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Gargiulo, G.J. (2015). Underworlds: Philosophies of the Unconscious from Psychoanalysis to Metaphysics. By Jon Mills. New York: Routledge, 2014, 189 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 102(3):430-433.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Review, 102(3):430-433

Underworlds: Philosophies of the Unconscious from Psychoanalysis to Metaphysics. By Jon Mills. New York: Routledge, 2014, 189 pp.

Review by:
Gerald J. Gargiulo, Ph.D.

Once again Jon Mills has written an erudite and probing text exploring one of his primary interests, the unconscious, as understood in psychoanalysis as well as in some major philosophical traditions. The mathematician/philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once noted that all of western philosophy was merely a series of footnotes to Plato, an observation that would be hard to challenge. Accordingly, Mills starts his study with the Greeks, with a nod to ancient Egyptian religious thought, on their understanding of what it means to be a living person, their understanding of the life force that engenders one's sense of being, i.e., the soul. Throughout his studies Mills focuses on the complexities of what we call consciousness as well the realities that ground and pull us every which way in our human task to find and progressively define ourselves, that is, the depths out of which and from which we experience and live life. That we are not masters of our own house seems obvious; that we progressively need to struggle to step out of the shadows of unknowing is again self-evident.

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