Keywords: Unconscious, Consciousness, Identity, Introspection, Crisis of Presence.
Giovanni Jervis (1933-2009) was a prominent figure in the Italian intellectual landscape of the last fifty years. From 1959 to 1963 he collaborated with Ernesto De Martino in a team study of the ecstatic healing cult of tarantism in the Salentine Peninsula of southern Italy. And from 1966 to 1969 he pioneered experience of deinstitutionalization in the psychiatric hospital of Gorizia with Franco Basaglia. In 1977, he quit public psychiatry to teach Dynamic Psychology at Sapienza - University of Rome until he retired in 2005. The main focus of his academic research was on social psychiatry and psychology, the foundations of psychology (especially of the psychodynamic theories), and the psychological aspects of social and political problems. This article is an attempt to systematize some of his empirically-informed philosophical investigations on three foundational themes: the unconscious, consciousness, and identity.