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Smith, J.H. Pao, P. (1973). On the Concept of Aggression. Psychoanal. St. Child, 28:331-346.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 28:331-346

On the Concept of Aggression

Joseph H. Smith, M.D. and Ping-Nie Pao, M.D.

IT IS OUR INTENTION TO PRESENT AGGRESSION AS A GENERAL motivational concept and to define the nature of behavior which we believe could most usefully be designated as the referent of such a concept. We believe that the question of a unitary versus a dualistic drive theory ordinarily rests on an unnoted reification of the concept of instinct or instinctual drive and is to that extent itself a false question. Rather than addressing ourselves to that question, we shall attempt to consider the conditions under which and the extent to which behavior displays a unitary motivational aspect and the ways in which the actual plurality of motivational determinants of behavior nevertheless lend themselves to a dualistic conceptual strategy—a conceptual dualism which need not be simplistic.


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