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Contribution to Book
Possible worlds, possible selves: Dreaming and the liberation of consciousness
  • Tracey L. Kahan, Santa Clara University
Document Type
Book Chapter
Publication Date
Theories of the dreaming-waking relationship vary dramatically. Historically, the dominant view was that the dreaming mind is dissociated from the waking mind. William James, for example, asserted that a hallmark of the waking mind is the ability to reflect upon or evaluate ongoing experience (what Farthing termed reflective awareness) and that dreaming lacks this capacity.' In a similar vein, Freud theorized that dreaming entails a regression to earlier developmental stages and to primary processes characterized by magical thinldng, loss of ego control and irrationality. Many of the subsequent and highly influential dream theories that emerged from studies of dreaming in the sleep laboratory incorporated this 'deficiency' view of the dreaming mind without further investigation. Hence few dream researchers, with the notable exception of Sheila Purcell, Alan Moffitt and their colleagues took up the task of testing these claims empirically.
Chapter of
On dreams and dreaming
Sudhir Kakar
Citation Information
Kahan, T. L. (2011). Possible worlds, possible selves: Dreaming and the liberation of consciousness. In S. Kakar (Ed.), On dreams and dreaming (pp. 109-126). New Delhi: Viking-Penguin.