Cartesian Meditations: unconscious, truth and subjectivity

In this contribution we will offer a reading of Freud’s ambiguous therapeutic “advice” to “say more than one knows”. Starting from some preliminary reflections on the issue of confession and Lacan’s theoretical distinction between enunciation/enunciated, we will propose three successive ideas with regard to the notions of unconscious, truth and subjectivity. Firstly, a connection will be established between unconscious enunciation and Austin’s couple of performative/constative utterances. Secondly, we will offer a psychoanalytic notion of “truth” through a brief comparison with the phenomenological procedures of epoché and reduction. Third and finally, we will end with some reflections on the psychoanalytic couple of knowledge and truth.

The Future of an Illusion: Phenomenology and Psychoanalysis

Starting from Sellars’ distinction between the manifest and scientific portrayals of man, we will develop three different philosophical readings of the possible consequences of this opposition with regard to the question of subjectivity: Dennett’s philosophical reconstruction of neuro-cognitive science; Husserlian phenomenology; and, Freudo-Lacanian psychoanalysis. Particular attention will be paid to the various ideas about the rights and limits of the first-person perspective and the issue of truth and fiction.

An Act of Silent Revolt

This text is a testimony of my experience of psychosis. I do not claim to give a definitive explanation but rather to try to illustrate how easy it is to slide from a “normal” discourse into an “abnormal” one, to slide into an all-embracing psychosis (all-embracing because it entails both affect and reason) without being aware of it. My psychosis was characterized predominantly by a wide-spread delusional system with hallucinations less prevalent. I have tried to tell my story chronologically and objectively. Full objectivity is of course an illusion in this case, because of the personal nature of the article , but I have tried to avoid romanticism where possible. With this personal story I attempt to present a “small phenomenology of my psychosis”.