Popular or widespread versions of psychoanalysis, for which I think the root thinkers and their texts must be held responsible, present the subconscious as a separate entity that operates or can operate independently of the rest of the mind, and probably exists in a superior or at least a dominant plane. This intuitive character drama is immediately attractive to the unsuspicious reader, and suggests that the unconscious is the power behind the throne, the prisoner behind the fleshen mask, the mad woman in the attic, the suppressed voice, the excluded minority, Abel to Cain, Ormuzd to Ahriman.

However, there is no evidence to suggest that there must be such an additional but subconscious organic whole. Other inferences are at least as plausible; indeed, what indications we have lead to the more theoretically economical view that the mind in some states, sleep for example, operates without consciousness and perhaps without access to other functions.

This is a very long way from the psychoanalytical suggestion that the mind in dream reveals a hidden self. There is no reason, after all, for thinking that an engine in neutral and idling is a separate or more authentic machine than the same engine in gear and under load.

The philosophy of mind is rich in the needless multiplication of entities, but the 'unconscious' is perhaps the most speciously attractive and misleading of any.