More on the Unconscious Phantasy by Alfred Lorenzer

In this brief post, I'm adding on a useful article originally written by Alfred Lorenzer, first published at, and translated by Tobias Vollstedt (Apr, 2013).  The work of Alfred Lorenzer (1922-2002), a German training analyst from Frankfurt, can be called the most important German post-war contribution to psychoanalysis in the 20th century. 

Following my last article on Learning about the Nature and Function of Unconscious Phantasy, this article provides a systematic unpacking of Lorenzer's interpretation of  the Unconscious Phantasy and its meanings.

Here's the abstract:

The author examines the different meanings of 'phantsy' in Freud's writings. Abandoning the theory of seduction, it is argued, Freud still held the view that phantasy and bodily processes cannot be separated. The importance of both, the rootedness in bodily processes and the specific content of drives is stressed, as can be found in Freud's concept of unconscious phantasy. Furthermore, the speculative concepts of Eros and Thanatos are criticised and it is argued that here, Freud went beyond the psychoanalytic subject matter, i.e. he encountered the objective social impact on the individual. The author interprets psychoanalysis as a social science that deals with profiles of experiences. Criticising the theory of phylogenetic inheritance, the view is put forward that the unconscious is created by early interactions, beginning already on a purely organismic level in utero and thus is structured under the influence of society and culture. The concepts of symbolisation, de-symbolisation, sensualsymbolic interactionform and (speech-) symbolic interactionform are introduced in order to illuminate three meanings of phantasy: organismic interactionforms, pictorial phantasies in (day-) dreams and verbal phantasies or concepts.

 Download the original article here:  Lorenzer - Unconscious Phantasy.pdf

Useful Reference:

The Other Scene - An electronic journal of psychoanalysis