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The Primordial Dance

Diametric and Concentric Spaces in the Unconscious World

Paul Downes

This book argues that a silent axis of the unconscious world rests largely undiscovered. It recasts foundational concepts in the psychology of Freud, Jung, Carol Gilligan and R.D. Laing, as well as in cognitive science, to highlight this hidden unconscious axis: primordial spaces of diametric and concentric structures. The author generates fresh approaches to understanding the philosophy of early Heidegger and Derrida, with the idea of cross-cultural diametric and concentric spaces fuelling a radical reinterpretation of early Heidegger’s transcendental project, and challenging a postmodern consensus that reduces truths and experiences to mere socially constructed playthings of culture.
The book, which also examines projected structures in modernist art, suggests a systematic refashioning of many Western assumptions, but it is more than a deconstruction. It also attempts to offer a new interplay between structures and meaning, as a spatial phenomenology. This significant expansion of the boundaries of human subjectivity opens alternative pathways for imagining what it means to be human, in order to challenge the reduction of experience to instrumental reason.


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Figures and Tables


Figure 1 Diametric Dualism 4 Figure 2 Concentric Dualism 5 Figure 3 Yin/Yang 46 Figure 4 The Scream (1893) by Edvard Munch. Technique: Tempera and Wax Crayon on cardboard. Photographer: Børre Høstland. © Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, Oslo/The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo/ The Munch-Ellingsen Group/IVARO 2011. 220 Figure 5 The Kiss (1907–1908) by Gustav Klimt. Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna. 227 Figure 6 Last Judgement (1467–1471) by Hans Memling. National Museum, Gdansk. 242 Table 1 Key aspects of a spatial-phenomenology in relation to primordiality 13 Table 2 Key aspects of a spatial-phenomenology for Gilligan’s (1982) ethic of care and logic of justice in relation to primordiality 79 Table 3 Freud’s death drive and diametric space 175 Table 4 The dif ferent conceptions of subjectivity in modern- ism, postmodernism and spatial-phenomenology 230 Table 5 The spatial discourse of implication in yin/yang 238 xvi Figures and Tables Table 6 Key dimensions of a proposed psychoanalytic graphology 267 Table 7 Schema structure-content relativity 373 Table 8 The entailments of diametric and concentric spaces in relation to image schemata 378

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