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(1) The present collective monograph is unusual both in its content and in the history of its conception. It contains a many-sided analysis of the hitherto little-studied problem of unconscious mental activity. Apart from Soviet researchers - psychologists, clinicians, physiologists, philosophers, linguists, literary critics - and specialists in diverse fields from Socialist countries, many of their colleagues from Western Europe and America have joined their efforts to produce the present volumes.

The systematic work carried on for more than three years by a broad spectrum of authors has yielded a picture which can reasonably be regarded as one reflecting at least the major approaches to the problem of the unconscious in world science before the beginning of the last quarter of this century. The exceptional complexity of the problem, lack of adequate exploration and the debatable nature of the questions inevitably arising in the course of the study have naturally contributed to the pronounced heterogeneity and variety in its treatment observable in the various papers comprising the present volumes. These polymorphous interpretations often screen deeper, fundamental differences of a methodological order that exist between the initial theoretical lines of approach, the directions of analysis and ways of interpretation characteristic of different authors.

This heterogeneity of subject matter bore the inherent risk of the content of the monograph being perceived by the reader as a hard-to-digest set of contradictory views in which it is difficult to grasp certain delimiting or - on the contrary - linking lines and ordering contrapositions. To avert an undesirable effect of this kind, the editors have attempted to give a possibly clearer description of the methodological positions from which the general questions dealt with in the monograph are treated; to explicate, in the course of discussion, the characteristic points of view represented here, which reflect the fundamental theoretical orientation of the authors of individual papers. In particular, these efforts to organize the text logically took the following form.

As is generally known, interpretations of the problem of the unconscious in Western literature more often than not bear the clear imprint of idealistic philosophy or of closeness to simplified mechanistic constructions. The editors have endeavoured to counter these interpretations systematically - where topics of a broad theoretical scope were involved - with ideas and solutions suggested by the philosophy of Marxism. Thereby a definite logical structuralization of the entire material under discussion was achieved, which assisted in a deeper understanding of the subject matter. This was effected by adding a number of generalizing articles: the Introduction to the first volume, the Conclusion ending the third volume, and the Introductory articles prefacing each of the ten major sections of the monograph. In writing these articles the editors worked from theoretical propositions which appeared to them basic from the methodological point of view, namely, (a) the idea of therealness of the unconscious as a psychological phenomenon; (b) that by departing from the idea of the unconscious it is impossible to gain a deep insight into the psychological structure of any act of human behaviour; (c) that appropriate unravelling of the idea of the unconscious calls for its general dialectical-materialistic understanding; (d) that in building a scientific theory of the unconscious it is essential to use the evidence on the concept of psychological set developed by the outstanding Soviet thinker, psychologist and philosopher D. N. Uznadze and further elaborated by his school.

(2) Having taken the initiative which has resulted in the present collective work, the editors were mindful of the peculiarity and paradoxes of the problem of the unconscious and its evolution as seen in: (a) the unparalleled poignancy of the controversy surrounding this problem lasting for almost a century, which, notwithstanding this long concentration of attention on it, has yielded astonishingly few facts and regularities involved that could be regarded as firmly established; (b) attempts to approach the problem of the unconscious (or at any rate a striving to broach it in some way) in most diverse fields of knowledge, coupled with inadequately worked out methods of its study; (c) the role played by the activity of the unconscious in various man-ifestatons of man's spiritual life; (d) the existence of a parallel trend in the literature tending to deny the occurrence of any activity of this kind. The editors have also taken account of the characteristic record of attempts to study the problem of the unconscious: periodic renewal of interest in the problem, which led to the holding of special meetings (the Boston Symposium of 1910, the Chicago meetings of the 1930s, the Bonneval Colloquium arranged by H. Ey in the 1960s, France), followed by long periods of oblivion, as it were, of this problem (with the exception of the Psychoanalytic school which has naturally never turned away from it).

This checkered career of the problem in question allows us to arrive at least at one important conclusion regarding the strategy of future investigations. A further study of this highly involved, ramified area of knowledge, full of contradictions (albeit only apparent, but nevertheless rendering analysis difficult) can and must be undertaken only as a widely organized and oriented interdisciplinary approach addressed to qualitatively differing aspects of mental activity, many of which so far appear to be latent and even hard to formalize. Only by using such systems- and generalizing approach can one hope to arrive at some firm results. Narrower, one-sided studies - even of an in-depth nature but unrelated to analogous endeavours in other areas- can hardly hope to meet with genuine success.

This rationale is reflected in the logical structure of the present monograph, making for the variety of its subject matter: the first section is devoted to the realness of the unconscious as a psychological category, i. e., as the unconscious mind; the second to the recent trends in the interpretation of this concept; the third to the physiological mechanisms of the activity of the unconscious; the fourth to the relation of the theory of the unconscious to that of sleep and hypnosis; the fifth to the manifestations of the unconscious in clinical pathology; the sixth to the relation of the activity of the unconscious to art; the seventh to the role of the unconscious in thinking activity; the eighth to the involvement of the unconscious in the functions of speech; the ninth to the problem of the unconscious and personality; the tenth to methods of the study of the unconscious.

(3) As noted above representatives of many countries have contributed to the present monograph. Apart from Soviet researchers scientists and scholars from Bulgaria, the GDR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, France, the USA, Canada, Britain, Ireland, the FRG, Italy, and Austria have participated in this joint effort. Many of them are specialists of high standing and widely known for their work outside their respective countries. Therefore the desire is but natural for a further careful discussion and critical analysis of the materials prepared by this authoritative body. An attempt at such a critique contained in the articles written by the editors may at best be regarded only as a beginning in this important endeavour.

With this in mind, the editors viewed the materials they were preparing for publication as the basis for further discussion at a special international symposium to be held in Tbilisi in 1978- It is envisaged that the results of the discussion of the problem of the unconscious at the proposed symposium will be published in a closing (postsymposiac), fourth volume.

(4) The editors wish to extend their apologies to the few contributors whose papers were slightly abridged. As a rule, only those papers were affected the size of which exceeded that originally suggested by the editors.

(5) In conclusion, the editors would like to recall with a feeling of deep gratitude that this book owes its origin to the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, and in the first place to the vast work carried on for decades by the staff of the D. N. Uznadze Institute of Psychology, who imaginatively enriched the heritage of the thinker whose name the Institute bears. The Department of Philosophy and Psychology of Tbilisi State University did an exceptionally important and complex work in preparing the monograph for publication.

The editors would like to express their profound gratitude to Professor A. N. Leontyev, Member of the USSR Academy of Pedagogical Sciences, for the highly valuable advice given by him to the editors at all stages of preparation of this monograph, and to Professor L. Chertok, one of the Directors of the Centre de Mcdecine Psychosomatique Deferine, for the immense, invariably friendly and responsible work which he unfailingly did over several years toward the selection and classification of the materials of the monograph, as well as in the coordination of the work of its foreign participants.

The editors are profoundly grateful to all the other institutions and persons that in various forms gave their valuable support to the idea of creating the monograph and expressed their readiness to take part in the organization and work of the proposed international symposium for the discussion of its materials, especially to:

The Scientific-Research Institute of Psychology of the USSR Academy of Sciences, directed by Professor B. F. Lomov, Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences; the V. M. Bekhterev Research Institute of Psychoneurology of the RSFSR Ministry of Public Health, directed by Professor M. M. Kabanov; the Brain Research Instituteof the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences, directed by Professor O. S. Adrianov, Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences; the Research Institute of Normal Physiology of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences, directed by Professor K. V. Sudakov, Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences; the Scientific-Research Institute of Philosophy of the Bulgarian Acadamy of Sciences, directed by Academician S. Ganovski; Professor R. O. Jacobson (Harvard University, USA); Professor K. Pribram (Stanford University, USA); Professor J. A. Bustamante O'Liri (the Havana Institute for Cerebral Studies, Republic of Cuba); Professor A. Katzenstein (Society of Psychotherapists of the German Democratic Republic).

The editors express their sincere gratitude to the writer V. M. Mikhailov for his sponsoring of various publications and his articles 4n the Literaturnaya Gazeta which substantially contributed to a correct elucidation and popularization of the ideas of the present effort. Thanks are also due to the editorial staff of the journals La Nouvelle Critique (97, 1976) and Voprosy filosofii (2, 1978) which pointed out the importance of the problem undertaken and the advisability of its further discussion.

The editors are sincerely thankful to the collaborators of Tbilisi State University, the Publishing House of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, and the Gecrgian Pclytechnical Institute, especially to A. A. Tchanturia, N. V. Bakhtadze, M. G. Machabeli and L. I. Slitinskaya for their unstinted help in the preparation of the monograph for the press.

The editors wish to acknowledge the valuable assistance given them in the complex work of editing the foreign texts by the prematurely deceased S. V. Tsouladze, an eminent man of letters and psychotherapist, laureate of the Prix Lcnglois de Vacademie Francaise.

Finally, cordial thanks are extended to all the authors of the papers included in the monograph for their generous contribution to the development of the major scientific problem uniting all of us.

The problem of unconscious mental activity and its role in human life - the object of our joint work in compiling this book - has caused over decades more controversy than any other major problems of psychology and theoretical medicine. Nevertheless we chose this problem for our joint discussion, which has naturally made our road difficult. However, if we succeed in widening the zone of agreement in this highly complex, contradictory and involved field we shall feel satisfied that our efforts have not been in vain.

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