for reductive materialism; in its proper form, Geist is psychical not material. But Freud devalues consciousness while Hegel exalts it.(22) That is to say, Freud sees that unconscious irrational forces exert a powerful influence on the meanings, ideas, beliefs, and desires that affect our conscious lives. Hegel would not disagree with this, in fact he would substantiate it, but he would ultimately say that conscious rational forces exert more priority over our mental lives than do unconscious irrational ones. Both acknowledge the role of irrationality and reason, they just emphasize the significance of one over the other. Yet despite Freud's focus on exploring the irrational mind, he was an ardent champion of reason.(23) The intellect--reason--is what exerts control over our lives and is mainly responsible for mental health, the ability to work, love, and play.
Both Hegel and Freud place a primacy on self-awareness or self-consciousness, where self-knowledge of one's own unconscious mysteries supersedes the unknown. It is here that both men share a common commitment. Hegel and Freud were fundamental seekers of Truth; self-understanding becomes the purpose of spirit and the ultimate goal of psychoanalysis. It is no wonder that psychoanalysis is labeled an 'insight therapy.' But beyond the goal of self-consciousness lies an even deeper purpose; the self-actualization of spirit represents the process of the psychoanalytic task, namely, to achieve self-liberating freedom. The ultimate purpose of spirit and the human mind is to be free. Ultimately, freedom can be attained only through knowledge.
Purists will groan at any attempt to read Freud into Hegel or Hegel into Freud. But I am under the persuasion that wisdom transcends allegiance to any one mode or system of thinking. If philosophy is to profess to be committed to take into account all possible reality--the sine qua non of speculative metaphysics, then it can hardly omit examining the unconscious mind. This was prepared by Hegel and revolutionized by Freud. And psychoanalysis cannot deny its prehistory. Like Hegel's attempt to resurrect and retrace the lost shapes spirit had surpassed in its historical progression toward absolute self-consciousness, psychoanalysis is archeology, an archeology of the soul.
This brings us to address a practical question. Can Hegel's philosophy of spirit be applied to our current understanding of human nature and the mind? How does Hegel's theory of the dialectic stand up to views such as those introduced by Freud and contemporary psychoanalysis? Hegel anticipated many key psychoanalytic concepts including the unconscious operations of thought, imagination, fantasy, feelings, conflict, and the very conditions that inform psychopathology.(24) He also recognized that the core of character and one's ethical convictions are preserved and emanate from unconscious processes and values internalized from the family and centrally connected with the community.(25) He further recognized many elements of mental activity that are construed by psychoanalysis as defense mechanisms including the splitting of the ego, fixation, regression, projection and projective identification, repression as significant "forgetting" that manifests itself as a compromise formation--"disease," primary narcissism as "subjective universality," the primitive thinking and upheaval of the passions--what Freud called "primary process"--associated with derangement, and the notion of sublation as sublimation, not to mention one of the most important discoveries of all--that the ego is also unconscious.(26)
Hegel's notion of the abyss--which corresponds to Freud's id--provides the dynamic force behind the development and evolution of the mind. Unconscious feeling dispositions are informed by the underlying organizations of the natural soul, and mental illness has its basis in these dynamic-formal characteristics.(27) While Hegel did not anticipate all of psychoanalytic theory nor attended to the phenomenal nuances of symptomatology, sexual etiology, and unconscious conflict and motivation, he did nevertheless advance our understanding of the unconscious workings of the mind, and he did so by means of deduction.(28) By way of dialectical process, there is a logic to the soul.
While Hegel relied on a deductive analysis of the operations of the unconscious that make consciousness possible, Freud relied on empirical observation and experimentation.(29) What Hegel worked out through logic, Freud legitimized through rigorous scientific method. Both approaches confirm the logical and developmental progression of the mind stemming from an unconscious ontology. Hegel and Freud realized that in order to provide an adequate account of consciousness, mental activity and human behavior cannot be explained without evoking the notion of original ground. In mental life, there is a reason or cause for everything, what psychoanalysis calls "psychic determinism." Having its basis in unconscious processes, both Hegel and Freud were able to fashion a paradigm of the human psyche that is perpetually influenced by its primordial past.
When seen for its total worth, it becomes easy to appreciate why each discipline offers something to the other. Hegel anticipated the realm, scope, and range of the abyss while Freud made it more intelligible. Although Hegel provided us with a cogent and coherent theory of unconscious subjectivity, Freud greatly advanced our understanding of the powers of the human psyche and the unconscious processes that affect conscious life. In order for Hegel to contribute to the psychoanalytic understanding of the mind, his theories must be able to be applied to contemporary thought. By way of Hegel's articulation of the abyss and its dynamic operations in the realm of intelligence, action, and thought corresponding to all human activity including the abnormal processes of mind, psychoanalysis would be hard pressed not to acknowledge Hegel's contribution to the social sciences.
But psychoanalysts may ask: Why should we embrace Hegel? How does he advance our cause? The answer is that he provides a congruous philosophical foundation that fortifies psychoanalytic theory and moves the discipline closer to respectable status. This is why Hegel is good for psychoanalysis: he provides a logic and truth to the unconscious that is internally consistent and coherent, thus capable of withstanding philosophic criticism when empirical limitations are encountered. Hegel can bring philosophical and logical rigor to psychoanalytic theory, and through his dialectical method shows that the unconscious is the foundation of the human psyche.
Through mutual recognition,(30) each discipline moves closer to appreciating the value of the other, and this process is what advances knowledge. Like spirit which seeks recognition from the other so that it may recover its lost alienated desire, mutual recognition provides mutual validation and acceptance which opens up further communication and dialogue. There is a wisdom to recognition that even serves a psychological function: it nurtures psyche structure. Heinz Kohut (1971) has labeled this phenomenon "mirroring," arguing that the empathic attunement and affirmation of the inherent worth of the other fosters development and internal self-cohesion. If the disciplines of philosophy and psychoanalysis are like the Self, each the invention of Geist, then both need recognition in order to prosper and grow. Indeed, mutual recognition advances the human spirit, and does so in the interest of advancing its own cause; and in this process it transcends its own narcissism moving toward a mutual, collective identification, the true significance of the universal.
Toward Process Psychology
Within this century, the history of the psychoanalytic movement has proven to be both diverse and adversarial. Since Freud's advent of the classical approach to theory and technique, the field has shifted away from an emphasis on the drives, to ego psychology, object relations theory, self psychology, and is currently preoccupied with postmodern perspectives focusing on intersubjectivity. Each movement offers a central theme informing theory and method, namely (i) drive, (ii) ego, (iii) object, (iv) self, and (v) intersubjectivity. It is often the case that each camp holds allegiance to its preferred theoretical discourse and has little tolerance for mutations in conceptualization or technique. This is especially the case for classically trained analysts who are forced to combat the radicalization of theoretical change. Contemporary psychoanalysis focuses primarily on relational, interpersonal, and intersubjective approaches, and Freud's metapsychology has been largely subsumed under the umbrella of these widening perspectives.
Lacanian (1977) theory has remained on the fringe of mainstream psychoanalysis mainly due to his unorthodox and perverted technique, his fragmented and unorganized theoretical writing style--corresponding to his theory of desire--and his denunciation of the self and subjectivity. For these reasons, he has been mainly of interest to academe. There have been minimal attempts to offer a comparative-integrative approach combining and synthesizing the main psychoanalytic theories, presumably because of group loyalties, but also because certain theoretical advances clash with orthodoxy. This is especially the case with Kohut who has tacked on the 'self' as a fourth agency to Freud's tripartite model, and even more radically with Lacan who has denied the self altogether. Because Lacan decenters the subject--the very heart of psychoanalytic thought, he is not likely to find a proper home in mainstream psychoanalysis.
Yet many psychoanalytic contemporaries are jumping on the postmodern bandwagon advocating nominalism, deconstruction, feminist, and social construction approaches to theory, and post-structural, linguistic accounts of psychic development, subjectivity, and psychotherapeutic treatment. To those familiar with the Modern philosophical tradition up through German Idealism and 20th century Continental philosophy, contemporary psychoanalysis seems to be behind the times. Committed to neither theoretical orthodoxy nor unification, the governing plurality of psychoanalytic discourse informing conceptual and therapeutic practices appears to be fraying around the edges. Theoretically, there is little creativity left; psychoanalysis is at the limit. Camps are divided: many depart from Freud, holding onto relational concepts, and where there is theoretical novelty, it is found in rediscovering past philosophical paradigms. This may be said for Lacan's so-called return to Freud, linguistic and social construction approaches borrowed from postmodernism, and the emphasis on intersubjectivity which dates back to Hegel. While still tied to an empirical framework, theoretical revision relies more on observation and practice and less on conceptual improvements. But with a few noteworthy exceptions (see Hanly, 1992; Levy, 1996; Lear, 1990, 1998), psychoanalysis today largely lacks philosophical rigor.
Psychoanalysis not only benefits from Hegel's philosophy, but recognizing that Hegel himself recognized the significance of the unconscious improves our understanding of Hegel. This poses a challenge to those Hegelians who insist that Hegel's rationalism leaves little room for irrational processes that suffuse the very essence of spirit. On the other hand, psychoanalysis today faces a potential danger of remaining either uncreative or stagnant: thus becoming ossified in dogma. If psychoanalysis is to truly profit from Hegelian thought, then it must first embrace the notion of process.
Whether we accept Heraclitus' dictum: "Everything flows" (panta hrei), Hegel's dialectic of Spirit, or Whitehead's process philosophy, the notion of process, evolution, and change underlies all reality. This is especially applicable to psychic structure. While the notion of the self-as-process has been discussed among some contemporary psychoanalytic thinkers (see Joseph, 1989; Kristeva, 1986), the significance of a process psychology has been largely ignored. As we have seen, the self-as-process has its full significance acknowledged in Hegel's philosophy of spirit. Process psychology is an essentialist position--not as fixed or stagnant attributes and properties that inhere in the structure of a substance or thing--but rather as a dynamic flux of transmuting and self-generative, creative processes having their form and substance within the dialectic of becoming. Process is the essence of mental life insofar that if it were removed, psychic reality would perish.
With increasing tolerance for philosophical inquiry, process psychology could open up new directions in psychoanalysis. As we have seen, the appropriation of process psychology within psychoanalysis rests upon a proper appreciation of the dialectic. Understanding the dynamics and nuances of Hegel's dialectical method can lead to advances in theory, practice, and applied technique. Not only does the dialectic apply to the nature of intrapsychic development, object relations, and social and institutional reform, but it has direct implications for the consulting room. The dialectic informs the very nature of intersubjectivity, the therapist-patient dyad, group dynamics, organizational development, and the historical progression of culture. This issue is of particular importance when examining the dialectical polarities, forces, and operations of the mind outlined by various psychoanalytic theories and how the field itself may be shown to participate in this dialectical process. From this vantage point, Hegel's dialectic is especially helpful in understanding the historical development of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis, like spirit, is a process of becoming.
Freud's paradigm of the mind is dialectical. He consistently introduces bipolar forces within psychic structure that give rise to a negative dialectic mediated by the synthetic powers of the ego. Consider the dialectical tensions and dynamic interplay between the major constituents of psychic life: there is opposition between consciousness and the unconscious, the ego and the id, the ego and its modified ideal counterpart--the superego, the two major drives, primary process vs. secondary process thinking, and wish and defense. The ego mediates all forms of conflict, whether internally motivated or externally imposed by the demands of objective reality. For example, libidinal and aggressive strivings institute a whole network of wishes and defenses designed to both satiate the id's desire while keeping it checked, perennially facing the moral condemnation and ideal judgments of the superego. Through dream activity, fantasy, parapraxes, and symptom formation, the ego attempts to both resolve psychic conflict and fulfill primal wishes through circuitous routes and derivative forms. The dialectical maneuvers of defense and symptom substitution are compromise formations that enable the self to function and adapt to psychic and social life.
Throughout the history of the development of psychoanalysis, theorists have slowly shifted away from drive psychology and have instead emphasized the dialectical dynamics inherent in the self's relation to its object environment. For those who interpret Freud through a natural science paradigm, drive theory is closely tied to biology, and therefore sexuality is overemphasized. It is important to note that Freud's classical model as a whole is not at odds with contemporary theoretical advances; in fact, his model initiated ego psychology and the object relations movement. Ego psychologists highlight the dialectical relations between the self as Ich and adaptation to drive and environmental demands. Ego psychology, largely advanced by Anna Freud (1936) and Heinz Hartmann, (1939, 1964) addresses the operations of the ego with regards to its defensive, adaptive, and conflict-free functions. The emphasis here is on the mechanisms or processes of the ego and its functional and constructive capacities to ameliorate psychic conflict. This movement interfaced with the object relations perspectives of Melanie Klein (1921-1963), W.R.D. Fairbairn (1952), Wilfred Bion, (1962, 1967), D.W. Winnicott (1958, 1965, 1971), and Harry Guntrip (1969, 1971) who attempted to bridge both classical psychoanalysis with theories of object relatedness and the development of the self. What is commonly known as the 'British school' of object relations emphasized early childhood development, the nature of attachments to parental figures, and the role of the environment or object milieu that fostered the development of psychic structure. While ego psychology primarily emphasized the intrapsychic, object relations psychology emphasized the interpersonal. Here we may not only see the dichotomy of subject and object and the priority claims attributed to one or the other, but we can also observe how the field itself constructed its own antitheses as a result of theoretical preferences. Psychoanalysis became divided over assigning greater significance to the self versus the other, to the inner or the outer.
As the dialectic of subject and object continues to preoccupy psychoanalytic revision, attempts at synthetic integration have been broached via relational theories that emphasize subjectivity once again: here enters 'self psychology.' Somewhat prepared by Winnicott, Heinz Kohut (1971, 1977, 1984) launched the fourth wave in psychoanalytic theory known as 'self psychology.' In an attempt to highlight both dimensions of subject and object, he argued that the human psyche was comprised of "selfobjects," that is, real, perceived, or imagined objects--usually people--that are imbued with psychological significance and seen as a part of the self. More precisely, it is largely the functions which selfobjects serve that are important to psychic structure and development.
Kohut's attempt to collapse the self and the object into a unity may be seen as an attempt at resolving their dichotomy, but critics can claim that Kohut still emphasizes intrapsychic processes over interpersonal ones and thus does not truly achieve an appropriate synthesis. In practice, this theoretical determination is not salient, because therapeutic conditions must take into account the multiple dynamics and processes that constitute mental life and intersubjective relations; therefore interpersonal processes cannot be segregated from intrapsychic ones. Kohut's movement, while initially attempting to integrate classical psychoanalytic doctrine into a new paradigm, later became more independently constructed, especially with reference to variation in technique. It may be generally said that Freud purists stand opposed to many contemporary perspectives because they depart from orthodoxy in theory and method. And the proliferation of psychoanalytic institutes that emphasize relational, interpersonal, and self psychological approaches to theory and practice is largely a response to the medical domination of psychoanalytic training programs that offer little deviation from the classical approach.
In its maturity, self psychology offered radical new advances in theory and practice. Kohut introduced his own set of dialectical relations and structures that inform mental processes and envisioned the self as constituting the dynamic interaction between two poles of psychic development. Kohut (1977) states:
A firm self, resulting from optimal interactions between the child and his selfobjects, is made up of three major constituents: 1) one pole from which emanates the basic strivings for power and success; 2) another pole that harbors the basic idealized goals; and 3) an intermediate area of basic talents and skills that are activated by the tension arc that establishes itself between ambitions and ideals (p. 180).
While Kohut reinterpreted Freud's views on narcissism, identification, and superego functions such as the need for idealization, empathy, and validation of self-worth, it may be said that selfobject theory describes psychological configurations that are practically transparent to consciousness. Although it portrays the 'self' as a fourth agency alongside Freud's structural model, self psychology finds little room for the unconscious. It may be argued that in contemporary theory, the emphasis on the unconscious has virtually disappeared.
The fifth movement in psychoanalysis that captures our current attention in the field is what may be labeled 'intersubjective theory,' initiated by George Atwood and Robert Stolorow,(31) but also stipulated as a "relational" (Mitchell, 1988) or "dyadic systems"(Beebe, Jafee, & Lachmann, 1992) paradigm. With the exception of a few scholars, most notably Jessica Benjamin (1988, 1992), psychoanalysis seems to be oblivious to the fact that intersubjectivity was thoroughly addressed by Hegel in his treatment of self-consciousness in the Phenomenology. With the emphasis now on intersubjective theory, postmodern and post-structural accounts of human psychology are beginning to take shape.
Intersubjectivity theory bridges object relations approaches and self psychology and thus constitutes a sublated achievement in psychoanalytic theory building. Beginning with drive as alienated desire, das Es was an object opposed to a subject--das Ich. Soon the dichotomy between the Ego and the Other formed rigid group identifications, each emphasizing the significance of one over the other. With the centrality of the Self, the subject and the object were collapsed into a unity, however privileging subjectivity. With the introduction of intersubjectivity theory, psychoanalysis can now treat subject and object as equiprimordial constructs. As each psychoanalytic movement emerged in dialectical response to its previous shapes, each opposition was canceled, surpassed, yet preserved within its new paradigm. But this process may be said to be a return to what Hegel had stipulated almost two centuries earlier: the self-development of the subject is dependent upon recognition by other subjects; subject and object merge into unity, each side being merely a moment of its totality. Here we may see the value of Hegel's logic of the dialectic. Not only does Hegel contribute to the development of psychoanalysis, but his dialectic gains descriptive power in explaining that development.
Within psychoanalysis, it was Freud himself who paved the way for the consideration of intersubjectivity, for all intrapsychic development rests upon the internalization of objects and their functional relations through the process of identification. As Freud (1921, 1933) tells us, identification is the earliest attachment to an object through an emotional bond. The process of identification becomes the core feature of building psychic structure which is at once both an ego operation and an object relation, hence an intersubjective dynamic. The self is to some degree the internalization of the other (e.g., parental imagos, values) which is re-appropriated, transformed, and integrated into intrapsychic configurations. Combined with the self's own innate propensities --whether this be the influence of the drives, the striving for attachment and object love, the dialectic between ambitions and ideals, or the need for mutual recognition--psychic organization is an intersubjective process of becoming.
Both Hegel and psychoanalysis observe the significance of the family and its unequivocal impact on psychic structure. But the value of Hegel for psychoanalysis transcends merely the introduction of process thinking. Hegel stresses the continuity of the private and the public, and thus the importance of community life for mental health. While psychoanalysis is giving increased attention to social and cultural forces that operate on mental organizations, the internalization process, and normal and abnormal development, Hegel adds to our understanding of the role of social structures and institutions that impact on the evolution of the human race. It is from this standpoint that he contributes not only to our conceptualization of mind and individual personality, but also to our appreciation of the complex over-determinations and interactions between humankind and society that inform our collective anthropology.
Hegel's dialectic adds to the substantiality of psychoanalytic thought. Nowhere is this application more explicit than in Freud's paradigm of the mind and human nature. Although perhaps unintended by him, Freud's theoretical advances are dialectically informed. The ego grows out of the id as a modified maturation of its original nature and becomes the central agency of mental life (SE, 20, p. 97; 22, p. 75). The ego, in its tendency toward splitting, division, and synthesis, generates and mediates opposition, and raises itself to the standpoint of self-conscious reason, thus sublating unconscious structure. Therefore, reason and ethical self-consciousness are the realization of unconscious Geist--"Where it was, there I shall become."(32)
The preservative elements of the dialectic are most notably clear in the function of repression: the past is incorporated into present structure which resurfaces in future shapes. The significance of the past informs both the historical progression of spirit and the psychical development of the individual. Just as images and feelings are preserved within the abyss coming to presence in imagination and in times of illness, the repressed material constituting wish and defense resides in the reservoir of the id. Like the evolution of spirit, primary process mentation, belonging to primitive unconscious organizations, is superceded by secondary process thinking belonging to the mature ego. In times of mental disease, however, the primitive draws the mature back to its original form in the regressed, fixated, and undifferentiated form of feeling.(33) According to Hegel and Freud, the deranged mind is saturated by primitive primary processes and is unable to hold onto its objective ego functions.
For Hegel, tracing the ontology of the unconscious is more than just an empirical inquiry: it rises to the level of a metaphysical question. Hegel shows, as does Freud, that the unconscious is the ground of consciousness and the primal being of psychic structure. He shows that unconscious ground gives rise to conscious self-reflective life and is responsible for both mental health and pathology. There is a logic to the interior that generates the manifestations of mind. For Hegel, "appearance is essence"(PS § 147), "essence must appear" (EL § 131), for nothing can exist unless it is made actual. The unconscious appears as consciousness, its modified and evolved form. In this sense, spirit is analogous to a symptom: revealing the hidden dynamics of the soul, consciousness is the disclosure of unconscious concealment. Whether perverted or pristine, spirit is the realization of unconscious being.
The dialectic becomes the logical model by which each mediation collapses into a new immediate thus begetting new shapes of psychic life, preserving the old within its burgeoning structure. The dialectic becomes the ontological and logical force behind the organization of the self and society. Freud's great insight was to show how the unconscious necessarily informs the normative and abnormal functioning of the human mind, without which mental life could not be made intelligible. Likewise, the abyss makes Hegel's system more intelligible, because it accounts for original ground that gives richer meaning and substance to his phenomenology and the logical operations of thought. Taking the unconscious seriously improves our understanding of Hegel.
Hegel's and Freud's models of the psyche are imbued with a negative dialectic;(34) negativity is responsible for both growth and decay. Negativity and chaos underlie the ontology of mind: the ego is constantly under siege by oppressive and combative forces that it must mediate and conquer in order to successfully adapt--spirit is the outgrowth of progressive negation. The question of death and destruction is central to our understanding of the human mind. In sickness and in health, in progression and stagnation, the drive toward unity and mastery constitutes the double center of desire: negativity is our inner being. The tendency toward sublation over withdrawal in Hegel, or sublimation and regression in Freud, speaks to the tremendous power of the negative.
But the life of spirit is not the life that shrinks from death and keeps itself untouched by devastation, but rather the life that endures it and maintains itself in it. It wins its truth only when, in utter dismemberment, it finds itself (PS § 32).
Negation--Conflict! This is what defines our existence. Whether in spiritual order or in the abstract unity of the soul, there is nothing in the external world that can draw us away from the reality of the life within.
As Freud (1920) reminds us: "Novelty is always the condition of enjoyment" (p. 35). While Hegel's dialectic is not a new discovery, its novel application may prove to be a boon for psychoanalytic inquiry. With the introduction of process psychology, psychoanalysis may enjoy adventures of change that enrich the theoretical topography forged within the last century. The utility of a process approach to psychoanalytic thought is already embedded in the historical development of psychoanalysis itself: each form or movement since Freud has negated yet subsumed its predecessor thus leading to a more viable, robust articulation of psychic life, in turn reshaping the psychoanalytic domain.
Dialectical psychoanalysis holds an advantaged position in that the complexifications and over-determined processes that constitute the nature of psychic reality, intersubjectivity, and social order can never be fully understood without their relation to one other. When seen in their isolation, each phenomenon, like each psychoanalytic branch, is merely one appearance among many appearances. The value of a dialectical approach unites these moments in the conceptual clarity of a dynamically constituted complex whole, itself the process of becoming. Opposition, negation, and polarity is integral to process, effecting the transition to mediated progressive unification. As psychoanalysis confronts each of its previous shapes, it elevates itself in form and understanding. With a proper incorporation of the Hegelian dialectic, psychoanalysis may sublate itself once again perhaps leading to further developments in theory, clinical inquiry, and practice.
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1. The Encyclopaedia Logic, Vol.1 of the Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences. T.F. Geraets, W.A. Suchting, and H.S. Harris, (Trans). (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1817/1827/1830/1991). All references to the Encyclopaedia Logic will refer to EL followed by the section number.
2. In his Wissenschaftslehre (§§ 1-3), Fichte discerns these three fundamental "principles" (Grundsatz) or transcendental acts of the mind. Cf. Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1794).
3. For example, see Donald Carveth's (1994) incorrect assessment of Hegel's logic, p. 151.
4. Cf. Immanuel Kant (1781/1787), Critique of Pure Reason, Second Division: Transcendental Dialectic, Book II, Chapters I-II.
5. 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 Additions (Zusätze) to his lectures 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.
6. Hereafter, all references to the Phenomenology will refer to PS followed by the section number.
7. 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.
8. For a full account of the role of the unconscious in Hegel's theory of subjective spirit, see Mills' (1996) article, "Hegel on the Unconscious Abyss: Implications for Psychoanalysis." The Owl of Minerva, 28 (1), 59-75.
9. Cf. New Introductory Lectures; Standard Edition (London: Hogarth Press, 1933), Vol. 22, p. 58. Hereafter all references to the Standard Edition will refer to SE followed by the volume and page number.
10. See John Burbidge's (1981) detailed commentary on Hegel's psychology of theoretical spirit in, On Hegel's Logic, pp. 7-21.
11. The best account of this is by Patricia Herzog, "The Myth of Freud as Anti-philosopher," in Freud: Appraisals and Reappraisals (Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, 1988), pp. 163-189.
12. In the context of Marx, Freud specifically refers to Hegel, but it is unclear whether the dialectics and "obscure Hegelian philosophy" he refers to is not due to Marx's interpretation rather than having direct exposure to Hegel himself. Cf. New Introductory Lectures, SE, 22, p. 177.
13. Especially see Wittgenstein's Blue Book, from The Blue and Brown Books (Oxford: Blackwell, 1958), first dictated in 1933-1934, and "Conversations on Freud," in Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief. C. Barrett (Ed.) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966).
14. Donald Levy in Freud Among the Philosophers (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996), has cogently refuted these claims showing that each account harbors selective philosophical biases and misunderstandings and have neglected the broader domain of psychoanalytic doctrine. Also see my review of Levy in, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 1998, (4), pp. 733-737.
15. Cf. Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety, SE, 20, p. 97; New Introductory Lectures, SE, 22, p. 75; An Outline of Psycho-Analysis, SE, 23, p. 145.
16. The Future of an Illusion, SE, 21, pp. 5-56; Civilization and its Discontents, SE, 21, p. 74.
17. See Volney Gay's discussion in "Against Wholeness: The Ego's Complicity in Religion," Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 1979, 48 (4), 539-555. While Freud's views on religion combat spiritual holism, this does not mean that Freud advocates against psychological holism. In fact, Freud insists that with any interpretation of a dream or symptom, for example, one must take into account the whole network of mental configurations, desires, wishes, conflicts, and psychological forces that bear upon the psyche of each unique individual in order to understand its full meaning. See Jonathan Lear's discussion in Open Minded: Working out the Logic of the Soul (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), p. 63.
18. Cf. Civization and its Discontents, 1930, SE, 21, p. 111, 145; Freud's reply to Einstein, 1932, SE, 22, p. 211. Also see my, Homo Homini Lupus: Hegel and Freud on the Future of Humanity. In Matti Häyry & Tuija Takala's (eds.), The Future of Value Inquiry (Amsterdam-Atlanta: Rodopi, in press).
19. Phenomenology of Spirit, § 32.
20. In Introductory Lectures, Freud states, "you should not for a moment suppose that what I put before you as the psycho-analytic view is a speculative system" (SE, 16, p. 244). Also see From the History of an Infantile Neurosis, SE, 17, pp. 105-106.
21. [M]ediative thinking is the thinking that is philosophical in the proper sense, [i.e., it is] speculative thinking" (Encyclodaedia Logic, § 9).
22. At times Hegel devalues the domain of the unconscious referring to the "impotent natural soul, which is so to speak enclosed in a childlike unity" (EG § 413, Zusätz). Freud, on the other hand, makes several references of the subordination of consciousness to the unconscious. See SE, 5, pp. 611-612; 12, p. 260; 20, pp. 31-32.
23. Freud (1930) tells us, "reason--is among the powers which we may most expect to exercise a unifying influence on men . . . Our best hope for the future is that intellect--the scientific spirit, reason--may in process of time establish a dictatorship in the mental life of man" (SE, 22, p. 171); Also see Freud's (1932) Letter to Einstein, SE, 22, p. 215.
24. See the Philosophy of Spirit (Die Philosophie des Geistes), EG §§ 388-412; 403-408; 445-465.
25. Science of Logic, pp. 36-37, 583; Phenomenology of Spirit, § 450, 469, §§ 462-463, § 474.
26. See Mills' (1996) article, "Hegel on the Unconscious Abyss: Implications for Psychoanalysis," and "Hegel on Projective Identification: Implications for Klein, Bion, and Beyond," under review.
27. Hegel offers a cursory description of thought disorder and insanity, 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 (1995), Hegel's Theory of Madness, for a review.
28. Darrel Christensen (1968), in "The Theory of Mental Derangement and the Role and Function of Subjectivity in Hegel," claims that because Hegel's theory of the unconscious accounts "not only for spurious and mischief-making contents of consciousness but for the normative operations of mind, the breakdown of certain of which play the deleterious role in mental disease, Hegel's concept of the unconscious gains in deductive power over Freud's concept" (p. 448). I interpret Christensen's reference to Hegel's deductive approach as offering valid argumentation whereby the conclusions he draws based on the logic of the dialectic are internally coherent and consistent without contradicting other aspects of his system.
29. In "A Short Account of Psychoanalysis," Freud (1924) states: "The 'unconscious' had, it is true, long been under discussion among philosophers as a theoretical concept; but now for the first time, in the phenomena of hypnotism, it became something actual, tangible and subject to experiment" (SE, 19, p. 192). Of course, Freud would not have been familiar with Hegel's equation of appearance as essence, for nothing could exist unless it is made actual. From the Encyclopaedia Logic, Hegel says: "Essence must appear. Its inward shining is the sublating of itself into immediacy, which as inward reflection is subsistence (matter) as well as form, reflection-into-another, subsistence sublating itself. . . . Essence therefore is not behind or beyond appearance, but since the essence is what exists, existence is appearance" (EL § 131). Also see the Phenomenology, § 147.
30. Hegel's analysis of desire and recognition is the main theme of the master-slave dialectic advanced in the Phenomenology, §§ 178-230.
31. See Atwood and Stolorow (1984, 1993); Stolorow and Atwood (1992); and Stolorow, Brandchaft, Atwood (1987).
32. A more appropriate translation of Freud's famous epigram, Wo Es war, soll Ich werden, is "Where it was, there I shall become" rather than Strachey's rendition, "Where id was, there ego shall be" (SE, 22, p. 80).
33. See Hegel's discussion, EG §§ 403-408.
34. This may be said for the general structure and logical progression of Aufhebung, (see Phenomenology, § 32), but it is also evident in Freud's introduction of the death drive (Todestrieb). Cf. Beyond the Pleasure Principle, SE, 18, particularly pp. 36-46.