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Kaplan, D.M. (1984). 'Thoughts for the Times on War and Death': A Psychoanalytic Address on an Interdisciplinary Problem. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 11:131-141.

(1984). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 11:131-141

'Thoughts for the Times on War and Death': A Psychoanalytic Address on an Interdisciplinary Problem

Donald M. Kaplan

SUMMARY

The title of this address is taken from a 1915 essay by Freud in which he assessed the vast

moral plight engendered by the First World War, then raging in Europe. Freud deplored this military recourse to international affairs on grounds that warfare had at last become anachronistic in the development of human culture. This essay was one of several over the ensuing years in which Freud drew lines from his clinical and psychological concerns to political and social problems. His reflections on such issues as the origins of law in the social order and the effect of technology upon the quality of culture, constitute no less plausible an outcome of general psychoanalytic principles than his more systematic theory of the development and maintenance of individual mental life. The limits of Freud's political and social thought are also explored.

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