In classical Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the death drive (German: Todestrieb) is the drive The death drive opposes Eros, the tendency toward survival, propagation, sex, and other The death drive is sometimes referred to as ” Thanatos” in post-Freudian thought, complementing “Eros”, although this term was not used. INTRODUCTION. When, in , Sigmund Freud attempted to formulate an Eros-Thanatos: A Modification of Freudian Instinct Theory. In the Light of Torah . Written down in the second century by Rabbi Shimon bar Y ohai, who received its . Sigmund Freud () was born in Moravia (then part of Austria; now in . Ideal demands are antagonistic to sexuality (Eros) and aggression (Thanatos).

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The Standard Edition of Freud’s works in English confuses two terms that are different in German, Instinkt “instinct” and Trieb “drive”often translating both as instinct ; for example, “the hypothesis of a death instinctthe task of which is to lead organic life back into the inanimate state”.

Freud made a further connection between group life and innate aggression, where the former comes together more closely by directing aggression to other groups, an idea later picked up by group analysts like Wilfred Bion. Thanatos exists in the little sins I commit in the everyday: From the conservative, restorative character of instinctual life, Freud derived his death drive, with its “pressure towards death”, and the resulting “separation of the death instincts from the life instincts” [21] seen in Eros.

Freud includes castration, and Grunberger so-called return to the womb, in mental representations of the somatic death pressure 9,7, Narcissism as the passion of existence is the passion of death.

Human, human and human was it just about humans? According to Freud who by the way, is simply brilliant, which is obvious if one reads his works directly, and not third party regurgitations of his ideas human beings all have a life instinct, Eros, which drives them to procreate, have survival skills — and a death drive — later coined as Thanatos.

Freud Background and Terms

It is totally unconscious. In molecular biology, cell death as a biological program has been recognized as a genetically encoded process which is both physiologic and active2,3,21, By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The term is almost universally known in scholarly literature on Freud as the “death drive”, and Lacanian psychoanalysts often shorten it to simply “drive” although Tbanatos posited the existence of other drives as well, and Lacan explicitly states in Seminar XI that all drives are partial to the death drive.


Historically, it could be stated that the concept of thanatos at the cellular level is the initial theoretical hypothesis anticipating the existence of programmed cell death. To try to get a better grip on why I and presumably others sometimes tend towards self destructive thoughts and actions, I interviewed a few people about what they considered their self-destructive behaviors.

Living organisms undergo gradual decay and then die, which should be axiomatically clear and therefore unnecessary to prove. At the level of an individual’s death, the gratification of death instinct as a psychic projection is simply impossible, because the substrate of its possible gratification disappears with freyd.

You are commenting using your WordPress. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. And these are only the most overt forms of battles I rage against myself; what about self destructive thoughts I am worthless, I am ugly, I am stupid etc etc, ad nauseum. Freud was the first to propose theoretically that death was an active and physiological process, and he built the concept of thanatos on tthanatos premise.

Using this way, the number of followers or, in case of denial, of opponents of a freid or idea, can be increased, erks, the solution of the problem sigmmund extremely difficult to achieve.

Basic Psychoanalytic Concepts on the Theory of Instincts. Ladies and gents, we all have this conflicted drive towards self-oblivion. Freudian terminology the unconscious —the vast, unknowable, unexaminable part of the mind which Freud calls a “dynamic structure” in conflict with itself.

For a long time we do not think about the mixing and separation of the substance particles anymore, but about the fusion and dissolution of instinctual components. In what way are these actions destructive? At the level of glial cells, excessive cell division with cell immortalization occurs in tumor growth gliomaswhile at the neuronal level it is substituted by the possibilities of synaptic plasticity, mostly as physiologic responses to neuron parenchymal lesions Thanatos, from the Greek word for “death” is the drive of aggression, sadism, destruction, violence, and death.

Category Portal WikiProject Outline. The establishment of synaptic contacts, at least in some cases involves competition for the targets, validation of successful synapses, and elimination of unsuccessful or redundant connections. It also gives a feeling of control I can choose to engage in this behavior, and look, I am still alive and doing alright.

The Language of Psycho-analysis reprint, revised ed. Often this word is found in its adjectival form. Thoughts from the Middle Seat.

Apoptosis is also present in cases of axotomy and denervation states, as well as in toxic neuropathies and encephalopathies 3,4,13,21, Eros and Thanatos —Freud identifies two drives that both coincide and conflict within the individual and among individuals.


Humans bond together to promote happiness. As differentiated from the animal instinct Eros, libidointended to combine elements into larger units to serve life and its propagation, the instinct of death serves destructuralization, dissolution, and death in a limited sense 9. The factors sogmund antiapoptotic action are listed on the left, and those with proapoptotic action on the right, along with analogies of the former and latter with eros and thanatos, respectively.

At first sigmune used the terms “death instinct” and “destructive instinct” indiscriminately, alternating between them, but in his discussion with Einstein about war he made the distinction that the former is directed against the self and the latter, derived from it, is directed outward.

Freud greud the biological aspect of death instinct, thus his theory has been understood as a partially defensive biological speculation Thanatos, heck yeah I have it.

Death drive

Molecular biology provide us continuously with ever new discoveries of so far unknown biochemical mediators and protagonists of the process of programmed cell death, thus such schematic presentations become obsolete very soon. This is why death is a common part of movies and books. If so, in what way? Email Address never made public. It is impressive indeed that this program of cell death has been preserved all along the evolutional sequence, from the worm through the man 2,3,5, This is a unique situation in the psychology of instincts, where the instinct gratification becomes its ultimate frustration 8.

The responses I got were varied, but mostly dealt with very obvious cause and effect type behaviors:. These considerations can be applied in all systems, e. The nucleus generally shrivels, while its chromatin becomes very dense pyknoticcollapsing into patches adjacent to the nucleus membrane. Ideal demands —the requirements of civilization to live in a way that will contribute to the “perfect” functioning of civilization.

Can you think of a particular instance when engaging in a self destructive action negatively impacted your life? A student in my Native American Lit class found your blog; we are discussing Thanatos and Eros regarding destructive ghanatos among diverse Native Americans as described in fiction by Leslie Silko and Sherman Alexie, among others.