Date of Award

Spring 1995

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This dissertation is an attempt to account for the unconscious element in the human mind, given a Cartesian model of the self. Descartes' psychology seems, on the face of it, to preclude the existence of unconscious mental processes, for it explicitly identifies the mental with the conscious, thought with self-awareness. But, we may ask, is it possible, from within a Cartesian framework, to still hold to the existence of unconscious mental processes? With regard to the Freudian account of the unconscious (discussed below), MacIntyre notes that despite his rejection of the identification of the mental with self-awareness, "Freud retains from the Cartesian picture the idea of the mind as something distinct and apart, a place or a realm which can be inhabited by such entities as ideas." The thesis of this dissertation is that the French philosopher Nicolas Malebranche (1638-1715), while taking as his basic starting point the Cartesian view of the self, made important changes in Descartes' philosophy of mind, changes which allow a place for the unconscious in Malebranche's psychology...



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