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Certainty

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An [[internal ]] [[moral ]] conviction resulting from [[reflection]], or subjectively imposed in the [[form ]] of an intuition or illumination, certainty is an [[intellectual ]] sentiment that transposes sensory evidence into the realm of [[thought]]. Sigmund [[Freud ]] gave little thought to the [[concept ]] except when considering its opposite, doubt, or as related to the [[idea ]] of conviction, which connotes an [[illusory ]] or mistaken [[content ]] (delusional conviction). However, [[dreams ]] are an example of a [[mental ]] product accompanied by certainty since [[images]], rather than judgments, are involved. Conversely, whenever there is doubt, it is the misrepresentation that underscores the ability of the element in question to convey [[meaning]].It is especially in the area of [[superstition ]] and [[knowledge ]] of the paranormal that Freud investigated the [[notion ]] of certainty. As with [[paranoid ]] delirium, he sees its origin in a [[projection ]] of the [[contents ]] of the [[unconscious ]] onto the [[outside ]] [[world ]] (1901b). This idea was developed in connection with animist thought and later with the [[category ]] of [[experience]], which included [[feelings ]] of [[seeing ]] or experiencing something one has seen or experienced before (<i>déjà-vu</i> and <i>déjà-vécu</i>) (1914a), and feelings of [[alienation ]] (<i>[[Entfremdung]]</i>), or the [[uncanny ]] (<i>Unheimlichkeit</i>). What is in question in all of these are "obsolete [[primal ]] convictions" associated with a primal inability to differentiate between the ego and the outside world.Freud's [[analysis ]] of [[religious ]] feelings—what Romain Rolland refers to as <i>oceanic feelings</i> (1930a [1929])—provided him with an opportunity to question whether certainty is equivalent to an [[objective ]] [[perception]]. These feelings, he wrote, are "described as feelings but are apparently complicated [[processes ]] associated with determinate contents and decisions concerning those contents." The only things that are certain are [[death ]] and the relation between the [[mother ]] (<i>certissima</i> [absolutely certain]) and the [[child]], while the [[father ]] is <i>semper incertus</i> (always uncertain). The [[fantasy ]] of certainty, which the most skeptical researcher is never without, can thus be associated with this experience of primary and irreplaceable assurance: that of [[being ]] the mother's child. What is certain is irreplaceable. For Freud, the [[psychoanalyst ]] is prepared "for the sake of attaining some fragment of objective certainty, to sacrifice everything—the dazzling brilliance of a flawless [[theory]], the exalted [[consciousness ]] of having achieved a comprehensive view of the [[universe]], the mental calm brought [[about ]] by the possession of extensive grounds for expedient and [[ethical ]] [[action]]" (1941d [1921], pp. 179). This spiritual [[abstinence ]] is not based on an obsessive predilection for uncertainty but, on the contrary, a [[desire ]] of anticipated certainty, of possessing fragmentary crumbs of knowledge once and for all (Mijolla-Mellor, S., 1992).The concept of certainty in [[psychoanalysis ]] appears to be related both to the analysis of illusion associated with desire (Freud); or, more radically, with the [[destruction ]] of critical thought, the [[seductive ]] appeal of deviation, where the only possibility is one of [[repetition ]] (Aulagnier,1984), and to the always [[partial ]] and painfully won acquisition of partial [[certainties ]] incorporated in a renewed hypothetical-deductive approach.
==References==
<references/>
# [[Freud, Sigmund]]. (1901b). The [[psychopathology ]] of everyday [[life]]. SE,6.# ——. (1912-13a). [[Totem ]] and [[taboo]]. SE, 13: 1-161.# ——. (1914a). Fausse reconnaissance (déjà raconté) in [[psycho]]-[[analytic ]] [[treatment]]. SE, 13: 201-207.# ——. (1914d). On the [[history ]] of the psycho-analytic movement. SE, 14: 1-66.# ——. (1930a [1929]). [[Civilization ]] and its discontents. SE, 21: 59-145.# ——. (1941d [1921]). Psycho-analysis and [[telepathy]]. SE, 18: 177-193.# [[Lacan]], Jacques. (1945). Le [[temps ]] logique et l'assertion de certitude anticipée. Un nouveau sophisme. InÉcrits (pp. 197-213).
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