Print

Print


And what are your thoughts on the theory that the unconscious has its own
distinct existence shared by every one, andto which one has access in some
random way?

Cheers,
Peter
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2007 9:28 AM
Subject: Memory, was Stetson Passage in TWL


> Perhaps we can get a start on what I mean by "The Unconscious" by going
> back to Freud's _original_ purpose in positing such an entity -- before
> he began to proliferate oedipus complexes, egos, ids, & other mythology.
> The problem was to explain _memory_. The reader of this post is probably
> not thinking of the capitol of Japan at this moment, and perhaps  hasn't
> given it a thought for hours, days, even months. But every reader now
> has Tokyo in mind. Where did that knowledge hide during all that time
> when it was not in your conscious thought? Freud's answer, there was an
> entity, a _place_ as it were, a _storeroom_, where all that knowledge is
> hidden away until the conscious mind has a reason to retrieve it. It was
> a brilliant suggestion in a way, a definite move forward in
> neuroscience.
>
> But it was _wrong_; nothing is stable in memory. All that knowledge has
> to be endlessly recreated micro-second by micro-second -- and in fact
> much of it comes to be false memory. (In fact, the more vivid one of
> your childhood memories is, to some extent the more apt it is to be
> _totally_ false. Stephen Gould in one of his essays describes such talse
> memories from his own childhood, falsified by photographs which showed
> that the memories were inconsistent with the physical facts.) So our
> brain is an incredibly busy place, 'keeping' all that information alive
> by constantly recreating (inventing) it so it will be on tap when we
> need it.
>
> Memory reached by hypnosis, "recovered memory," undue trust in eye
> witnesses in criminal trials are all grounded in the concept of passive
> memory storage. (The computer is _not_ a good analogue for the brain,
> but the contrast between ram & a hard disk is illustrative of the
> contrast between memories constantly recreated in the brain and memories
> "stored" in the unconscious as in a warehouse.)
>
> A sprinkling of works which in one way or another touch on this:
>
> Israel Rosenfield, _The Invention of Memory: A New View of the Brain_,
> New York: Basic Books, 1988.
> Antonio Damasio, Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human
> Brain_, New York: Quill, 2000. (Orig. 1994).
> Michaels Roth, ed., _Freud: Conflict & Culture_, New York: Knopf, 1998.
> Frederick Crews, ed., _Unauthorized Freud: Scholars Confront a Legend_,
> New York: Penguin, 1998.
> Sebastiano Timpanaro, _The Freudian Slip: Psychoanalysis & Textual
> Criticism_ (tr. Kate Soper), London: Verso, 1985. (First Published 1974
> [Italian])
>
> Carrol
>
>
> -- 
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.472 / Virus Database: 269.8.13/844 - Release Date: 6/11/2007
5:10 PM
>
>