Take the 2-minute tour ×
Philosophy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for those interested in logical reasoning. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've edited this question after Dr Sisters comments on my mis-use of Freudian terminology.

My initial understanding of the mature Id-Ego-SuperEgo configuration is to see them as static. But according to wikipedias entry on this they should have a history:

"the three newly presented entities, the id, the ego and the superego, all had lengthy past histories

It also says that:

Developmentally, the Id precedes the Ego; i.e. the psychic apparatus begins, at birth, as an undifferentiated id, part of which then develops into a structured ego.

That the Id is initially undifferentiated in the new-born seems plausible. But as the Id separates out into the Ego as a consequence of grappling with reality (the Reality Principle), and the Super-Ego separates out of the Ego as an internalisation of authority (the father-figure), or as Freud puts it:

"one part of the ego sets itself over against the other, judges it critically, and, as it were, takes it as its object"

The original unstructured psyche (as the Id) has become structured as the Id-Ego-SuperEgo. Can this differentiation be viewed as a dialectic? The Ego arising as a synthesis between the Id & Reality. The SuperEgo as a synthesis between the Id & the Ego? It rewards & punishes both? That this dialectic is ongoing and creates a history for each part of the Id-Ego-SuperEgo?

I've added a tag for Hegel, as I'm supposing that Hegel described history as a dialectic. I'm not asserting that Hegel had a direct influence on Freud. In passing, it was Chalybaus that characterised Hegels dialectic as Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis formulation (he himself described his dialectic as Abstract-Negative-Concrete). Chalybaus's terminology is at least more immediately understandable.

share|improve this question
1  
What is it about Hegel's dialectic which makes you think this may be related? –  Dr Sister Feb 24 '13 at 12:22
    
@Drsister:I didn't think that it actually is. Its more that his philosophy may have made the notion and language of dialectic more popular. –  Mozibur Ullah Mar 3 '13 at 13:06
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

My answer would be no.

a static configuration of Id-Ego mediated by a Superego

this is an incorrect statement of Freud's model. In psychology Freud's formulation is often referred to as 'psychodynamic', one emphasising that internal instability is primary to any 'static configuration'. Also The Ego in Freudian psychology is the mediating agency between the striving id and the unachievable injunctions of the super-ego, not the super-ego which mediated the ego-id relation.

Hegel left a huge volume of material for Lacan to have read, I wouldn't necessarily be looking to the dialectic alone in order to discover the origin of his influence. My understanding is that Lacan came to know the work of Hegel much the same as most French people around at that time, through the lectures of Alexandre Kojève. The area i see the closest overlap would be Hegel's conception of negativity and Lacan's notion of lack.

share|improve this answer
    
If Freud didn't stipulate the super-ego as mediating agency who did? –  Mozibur Ullah Mar 3 '13 at 10:49
    
i think it's only you? i've never seen it anywhere else. Are you able to elaborate what you mean by mediation in this example? –  Dr Sister Mar 5 '13 at 1:15
    
I probably picked it up from some unsubtle popularisation of Freuds ideas somewhere. I also thought of super as in above rather than an idealisation, (but this does follow Freuds own terminology 'das Uber-Ich'). What I was attempting to clarify for myself in the question above is to understand how the Id-Ego-SuperEgo actually come into existence. The wikipedia age on this does say that the Ego seperates out of the Id - this is part of the process I was attempting to elaborate. –  Mozibur Ullah Mar 5 '13 at 10:17
    
I've elaborated my question a little more after your critiscisms. –  Mozibur Ullah Mar 5 '13 at 11:58
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.