The Unconscious: Language and World

  • M. C. Dillon
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 129)


The unconscious is ripe for radical renewal: even the name is misconceived. “Unconscious” means what it means in polar opposition to “consciousness.” That was explicit in Freud’s definition from the first to the last of his writings. Freud was an avowed dualist, and never seemed to be troubled by the conceptual problems generated by his dualistic posture. But dualism does create problems, problems which remain insoluble within the context of binary opposition and mutual exclusion. These problems are problems of mediation, chorismos, continuity.


Perceptual Experience Mutual Exclusion Intentional Object Unconscious Process Binary Opposition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    See M. C. Dillon, “Beyond Signifiers,” in Writing the Politics of Difference, eds. H. Silverman and D. Welton (Albany: SUNY Press, 1991), pp. 177–191.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    The interpretation I present here in truncated form is fully articulated in my essay “Temporality: Merleau-Ponty and Derrida,” in Merleau-Ponty, Hermeneutics,and Postmodernism, eds. Thomas W. Busch and Shaun Gallagher (Albany: SUNY Press, 1992).Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    J. B. Pontalis, “The Problem of the Unconscious in Merleau-Ponty’s Thought,” trans. Wilfried Ver Eecke and Michael Greer, in Review of Existential Psychology & Psychiatry, Vol XVIII, nos. 1, 2, & 3 (1982–83), pp. 83–96.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    . Ibid., p. 85.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    “Every perception takes place in an atmosphere of generality and is presented to us anonymously…. If I wanted to render precisely the perceptual experience, I ought to say that one perceives in me, not that I perceive.” Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. Colin Smith (London Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962), p. 215. Henceforth PhP. Where I have altered Smith’s translations I provide the original French text. Phénoménologie de la perception (Paris: Gallimard, 1945), p. 249. Henceforth PP. Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    “The Metaphysics of Presence: Critique of a Critique,” forthcoming in Working Through Derrida, ed. G. B. Madison (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1992). Also, “Temporality: Merleau-Ponty and Derrida,” in Merleau-Ponty: Hermeneutics and Postmodernism, eds. Thomas W. Bush and Shaun Gallagher (Albany: SUNY Press, 1992).Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    Jacques Derrida, “Différance,” in Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), pp. 21–22. Emphasis added. [“Différance,” in Marges de la philosophie (Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1972).]Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    See “The Child’s Relations with Others,” trans. William Cobb, in The Primacy of Perception, ed. James M. Edie (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1964). [“Les Relations avec autrui chez l’enfant,” Les Cours de Sorbonne (Paris: Centre de Documentation Universitaire, 1960).] Also, “Phenomenology and Psychoanalysis: Preface to Hesnard’s L’Oeuvre de Freud, trans. Alden L. Fisher, in Review of Existential Psychology & Psychiatry, Vol XVIII, nos. 1, 2, & 3 (1982–83), pp. 67–72.Google Scholar
  9. 21.
    Pontalis, “The Problem of the Unconscious...” op. cit., p. 92.Google Scholar
  10. 24.
    Merleau-Panty’s Ontology (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988), chap. 9, “The Reversibility Thesis.”Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. Dillon

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations