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This book analyzes a subtle but intriguing mental event--the paradoxical surprise that people sometimes feel when they come upon something that they have felt sure existed but are seeing for the first time. Noted first by Sigmund Freud, this common but odd experience proves remarkably resistant to trivial explanation.Upon seeing the Acropolis for the first time, Freud remarked, "So all this really does exist, just as we learned in school!" Similarly, in everyday life we often feel compelled to verify firsthand the scene of a recent event, even though we never doubted its occurrence. Susan Sugarman probes this experience and its relation to other everyday sensibilities, such as the pleasure of reencountering the familiar and people's fascination with authenticity. Although the experience manifests itself in a seeming lapse in logic and remains obscure in a way that one might--and that Freud did--associate with pathological formations, it is neither illogical nor pathological. On the contrary, it observes a moment of mental health and personal integration.Similar to approaches in modern philosophy and linguistics, Sugarman's analysis is applied here accessibly and in ordinary terms to concrete behavior and experience. As a result, thought and feeling, normally believed to elude systematic inquiry, yield to it, allowing for genuine progress in understanding the human mind.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780465083305
ISBN-10: 0465083307
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 153mm x 8mm)
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 24-Jun-1999
Country of Publication: United States

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