Unconscious - The Empirical Unconscious: Nerves, Memory and Automatism

Author: Samuel Butler

Title: Unconscious Memory (1880)


Pages: Introduction  |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  | 


The subtitle of Unconscious Memory (1880) by Samuel Butler, better known for his novels Erewhon and The Way of All Flesh, is ‘A comparison between the theory of Dr. Ewald Hering, professor of physiology at the University of Prague, and The ‘Philosophy of the Unconscious’ of Dr. Edward von Hartmann’ and the book is very much based around translations from those authors. The section extracted is from Hering’s lecture ‘On Memory as a Universal Function of Organised Matter’ originally delivered in 1870, and deals with a very popular nineteenth-century topic – where do memories go when they are not in consciousness: ‘we know that they are living somewhere…’ Hering puts the idea very forcefully that the bond of union ‘which connects the individual phenomena of our consciousness lies in our unconscious world’.

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Back to Unconscious documents | Introduction  |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |