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Freud’s “Project” – A purloined letter

The present article, based on more detailed work by the author (Wegener, 2004) deals with Freud’s Project of a Scientific Psychology. Taking into account the con¬text in which the manuscript was written in 1895, namely, Freud’s correspondence with Wilhelm Fließ, the Project is seen as a letter in the proper sense of the word and, there¬fore, is distinguished from writing intended for publication. Published posthumously and surreptitiously in 1950, it is read as a purloined letter. Lacan’s revisiting of the Project and his interpretation of it as a Schreibspiel, as well as the genesis of Freud’s letter, are stud¬ied. Here, the author focuses more specifically on the precarious position of the neurons in the Project and finally on the function of Fließ as addressee of the Project and as Freud’s Other.

The Psychophysiological Unconscious – Gustav Theodor Fechner and the Moon

The author explores Fechner’s understanding of the unconscious and in doing so emphasises the ambivalence of his conceptualisation, i.e., the scientific and the spiritu¬alistic side of his thinking. The Elemente der Psychophysik (1860) form the central, al¬though not the only, reference: texts such as Das Büchlein vom Leben nach dem Tode (1836) and the posthumously published report on his illness will also be discussed. Fur¬ther, in order to compare and highlight Fechner’s own conception of the unconscious other ideas about the unconscious from the same period (Carus, Helmholtz, von Hartman) will be considered. The Fechnerian “unconscious” is actually conceived as a state of sleep or as a state of unconsciousness. Put into the cosmic context, Fechner’s unconscious levels the finality of death. The difference between Freud’s and Fechner’s notion of the uncon¬scious becomes obvious and is delineated on the basis of a close reading of Freud’s reference to Fechner’s “other scene”.

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