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Wilson, E., Jr. (1994). Psyche. Zeitschrift Für Psychoanalyse Und Ihre Anwendungen. XL, 1986: The Archaeology and Teleology of the Unconscious Wish. On the Conceptual Differentiation between Need, Wish and Desire in Psychoanalysis. Robert Heim. Pp. 819-851.. Psychoanal Q., 63:399-400.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psyche. Zeitschrift Für Psychoanalyse Und Ihre Anwendungen. XL, 1986: The Archaeology and Teleology of the Unconscious Wish. On the Conceptual Differentiation between Need, Wish and Desire in Psychoanalysis. Robert Heim. Pp. 819-851.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:399-400

Psyche. Zeitschrift Für Psychoanalyse Und Ihre Anwendungen. XL, 1986: The Archaeology and Teleology of the Unconscious Wish. On the Conceptual Differentiation between Need, Wish and Desire in Psychoanalysis. Robert Heim. Pp. 819-851.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

This is a closely argued discussion of conceptual questions concerning unconscious wish, need, and desire. It relies heavily on the philosophical positions of Habermas and Ricoeur to delineate a view of the mixed nature of psychoanalytic discourse, as a combination of energic and hermeneutic explanations. It also attempts to delineate the manner in which unconscious instinctual urges acquire significance and can be understood in the course of psychoanalytic work.

Heim notes the tension between the accepted sciences and psychoanalysis, with its rebellious undercutting of the established order. Freud recognized this same conflict

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in the contrast he felt between his scientific training and his novel-like case histories. It is no wonder Freud eventually wanted to include literature and theory of language in the curriculum of his ideal analytic institute.

Meanwhile, the degree to which language and literature are involved in the objects of psychoanalysis has been widely recognized. Lacan spoke of the unconscious as structured like a language. Lorenzer, though decidedly different in his approach, spoke of the unconscious as a matrix of desymbolized forms of interaction, and stressed its eloquent absence of speech. In both expositions of Freud's science the unconscious is defined as an inscription. The combination of speech and body also appears in Ricoeur's phenomenological interpretation of psychoanalysis as a mixed discourse, as a demystified hermeneutic of the body and its instinctual life.

The concept of inscription is taken from Derrida's De la grammatologie. Derrida was critical of Lévi-Strauss, and of occidental metaphysics and its logocentrism in general. By inscription these authors meant to indicate that whenever one talks of speech, literature is also meant—the ordering of letters according to specific rules of grammar, syntax, and semantics to encode and decode the semiotic universe. The letter is the smallest unit in writing and literature, as the phoneme is the smallest phonetic unit in speech.

The author shows the close structural relations between psychoanalysis and literature. If grammar is a system of rules for the generation of understandable sentences and expressions, talk of the grammar of repressed wishes, etc., implies linguistic mediation of these wishes to make them analytically accessible. Heim alludes to Habermas's concept of reconstructive science to clarify this notion. The unconscious is seen as a system of rules analogous to grammar, but with a deep structure in Chomsky's sense, a structure that is discovered through the reconstructive science of psychoanalysis.

This leads to a discussion of the differences in the rationality of primary and secondary process. The unconscious, not "irrational" in itself, with its own rules and grammar, can be regarded as "irrational" only in contrast to secondary process. Otherwise it could not be understood through the psychoanalytic reconstruction of unconscious processes.

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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1994). Psyche. Zeitschrift Für Psychoanalyse Und Ihre Anwendungen. XL, 1986. Psychoanal. Q., 63:399-400

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