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(1949). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXVIII, 1947: Three Dreams of Descartes. J. O. Wisdom. Pp. 11–18.. Psychoanal Q., 18:258.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXVIII, 1947: Three Dreams of Descartes. J. O. Wisdom. Pp. 11–18.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:258

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXVIII, 1947: Three Dreams of Descartes. J. O. Wisdom. Pp. 11–18.

Wisdom quotes Descartes' first biographer, Baillet, who recorded three dreams of November 19, 1619, the night after Descartes had 'arrived at the essence of his discoveries about Method'. In addition to the dreams, Baillet also recorded some of Descartes' associations to them. From this material and Descartes' writings, Wisdom attempts to reconstruct the philosopher's major unconscious conflicts. In essence, these consist of his struggle toward a cathexis of objects in the real world. An intense fear of castration, Oedipal in origin, evoked by the sinful sensuality (especially that related to scoptophilia) inherent in such strivings forced him to retreat to philosophizing as both a defense against the conflict and a reassertion of his potency. In his metaphysic he tried to create a dualism separating mind and the external world enjoyed by the senses. The 'cogito' in his cogito, ergo sum, 'is in fact an expression of castration, and the philosophical problem is to reassert potency, to reach reality after being cut off from it'. In this he to some extent succeeds through an assertion of a God-given scoptophilic 'natural light' which enables the mind to attain eternal truth—the appreciation 'of reality in the world of feeling'.


WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.
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Article Citation

(1949). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXVIII, 1947. Psychoanal. Q., 18:258

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WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.