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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter sketches a reconstruction of the basic psychoanalytic conception of the mind in terms of two historical resources: the conception of the subject developed in post-Kantian idealism, and Spinoza’s laws of the affects in Part Three of the Ethics. The former supplies the conceptual basis for the psychoanalytic notion of the unconscious, while the latter defines the type of psychological causality of psychoanalytic explanations. The imperfect fit between these two elements, it is argued, is reflected in familiar conceptual difficulties surrounding psychoanalytic theory and explanation.

Keywords: subject, causality, affect, unconscious, post-Kantian idealism, Spinoza

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