Re: Freud is dead but sexy with it (was: Re: Wobble Wobble)

From: Robert Owen (
Date: Sat Jan 29 2000 - 21:28:10 MST

Damien Broderick wrote:

> At 10:27 PM 29/01/00 -0500, Bob Owen wrote:
> >In all these cases, Freud observed that invariably "death" was
> >eroticized.
> Yes, but wouldn't it be true to say that, by hypothesis, Freud observed
> that *everything human* was eroticized?

Hello Damien,

Your question goes to the heart of Freudian "Metaphysics" and
deserves a correspondingly substantial answer.

My inclination is to invite any member who is truly expert on
Freudian theory to make this effort. The Eros-Thanatos scheme
was a relatively late development in his thinking and probably
reflects the influence of both Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.

I will restrict myself here to one observation, and wait a bit
to see if someone else might not do a much better job than
I can in addressing your subtle question.

In terms of this later theory, "everything human" is to some
relative degree both "eroticised" and "thanatized"; the crucial
factor in any case would be an "E/T Ratio". I add only that
the "Thanatotic" wish was an extension of his earlier theory
of aggression. Presumably the most mature level of develop-
ment, the "Genital", resolves the "polymorphously perverse"
confusion of these trends during the "Anal" sadomasochistic
phase. Parenthetically , keep in mind his concept of defensive
"sublimation" in which process any drive or wish is "civilized".


Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA

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