Repressed Contents Reconsidered:Repressed Contents and Dennett’s Intentional Stance Approach

Vesa Talvitie



The conventional view presented in terms of repressed contents brought to consciousness (a ‘realistic view’ of repressed contents) is seen as untenable because the existence of repressed contents cannot be pinpointed. An instrumentalist view of the nature of repressed contents is sketched, and Dennett’s intentional stance approach is applied to the issue of repressed contents. As opposed to realistic view, it is suggested that becoming conscious of repressed contents should be seen as forming new contents of consciousness. However, it is seen as plausible to project unconscious contents into the mind in an instrumentalist manner. An instrumentalist view is suggested to avoid ontological problems concerning repressed contents.


repressed contents; consciousness; physical stance; repression phenomenon; instrumentalist view

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