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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default There's no such thing as the unconscious/subconscious?

    I wonder if anyone else has encountered this and what they think of it, in a lot of the more recent psychological literature and sources which I've encountered there's explicit denial of the existence of any such thing as the unconscious or even a subconscious.

    I'm not talking about the hardline behaviourist denial of thinking processes, when thinking could only be studied or conceptualised as "covert behaviour" or pre-cognitive theoretical concepts.

    What I'm talking about is a consensus that while there may be explicit and implicit cognitions, incubation periods, automated processes and skilling/learning processes but there's nothing like the unconscious as formulated by psychoanalysis.

    What do you think because I'm not really personally that able to dispense with the idea, what I've read from psycho-analysis, its precursors and rivals, the unconscious is a useful and meaningful concept, and I mean not simply as intellect or intellectualising psychological mechanisms but feelings and emotions too. I dont see what benefit there is in despensing with the idea anymore than there would be benefit from mythologising or exaggerating its significance.

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    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Heh. This could turn into an interesting thread

    Since "subconsious" does not have a set criteria or definition, it is really difficult to "prove" it. Its kinda like God. For it to exist, it must be inside the framework. But the mere idea of it says its not. Anyhow, going from the typical psycho analytical idea of it, that it is a force that can only be recognized by its effects, expressing its self in symptom, I'd say yes it very clearly exists.

    http://pukamble.tripod.com/subconc1.htm

    Edit: A discussion like this could become very illusive. Without a set definition, clear understanding or communiation will be hard. You might want to ask people that do believe in the subconscious to define and give examples, then try to weed out what is or is not, by that criteria.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    in a lot of the more recent psychological literature and sources which I've encountered there's explicit denial of the existence of any such thing as the unconscious or even a subconscious.
    Post the sources so people know exactly what you're referring to.

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    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    people dont even know what unconscious is, how could one deny that it doesent exist. its pretty obvious that most of out brain activity is below threshold level of being conscious.. if some cognitive scientist made up a new name for what ever unconscious is, it doesent mean that there is no unconscious.
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    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Heh. This could turn into an interesting thread

    Since "subconsious" does not have a set criteria or definition, it is really difficult to "prove" it. Its kinda like God. For it to exist, it must be inside the framework. But the mere idea of it says its not. Anyhow, going from the typical psycho analytical idea of it, that it is a force that can only be recognized by its effects, expressing its self in symptom, I'd say yes it very clearly exists.

    http://pukamble.tripod.com/subconc1.htm
    subconscious as unconscious has theories. if i remember right the term was invented by freud. to him it means thoughts, memories etc that is not on a conscious mind, but can be easily brought onto the conscious, unlike with unconscious. so yes it has definition, but i think many other people have their own definitions also. and because it havent been scientifically proved(like unconscious), they all remain theories.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  6. #6
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    The human brain can store the equivalent of 3 or 4 petabytes of data (something like that). That's a lot of storage to just "sit" around until you draw upon it consciously. Also, maybe some people who are highly conscientious or something might be more inclined to choices and idea/image association explicitly through intellect or will, but I think there are a lot of underlying processes at play for most. I'm just making this up as I go along, but I imagine the brain kind of running like a microkernel based operating system. Where the microkernel represents the core (id-like) parts of the human mind, and other routines are outsourced to various "servers".. which represent domains of thought that turn off and on depending on situational stimuli or routines that require it's special assistance. And sometimes these routines can be so subtle that you wouldn't consciously notice them.. these are your habitual choices and such. While at other times, the "legwork" required for some subconscious thought can be so demanding or make enough of an impact that you consciously have glimpses of what's happening. Deeper motivations or memories for what you do. I would compare it to an office building, where you're working in your cubicle on the 4th floor, and some construction workers two floors below, who are usually unobtrusive, start hammering so hard that you become aware of them. Yet, the ironic thing is that the construction workers are you as well.

    Uh.. anyways. I don't have time to articulate it.

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    Senior Member guesswho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    the unconscious as formulated by psychoanalysis.
    You should have bolded that.

    Hell I can't remember what they said about it, but from what I remember Freud said some freaky stuff. It's obviously not entirely correct, but we have unconscious behavior for example, all kinds of patterns and stuff. And it's a little freaky. What would the world be if everything were conscious to us? We can't even process all the information consciously, we filter it.

    And, speaking of unconscious patterns, I like this example...I think I talked about this before.

    A friend of mine was always having issues with his father, with his authority. His father never let him do anything interesting when he was present, nor did he give him much money. He made him study etc.

    He grows up, he is very smart, he can be anything he wants to be, he can go to so many colleges.

    Where does he go?

    To the army -infantry. (It's an army academy, they study a lot there)

    So now, he has a new authority, which will tell him what to do (when present), give him very little money and not let him do anything "P"ish.

    Now if someone would have told him this, and showed him the pattern, what would have he decided? Army, or no army?

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    people dont even know what unconscious is, how could one deny that it doesent exist. its pretty obvious that most of out brain activity is below threshold level of being conscious.. if some cognitive scientist made up a new name for what ever unconscious is, it doesent mean that there is no unconscious.
    Well the idea is that if you dont and theoretically can not know either the unconscious or content of the unconscious how can you know that there is such a thing at all? Ergo its just a theoretical construct with no basis in fact, personally I think Freud's observations about, first, the existence of a memories and motives which are not conscious, and, second, then about how various processes like repression utilise that aspect of the mind all remain valid.

    As a true Jungian I do think it is perhaps a matter of semantics, symbolic concepts come and go but they are often explaining the same things and what is being labelled are perrenial.

  9. #9
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well the idea is that if you dont and theoretically can not know either the unconscious or content of the unconscious how can you know that there is such a thing at all? Ergo its just a theoretical construct with no basis in fact, personally I think Freud's observations about, first, the existence of a memories and motives which are not conscious, and, second, then about how various processes like repression utilise that aspect of the mind all remain valid.

    As a true Jungian I do think it is perhaps a matter of semantics, symbolic concepts come and go but they are often explaining the same things and what is being labelled are perrenial.
    You're also Te dominant. Much of your perspective will revolve around what you've gleaned as objective.. environmentally speaking. You're also extroverted. Why would you have much experience with noticing your subconscious at play to begin with? Not to say you couldn't (that would be ridiculous), but if "type" has anything to do it, you orient yourself in ways that aren't conducive to it imo.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Ya, you should try to find some links or arguments against the subcon. I just did a quick search, came across a site that stated it was against the subcon, but the specifics of it were directed against using hypnotherapy as a psycological tool. The only argument I found what that the subcon may indeed exist, but shrinks attempting to interpret how this manifests into behavior is invalid, as there is nothing to measure it by.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

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