A desire or wish is something that you want to satisfy, and this involves
behaving in a certain way. When I have a wish, I want to satisfy it. It often
happens that one wish will conflict with another wish. When you have an
opposition of wishes and you act on something else instead, you could say you
are substituting an action for your original desire/wish. *
Contrast this with another series of mental states: perceptions.
Perceptions could be like realizations, or knowing or general cognition. There
is less notion of satisfaction and action tied to this set of mental states.
When Freud speaks of mental states, he has the desire category in mind
more times than not. This is not to say that he never means the alternate
type of mental states.
* The notion of subs here, is crucial for F. This is seen in the two neurotic
examples. The 30yo woman who calls in the maid to the room with the table
and the table cloth etc. One of F’s explanations is that she’s identifying with
her husband who couldn’t perform on their wedding night, but the husband is
satisfied cuz of the red inc spot. Or from her point of view, she wanted to have
sex on her wedding night, so now the neuroses is a sub satisfaction.
Side note on penis envy. F says that little girls envy boys for their penises
wish develops in a wish to be a man.
F sometimes speaks as though he’s speaking in the voice of an uncultured
It’s probably thanks to F that we have this connection of the self identifying w
another person. Identification is the earliest expression of an emotional tie to
another person. Consider the 30 yo again. Remember she’s identifying
herself w her husband. The other eg is the 19 yo girl w all the night time
ceremonies; can’t let her head or the cushions touch the head of the bed.
You can identify with someone you hate.