Comparing the Unconscious and Consciousness

Better Essays
Comparing the Unconscious and Consciousness

Consciousness and unconscious are two psychological terms that are commonly used in this field of study. Their importances mainly appear when psychologists deal with their patients because they will surely think about these two terms. To understand these two terms we must know their definitions. This step can enable us to recognize the difference between them.

Consciousness is a psychological condition defined by the English philosopher John Locke as "the perception of what passes in a man's own mind." While unconscious in psychology is the aspect of mental life that is separated from immediate consciousness and is not subject to recall at will.

The history of consciousness is interesting because it was recently known just in the early 19th century the concept was variously considered. Some philosophers regarded it as a kind of substance, or "mental stuff," quite different from the material substance of the physical world. Others thought of it as an attribute characterized by sensation and voluntary movement, which separated animals and men from lower forms of life and also described the difference between the normal waking state of animals and men and their condition when asleep, in a coma, or under anesthesia, the latter condition was described as unconsciousness. Other descriptions included an analysis of consciousness as a form of relationship or act of the mind toward objects in nature, and a view that consciousness was a continuous field or stream of essentially mental "sense data," roughly similar to the "ideas" of earlier empirical philosophers.

The method employed by most early writers in observing consciousness was introspection looking within one's own...

... middle of paper ...

... the other signs within it. This is the feature of language, which allows for the possibility of puns and other forms of understanding and misunderstanding. Applied to kinship relations, it is the feature, which allows for confusion and proliferation of roles. Consciousness makes use of conventional signs which are associated with fixed meanings this is why we are able to understand one another, but the unconscious can, through language, "signify something quite other than what it says." It can be "play as it likes on the sonic materiality of the symbols of language without regard for their real meaning, and can use them to express a quite unconscious meaning'." Thus, the unconscious can use the natural faults and fissures in language as channels of desire a desire, which, if Freud is right, ultimately must be the anarchical wish for the destruction of civilization.