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Tip: To sort articles by year…

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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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

Rosen, V.H. (1954). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 23:156-157.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:156-157

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Victor H. Rosen


Dr. Menninger proposes a revision of psychiatric nosology based upon fundamental psychoanalytic theory. The lecture was devoted to the first part of this study which is organized in two sections. Structural, economic and genetic aspects of psychoanalytic theory are integrated around the homeostatic regulatory functions of the ego as the starting point. Homeostasis is first defined in closed and open systems. The psyche is an example of an open system. Freud recognized the principle of psychic homeostasis as a basic concept of his metapsychology in The Interpretation of Dreams. This was later revised and elaborated in Beyond the Pleasure Principle. The theoretical biologist, von Bertalanffy, arrived at a similar conclusion from another direction. For 'open systems', von Bertalanffy prefers the term 'steady state' to 'homeostasis'. 'Open systems' are defined as energic systems which maintain themselves by an exchange of materials with the environment, in contrast to 'closed systems' which tend to run down. The former have the capacity not only to maintain themselves, but of transition to states of higher heterogeneity and complexity. Homeostasis is a principle in direct opposition to the 'Nirvana principle'. The paper contains a detailed discussion of considerations from the point of view of physics, biology, psychology and philosophy for affirming or dispensing with Freud's theory of a death instinct.

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