Doubt and Uncertainty in Jentsch’s and Freud’s Examinations of the Uncanny

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Uncanny Valley

He postulated that as a robot becomes more human in appearance and motion, human beings will have an increasingly positive, empathic response. However, when some point of human-like quality is reached, the response will switch to repulsion and uneasiness. Eventually though, the response will become positive once again when the robot is almost entirely human.

This idea has met with some criticism that points to lack of proof as a basis for it being pseudoscience. These found through the survey of numerous participants, that there was in fact a point between artificial human depictions, such as dolls and CGI, and actual photographs of humans that evoked an increasingly unpleasant emotional response. So it is most likely that the Uncanny Valley is primarily prominent when an artist fails to depict all features in a near-human way.

Psychologists have suggested a few reasons for the Uncanny Valley, which also are strong reasons for the trouble CGI has with creating photorealistic humans.

(PDF) Freud, the Uncanny | 宇婷 费 - gasizzdera.tk

The most popular reason is based in the biology of social perception. Since human senses are well trained at reading moods from facial expressions and postures, these same senses create a super critical response to small flaws in representations of people. Similarly, little inaccuracies in the features of depictions of people blatantly stand out because we are so used to seeing accurate human faces in the physical world.

On the other hand, when a character is almost entirely non-human, the viewer sees a very different form and any human traits it has blatantly stand out.

Das Unheimliche

And the crack in the teacup opens A lane to the land of the dead —W. But drop by drop, that familiarity will begin to wobble. The world beyond the page looks different now. Seemingly supernatural; mysterious [orig.


  1. (PDF) Freud, the Uncanny | 宇婷 费 - gasizzdera.tk!
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Scholars have traced the word back as far as , and discovered something very telling about its roots. His Country Dreams and Apparitions are set in country villages and croft-houses, and are full of the homely dialect of his time and place. To share the news. Then something strange happens to the protagonist.

Reading Progress

Something seemingly supernatural. The experience of seeing differently isolates him from his oh-so-rational friends. The stories in E.

Of the artist as hero. His essay brought out into the open its ever-proliferating range of psychological and literary capacities. In their efforts to get ahold of the idea of the unheimliche , both Jentsch and Freud try to account for human experiences that create the sensation.

Emmanuel Carrère, Marie NDiaye, Eugène Savitzkaya

Freud lists at least twelve such categories of experience. The sensation of uncanniness is, at its core, an anxiety about the stability of those persons, places, and things in which we have placed our deepest trust, and our own sense of identity and belonging, that which we hold most private, from style to perception to the most hidden unhomelike subjects locked away in our private selves.

Freud, near the end of his essay, seems slightly envious of fiction writers.


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  • We react to his fictions as if they had been our own experiences. By the time we become aware of the trickery, it is too late.

    Buildings, like official histories, conceal the lost and buried stories of the past in their walls. We are haunted by childhood homes, by ruins and construction sites, by houses we once knew, now revised or demolished by later occupants. As Freud and Jentsch understood, the uncanny is nothing if not personal and idiosyncratic.

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