Unconscious mind

The unconscious mind (or the unconscious) consists of the processes in the mind which occur automatically and are not available to introspection, and include thought processes, memories, interests, and motivations.[1]

Even though these processes exist well under the surface of conscious awareness they are theorized to exert an impact on behavior. The term was coined by the 18th-century German Romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge.[2][3]

Empirical evidence suggests that unconscious phenomena include repressed feelings, automatic skills, subliminal perceptions, thoughts, habits, and automatic reactions,[1] and possibly also complexes, hidden phobias and desires.

The concept was popularized by the Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. In psychoanalytic theory, unconscious processes are understood to be directly represented in dreams, as well as in slips of the tongue and jokes.

Thus the unconscious mind can be seen as the source of dreams and automatic thoughts (those that appear without any apparent cause), the repository of forgotten memories (that may still be accessible to consciousness at some later time), and the locus of implicit knowledge (the things that we have learned so well that we do them without thinking).

It has been argued that consciousness is influenced by other parts of the mind. These include unconsciousness as a personal habit, being unaware, and intuition. Phenomena related to semi-consciousness include awakening, implicit memory, subliminal messages, trances, hypnagogia, and hypnosis. While sleep, sleepwalking, dreaming, delirium, and comas may signal the presence of unconscious processes, these processes are seen as symptoms rather than the unconscious mind itself.

Some critics have doubted the existence of the unconscious.[4][5][6]

Historical overview

The term "unconscious" (German: Unbewusste) was coined by the 18th-century German Romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling (in his ch. 6, § 3) and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge (in his Biographia Literaria).[2][3] Some rare earlier instances of the term "unconsciousness" (Unbewußtseyn) can be found in the work of the 18th-century German physician and philosopher Ernst Platner.[7][8]

Influences on thinking that originate from outside of an individual's consciousness were reflected in the ancient ideas of temptation, divine inspiration, and the predominant role of the gods in affecting motives and actions. The idea of internalised unconscious processes in the mind was also instigated in antiquity and has been explored across a wide variety of cultures. Unconscious aspects of mentality were referred to between 2500 and 600 BC in the Hindu texts known as the Vedas, found today in Ayurvedic medicine.[9][10][11]

Paracelsus is credited as the first to make mention of an unconscious aspect of cognition in his work Von den Krankheiten (translates as "About illnesses", 1567), and his clinical methodology created a cogent system that is regarded by some as the beginning of modern scientific psychology.[12] William Shakespeare explored the role of the unconscious[13] in many of his plays, without naming it as such.[14][15][16] In addition, Western philosophers such as Arthur Schopenhauer,[17][18] Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Leibniz, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Eduard von Hartmann, Søren Kierkegaard, and Friedrich Nietzsche[19] used the word unconscious.

In 1880, Edmond Colsenet supports at the Sorbonne, a philosophy thesis on the unconscious.[20] Elie Rabier and Alfred Fouillee perform syntheses of the unconscious "at a time when Freud was not interested in the concept".[21]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Das Unbewusste
العربية: عقل باطن
অসমীয়া: অচেতন মন
asturianu: Inconsciente
বাংলা: অচেতন মন
български: Несъзнавано
català: Inconscient
čeština: Nevědomí
eesti: Alateadvus
Ελληνικά: Ασυνείδητο
español: Inconsciente
Esperanto: Nekonscio
euskara: Inkontziente
français: Inconscient
Frysk: Unbewuste
galego: Inconsciente
한국어: 무의식
հայերեն: Անգիտակցական
íslenska: Dulvitund
italiano: Inconscio
עברית: לא-מודע
қазақша: Бейсаналық
Кыргызча: Бейаңдуулук
lietuvių: Pasąmonė
magyar: Tudattalan
македонски: Несвен ум
Bahasa Melayu: Pemikiran bawah sedar
Nederlands: Onbewuste
日本語: 無意識
occitan: Inconscient
português: Inconsciente
română: Inconștient
sicilianu: Ncuscenza
Simple English: Unconscious mind
slovenčina: Nevedomie
српски / srpski: Несвесно
தமிழ்: உள்மனம்
тоҷикӣ: Бешуурӣ
українська: Несвідоме
Tiếng Việt: Vô thức
中文: 潛意識