• AMMDI is an open-notebook hypertext writing experiment, authored by Mike Travers aka @mtraven. It's a work in progress and some parts are more polished than others. Comments welcome! More.
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from Joel Kovel
  • Things and Words: metapsychology and the historical point of view

    • The problem of the conceptual centre of psychoanalysis may be regarded as contained in a series of linked antinomies. The most general form taken by these antinomies is...that between force and meaning...within this schema the force term would then be something objective, or at least objectifiable, and thus comprehensible within the terms of natural science, whearas the meaning term would remain outside the net of natural sciences, being determinable only by symbolic means of one kind or another. (p81)
from Joel Kovel
  • While it is generally all too facile to draw parallels between earlier thinkers and Freud, the case of William Blake is an exceptionally intriguing one. For one thing, there is just too much explicit 'metapsychology' in the lines from Blake to be passed by. These are not pre-Freudian intuitions...but almost exact enunciations of what Freud held to be most essential about the psyche.
Twin Pages


14 Aug 2021 11:06 - 01 Jan 2022 07:48

    • In the context of Freudian psychology, the large-scale structure of the mind or of theories of mind. (That is kind of unclear, but I that's because I am highly unclear on the concept).
    • So, for instance, the existence of the unconscious and its relationship to the conscious mind would be metapsychology, while the contents of either would be base-level psychology. I think. The conception of a separate psychic centers with their own levels of energy would be metapsychology.
    • Metapsychology - Wikipedia to the rescue:
      • In the 1910s, Freud wrote a series of twelve essays, to be collected as Preliminaries to a Metapsychology. Five of these were published independently under the titles: "Instincts and Their Vicissitudes," "Repression," "The Unconscious," "A Metapsychological Supplement to the Theory of Dreams," and "Mourning and Melancholia." The remaining seven remained unpublished, an expression of Freud's ambivalence about his own attempts to articulate the whole of his vision of psychoanalysis. In 1919 he wrote to Lou Andreas-Salome, "Where is my Metapsychology? In the first place it remains unwritten".10 In 1920 he published Beyond the Pleasure Principle, a text with metaphysical ambitions.
    • Another take: George Klein's
      • central preoccupation at the time of his death – the disentangling of the two theories of psychoanalysis, the metapsychological, or mechanistic, and the psychological, or one of meaning.
        • Psychology vs Metapsychology, quoted by Joel Kovel in The Radical Spirit, p83
      • This could explain why I find the term mysterious; from my background, what they are calling "meta" is actually more fundamental, it should better be called sub-psychological than meta-psychological.
      • metapsychology has generally referred to those parts of psychoanalytic theory that are not immediately referrable to the evidence of conscious behavior but that employ instead mediating concepts such as 'structure, 'drive', 'libido', and so forth.
        • Kovel, ibid,
        • Also cites Roy Schafer as someone who tried to eliminate all non-human agency from psychology...which sounds backwards to me but maybe interesting nonetheless.