The Freud Museum


Does the unconscious have free will?

No. It would be a contradiction to speak of free will that isn't supported by a conscious, decision-making process. The unconscious cannot be said to have free will because it is not conscious. Strictly speaking it doesn't have any kind of will at all, free or otherwise. It's a difficult idea to get your head around, but it's vital to understand that for Freud the unconscious is a bit like a set of thoughts without a thinker. One of Freud’s followers described it as 'headless knowledge'.

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