The decentred ego in a non-local world : from power to will

Dreyer, Verdie Michael (2005-03)

Thesis (MSc (Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.


The study identifies a basic psycho-logico assumption, coined the premise of locality, which is postulated by the author to permeate most of historical and contemporary psychological, philosophical and scientific thought. In light of the latter supposition the study explores the domain of quantum physics, whence an alternate psycho-logico assumption, the premise of non-locality, is conceptualised. The semantic implications of the non-locality premise are elucidated by investigating the meaning, character and symptoms of the locality premise. The indicative factors of the premise of locality are enumerated and consequently articulated upon the psychological thought of Jacques Lacan. The study demonstrates how the implicit locality assumptions in Lacan’s thinking are the provenance of the incompatibility of his mirror-stage formulation and the empirical findings of contemporary mirror self-recognition research. Assuming a premise of non-locality the author develops a psychological perception structure, coined dichotomous subject objectification. Dichotomous subject objectification represents the localized experience of the self as subject characterized by the capability for mirror self-recognition. Intuited by the premise of non-locality, the author introduces the notion of ‘non-local perceptum’. The physiological dynamics of non-local perceptum is conceptualised by explicating the meaning of ‘absolute power states’. The disposition of absolute power states in terms of dichotomous subject objectification is functionalised by correlating the latter with Michel Foucault’s conceptualisation of power-relations. Concerning the latter, particular attention is given to Foucault’s understanding of the modern day disparity between disciplinary power and sovereign power; the possible influence of this disparity on the psychological experience of the localized subject is subsequently investigated and a certain ‘cognitive dissonance’ is revealed. Localized psychological experience emanating through non-local perceptum is further illuminated by explicating the logical relevance of Socrates’ idiosyncratic flavour of ignorance. Implementing Socrates’ infamous dictum – I know that I don’t know – the study demonstrates how gazing through the prism of the locality premise creates scattered patterns of self-referential paradoxes and self-defeating scientific-logical suppositions. Subsequently the study illustrates that if, conversely, localized thought rather passes through the prism of the non-locality premise, the jumbled dissymmetries emanating from the locality prism are transfigured into symmetrical patterns of logical beauty. Concerning the notion of symmetry, the study explicates the importance there-of in terms of the non-locality premise by defining and differentiating the symmetrical [R] and the symmetrical [I]. The study evidences the pragmatic efficacy the notion of symmetry has already provided for the domain of physics in the past, and considers the vital importance of investigating the clinical applicability this notion might have for the domain of psychology in the future. This preliminary disquisition concerning the premise of non-locality is summarized in the conceptualisation of the ‘power to will’. The power to will evinces an alternative approach for addressing the paradigmatic reprise (postulated in terms of the ‘brilliant Greek mistake’) that confronts the post-modern mind.

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