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Tausend, H. (1951). Psychiatry. XIII, 1950: New Views on the Psychology and Psychopathology of Wit and of the Comic. Silvano Arieti. Pp. 43–62.. Psychoanal Q., 20:330-331.
    
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychiatry. XIII, 1950: New Views on the Psychology and Psychopathology of Wit and of the Comic. Silvano Arieti. Pp. 43–62.

(1951). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 20:330-331

Psychiatry. XIII, 1950: New Views on the Psychology and Psychopathology of Wit and of the Comic. Silvano Arieti. Pp. 43–62.

Helen Tausend

Arieti reviews the literature on wit and adds to it his own theories of the 'paleologic', a logic which antedates Aristotelian logic and is in essence an archaic, more elastic and complaisant system of logic which permits interpretation of reality in accordance with one's wishes. This is used by psychotics in dreams as well as in wit and the comic. Paleologic thinking permits a choice of predicates out of numerous possible ones and may lead to deductions which are gratifying for the individual. Also there is emphasis on denotation and verbalization with reduction in connotation giving rise to extreme literalness.

Examples are given of wit wherein two concepts are identified because they have the same verbalization; where denial of a statement is the assertion of its opposite; where repression and gratification occur simultaneously—especially in relation to sexuality and hostility, human frailty and man's inadequacy. Representation through the opposite confers charm and beauty on a joke; condensation lends significance to jokes. These are due to paleologic identification or compositions.

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Many mental and neurological patients appear facetious to the listener through their use of very primitive paleological mechanisms. However, when the language is so remote from reality that no similarity or possibility of confusion with logic is left, it is not laughable.

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Article Citation

Tausend, H. (1951). Psychiatry. XIII, 1950. Psychoanal. Q., 20:330-331

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