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Loch, W. (2017). Drives and Objects - Observations on the Origins of the Emotional Object World. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(4):1133-1157.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(4):1133-1157

Drives and Objects - Observations on the Origins of the Emotional Object World Related Papers

Wolfgang Loch

Then there is something arbitrary about this system? Yes and no. It is akin to what is arbitrary and to what is non-arbitrary.

(Wittgenstein, 1929-48, no. 358)

to trace the moral prescription back to its source, namely to expediency.

(Freud, 1915a, p. 163)

Death Drive, Life Drive, Primary Self

In ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle’, perhaps the most inscrutable of his works, Freud attempted to derive the genesis of life and of all its more highly developed forms (without positing any previously conceived or anticipated end) from the chance collision of two systems; by conceiving development as resulting from the dynamics of this interaction. This view enabled him to state that “The present development of human beings requires, as it seems to me, no different explanation than for that of animals” (Freud, 1920, p. 42).

The development of higher forms of life, however, appears ‘merely’ as providing a detour on the road to inevitably end in death, that is in the reduction of tension, the rise of disorder (entropy), and attainment of Nirvana.

In these speculations Freud drew close to monism, for the systems he described in interaction were, on the one hand, an organism - that is, a product with a history of earlier interactions with systems of its environment - and, on the other hand, a stimulus, which was the exponent of a second organism for its part also historically evolved. Yet these two systems were both seen as being determined in their inner dynamics solely by the tendency towards a reduction of tension. In other words both were determined by the death drive.

Freud had, however, strictly and repeatedly rejected such a monistic perception of drives.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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