Semiotics as Metapsychology. The Status of Repression
Gay, Volney Patrick
Among the many replacements offered for Freud's much critizied metapsychology, those based on linguistics are especially popular. But are they adequate to the task? Peterfreund (1971), Ricoeur (1970), Schafer (1976), and many others have agreed in their rejection of Freud's economic point of view. They have disagreed, however, about its replacement. Relative latecomers to the dispute are those who hold that semiotics, or the general theory of sign production, is the theory most likely to succeed Freud's defunct treatises on psychic energy. Among these contemporary authors is Colin Martindale (1975), whose work I shall analyze, not only to underscore its merits and, by extension, those of the semiotic option in general, but also to point out some of its limitations.