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Levels of unconsciousness and their formal structure



This brief essay replies to Carvalho's exposition of a formal approach to the concept of the unconscious which is originally due to Ignacio Matte Blanco (1908–1995), a psychoanalyst from Chile. It's a challenge – first because I have been largely unfamiliar with the details of Matte Blanco's approach, and second because the space available for this reply does not allow me to be as precise as Carvalho's essay no doubt deserves. I will start with some remarks about how I see Matte Blanco's system from a mathematical perspective and then try to relate it to some of the core features of Pauli's and Jung's thinking. I will conclude with a tentative proposal of how Matte Blanco's strata between full consciousness and most undifferentiated unconscious can be related to the tension between ontic and epistemic accounts.