Recollections waiting for a thinker. Memory, trauma and ambiguity

Author/s Marco Francesconi
Publishing Year 2012 Issue 2012/2
Language Italian Pages 24 P. 75-98 File size 1689 KB
DOI 10.3280/RSF2012-002005
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The article analyses the concept of memory in Freud’s early writings - "Project for Scientific Psychology" and "The Interpretation of Dreams" - in connection with neurosciences. Freud’s thought appears forward-looking, in particular when Freud underlines the primacy of mnestic elements over perception and the inhibitory nature of the ego-system (that yields and controls the spontaneous rise of memory/delusion as first response to a need-desire). The Freudian concepts of ‘perceptual identity’ and ‘thought identity’ - concepts that anticipate the necessity of memory to continuously correlate and re-categorize - are useful tools for building a model of the mind that combines Freud’s ideas in the current scientific approach of neurosciences. Moreover the concepts of ‘ambiguity’ and ‘metamorphosis’ are used to describe different ways to understand the impact of trauma on the mind. For example, these concepts help with understanding the "un-representability" of traumatic events, when archaic forms of representation of the primitive functioning of the mind (comprising also "unconscious fantasies") are reactivated. Finally, the article applies the concepts of ‘alien self’ and ‘self with an indifferent nuclearity’ to point out "primitive states of the mind" that could be significant visions of the initial state of the individual’s thought, when the latter is probably more vulnerable to traumatic situations.

Keywords: Memory, trauma, ambiguity, perceptual identity, identity of thought, metamorphosis.

Marco Francesconi, Ricordi in attesa di un pensatore. Memoria, trauma e ambiguità in "RIVISTA SPERIMENTALE DI FRENIATRIA" 2/2012, pp 75-98, DOI: 10.3280/RSF2012-002005