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Hampshire, S. (1962). Disposition and Memory. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:59-68.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:59-68

Disposition and Memory

Stuart Hampshire

The name of Ernest Jones will always be associated with the free crossing of academic boundaries and the burning of academic pass-books and visas. There would be for him nothing disquieting in the meeting of philosophy with your science: or rather he would, I think, regard the state of being disquieted as a healthy one and as part of science itself. I can judge only from that great monument, the biography of Freud, from his own autobiography, and other writings: for you the evidences will be more direct. But speaking under the shadow of his name, on this occasion, I must assume that the crossing of boundaries is one way to knowledge. Indeed Ernest Jones's life and work showed that it is. I shall therefore ask for a certain licence. There are many points at which the problems of psycho-analysts and of philosophers now come close together. I shall speak of just one of these points of contact, which seems to me one of the most important at this time: the theory of dispositions. I shall first sketch, as a necessary background, a very over-simplified scheme of dispositions in the conscious mind, and then try to complicate it. It is foolishness, and destructive foolishness, to insist on absolute and final clarity in the interpretation of any part of a new and developing science. But there is a place for first approximations.

One may argue that, for every distinct state of mind and inner feeling, there must exist a distinct expression of this state in a perceptible pattern or behaviour; for it seems that the perceptible patterns of behaviour must be the original endowment from which the purely mental states or activities developed, as a kind of shadow of the original, or as a residue from it.

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