Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To suggest new content…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Help us improve PEP Web. If you would like to suggest new content, click here and fill in the form with your ideas!

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Diatkine, R. (1960). Discussion of 'The Metapsychology of Pleasure'—Iii. Early Ego-Development. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 41:375-376.

(1960). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 41:375-376

Discussion of 'The Metapsychology of Pleasure'—Iii. Early Ego-Development

René Diatkine

Any discussion of the metapsychology of the instincts, and particularly of the metapsychology of pleasure, must take into consideration the fundamental transformation of human behaviour which occurs in the first year of life. It is greatly to the credit of the analysts who have studied this first year, and Spitz in particular, that they have shown how libidinal activity and object relationships are organized at this age, thus greatly enriching Freudian theory.

If we compare the behaviour of the infant in the first month after birth with that which it develops at the end of the first year we note several important facts. In the first month of life the human being has an instinctual behaviour comparable to the animal behaviour described by ethologists. A state of tension develops according to certain internal biological laws, and creates characteristic behaviour, such as a waking state, a largely periaxial hypertony, crying. A certain number of stimuli may provoke direction-finding movements of the head or lips, and sucking motions, and then, if the child's mouth is filled with liquid, swallowing occurs until enough nourishment is ingested to produce a 'state of quietude', with cessation of all sucking and swallowing, followed, at this period of life, by sleep.

This activity is characterized by its precise biological finality, and by the fact that it always corresponds strictly to certain definite levels of humoral equilibrium. The state of lack of satisfaction is a real state of need.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.