How much of what we do is directed by conscious, deliberate decisions and how much originates in unconscious, automatic directives? This is the question explored in The Two of Me via an engaging combination of phenomenological subjective investigation and objective considerations of mental processes and specific structures. John Birtchnell puts forward the thesis that many more of our actions than we might imagine are determined unconsciously. Not only are unnoticed automatic actions motivated unconsciously, but also seemingly conscious or 'thought out' behaviours are actually determined and reinforced by unconscious exigencies. Even where we produce a reasoned discourse taking responsibility for why we hold certain thoughts, there is always the possibility that these explanations serve and follow from an unconscious driving force. The conscious mind seems to act as spokesperson for both itself and the unconscious mind. Investigating this dual aspect of the person, the book addresses the issue across a range of mental processes including memory, language, problem-solving, dreams, delusions, hallucinations and more complex constructs such as the arts, humour and religion.
- Publication Date:
- 20 / 11 / 2003