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Blum, H.P. (1967). On Aggression: By Konrad Lorenz. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1966. 306 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 36:609-612.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:609-612

On Aggression: By Konrad Lorenz. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1966. 306 pp.

Review by:
Harold P. Blum

This significant phylogenetic study of the aggressive drive was undertaken by a brilliant naturalist-ethologist who has made outstanding contributions to the study of instinctive behavior. Dr. Lorenz hoped that the understanding of the natural history of aggression achieved by evolutionary biology would make it possible to gain insights into the cause of aggressive disturbances in man. He discovered unexpected correspondences between the findings of psychoanalysis and behavioral physiology concerning the aggressive drive. He describes aggression as an instinct, inherited and endogenous, which in natural conditions helps to insure the survival of the individual and the species. In the complex patterning and interacting of instincts the aggressive impulse may have destructive results, but Dr. Lorenz does not see this as the primary goal of the biologically normal aggressive drive. He does not compare the periodicity, rhythmicity, and discharge patterns of aggression with other drives. He begins with a description of typical forms of aggressive behavior, their biological functions, and the interrelated physiology of instinctual motivation in the 'great parliament of instincts'. Instincts constantly interact with varying coöperation, cancellation, or compromise formations.

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