Freud’s link to a Hegelian tradition with which he otherwise shares little is in the deliberate renunciation of common sense. “A person who professes to believe in commonsense psychology,” Freud is reported saying once, “and who thinks psychoanalysis is ‘far-fetched’ can certainly have no understanding of it, for it is common sense which produces all the ills we have to cure.”
Psychologically speaking, enlightenment always meant an advance in the training of mistrust in the construction of an ego concerned about self-assertion and control of reality. Freud’s methodology can be summarized, in a way, as the attempt to keep the path to the unconscious open without using hypnosis. One may consider whether, in Freud’s procedure, a finesse born of mistrust is not at work.
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