Cosnier discusses the evolution of Freud's thought concerning memory, and how this ultimately led him to the metaphor of the mysticwriting pad. An intimate relationship existed between Freud's practice and the creation of models, including metaphors at different levels of abstraction, to describe the relations between the past and the present. Cosnier develops the concept of instruments of knowledge, important for the development of Freud's theoretical thinking. The notion of transference, which Freud was able to discern in his observations of Breuer's experience with Anna O., functioned as an instrument of knowledge. This instrument was able to take Freud much farther in generalization than hypnosis and the notion of the hypnoid state, since it immediately differentiated past and present. The author
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traces steps in Freud's thought concerning the relationship between memory and perception. The dreams of his self-analysis, as well as his fantasies, were important instruments of knowledge for Freud, as he went about developing his theory of the mental apparatus. He hypothesized two systems, one for registration, the other constituting a combined system of perception and consciousness. When the notions of trauma, actual neurosis, and the prevalence of the economic point of view were taken up in 1920, Freud was led to metapsychological modifications concerning instinctual dualism and topography, stimulated by reflections on the negative therapeutic reactions encountered in his patients. He described various forms of repetition, including repetition in the transference. This resumption in 1920 of reflections on the interrelationship between consciousness and mnemic traces is correlated with the recognition of the unconsciouscharacter of the mechanisms of defense.
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Wilson, E., Jr. (1986). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLV, 1981. Psychoanal. Q., 55:701-702