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> 1910e

The antithetical meaning of primal words

Freud, Sigmund 1910e, 'The antithetical meaning of primal words', SE 11: 155-161.

In my Interpretation of Dreams I made a statement about one of the findings of my analytic work which I did not then understand. I will repeat it here by way of preface to this review: [This was written as a review of a pamphlet by Karl Abel (1884) with the same title.]
The way in which dreams treat the category of contraries and contradictories is highly remarkable. It is simply disregarded. "No" seems not to exist so far as dreams are concerned. They show a particular preference for combining contraries into a unity or for representing them as one and the same thing. Dreams feel themselves at liberty, moreover, to represent any element by its wishful contrary; so that there is no way of deciding at a first glance whether any element that admits of a contrary is present in the dream-thoughts as a positive or as a negative. 155 (Freud, Sigmund 1910e, The antithetical meaning of primal words, SE 11: 155-161, this quotation: 155; citing 1900a, SE 4: 318.)

GMG: Examples in English of words which have antithetical meanings: 'subject', …

In addition there are many words which have come to have antithetical meanings, through history.

New: 17 May, 2015 | Now: 19 May, 2015 | Garry Gillard | garrygillard[at]