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Denis, P. (2020). La pulsion de vie ou Éros sans sexe. Rev. fr. psychanal., 84(4):845-855.

(2020). Revue française de psychanalyse, 84(4):845-855

La pulsion de vie ou Éros sans sexe

(The Life Drive or Eros Without Sex)

Paul Denis

The “life drive” appears to be a sub-product of the “death drive”. Freud reversed the theory of the drives that he had elaborated by studying human sexuality, recognized as an activity of the mind. He thought he could explain biology by applying the metapsychological model to it. He thus endowed cells themselves with sexuality which leads them to combine in order to create multi-cell aggregates. Starting from the postulate “the aim of all life is death” he regards psychic and sexual life as an epiphenomenon of which the only meaning is to delay death. It is not a matter of applying a biological model, a biological metaphor, in order to picture the functioning of the mind, but of resolving the “enigma of life”, of biological life itself. In this movement the sexual drives become life drives, and then “life drive”, which, under the name of Eros, must “preserve the cohesion of living matter”.

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