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Posted: October 10th, 2008
Intellect or Instinct: Must We Choose? A Contemporary View of the Death Drive

The death drive was first defined by Sigmund Freud as “an urge inherent in all organic life to restore an earlier state of things,” through death, destruction, or non-existence. Otto F. Kernberg, MD, former president of the International Psychoanalytical Association lectures on his critical examination of Freud’s theory of the death drive based on the psychoanalytic explorations of aggressive motivation in cases of severe and borderline character pathology. He questions the assumption of an innate self-destructive drive but affirms the inborn nature of aggressive affects and the clinical relevance of Freud’s concept. This event was co-sponsored by the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis and the Department of Social Sciences at The New School.


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