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Pederson-Krag, G. (1950). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXVIII, 1947: A Generalized Hedonic Theory of the Ego. W. Baggally. Pp. 179–197.. Psychoanal Q., 19:131.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXVIII, 1947: A Generalized Hedonic Theory of the Ego. W. Baggally. Pp. 179–197.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:131

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXVIII, 1947: A Generalized Hedonic Theory of the Ego. W. Baggally. Pp. 179–197.

G. Pederson-Krag

In Hedonic Conflict and the Pleasure Principle, published in 1941, and in this article the late W. Baggally, a mathematician and physicist, studied psychoanalytic phenomena by means of calculus. He was especially interested in such paradoxical applications of the pleasure principle as erotogenic masochism, moral masochism, and situations in which a stimulus associated with pleasure resulted in an increase of unpleasure. His method was to designate the responses to various stimuli by appropriate symbols and then to give these symbols values, arbitrary but probably accurate in relationship to each other. He then showed by equations, approved by competent mathematicians, that the result of simultaneously experiencing a variety of stimuli could not be foretold by simply adding similar or subtracting differing stimuli, but was rather according to relationships expressed by higher mathematics. By means of such computation Baggally felt that he could explain phenomena such as the satisfaction of vengeance or love play culminating in orgasm. However, one may speculate whether these effects were not due to psychic processes beyond the reach of a few symbols, and whether the attempt to express and predict emotional happenings by means of mathematics is not of the same order of usefulness as translating an article into Chinese to find out whether it will have the same meaning in that language as in English.

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Article Citation

Pederson-Krag, G. (1950). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXVIII, 1947. Psychoanal. Q., 19:131

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