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Money-Kyrle, R. (1927). Freudian Essays on Religion and Science: By Cavendish Moxon. (Richard G. Badger. Pp. 133.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:286.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:286

Freudian Essays on Religion and Science: By Cavendish Moxon. (Richard G. Badger. Pp. 133.)

Review by:
R. Money-Kyrle

This book is a collection of eleven essays, ten of which have appeared separately before. The most interesting of the analytically more orthodox papers is 'The Development of Libido in Friedrich Nietzsche, ' but the chapter headed 'Freud's Death Instinct and Rank's Libido Theory' is probably the most important.

Mr. Moxon, who is an exponent of Rank's later theories, believes that Freud's attempt to explain the destructive impulse and the compulsion to repeat 'without the aid of his libido theory, ' i.e. by postulating a death impulse, is due to an unconscious attempt to ignore the tendency to regress to the inter-uterine condition—the tendency which is, according to Rank, most deeply repressed. Other analysts sometimes suppose that Rank's theory of the importance of inter-uterine regression is due to an unconscious attempt to underestimate a later incestuous impulse. The innovation of Rank lies less in that he posits a tendency to inter-uterine regression than in that he regards failure to abreact the trauma of birth as the necessary and sufficient condition to subsequent neurosis. Freud's death impulse and love impulse and Rank's impulse to regress to a pre-natal state all ultimately meet in the impulse to return to states which were states of equilibrium before changes in the environment made previous adaptations less appropriate. This tendency Freud seems to have been the first analyst to recognize. It is not with Rank's theory of ultimate impulses that he disagrees, but with the belief that neuroses can be cured by forcing the neurotic to repeat and abreact the shock of birth. Freud's 'Wiederholungszwang' or 'Todestrieb' is really more general than Rank's conception, which it includes, and I do not think that Freud need disagree with Mr. Moxon when the latter supposes that the Todestrieb is the impulse to annihilate the cause of change and to return to the undisturbed condition.

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