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The Government of DesireA Genealogy of the Liberal Subject$
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Miguel de Beistegui

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226547374

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226547404.001.0001

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Instincts or Drives?

Instincts or Drives?

The Birth of Psychoanalysis

Chapter:
(p.111) 5 Instincts or Drives?
Source:
The Government of Desire
Author(s):

Miguel de Beistegui

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226547404.003.0006

This chapter concludes the genealogy of the homo sexualis by turning to the birth of psychoanalysis, and Freud's contribution to the debate regarding the place and role of sexual drives in a range of behaviors and actions. The chapter claims that, whilst retaining the overall epistemological framework of sexuality, Freud offers a way out of the psychiatric discourse of the natural instinct and of perversions as essentially pathological. On the one hand, and through his analysis of child sexuality in particular, he recognizes “normal,” that is, adult, genital and reproductive sexuality as the result of a perhaps necessary but in any event costly process of normalization. On the other hand, from “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” (1920) onward, Freud is forced to recognize the existence of a drive that is itself not sexual, and thus not generated from within the economy of the pleasure principle. This is an essentially destructive form of desire, which can be oriented towards the self, or towards others. As such, it sheds light on some of the disturbing behaviors explored previously, yet without situating them within the rationalities of either sexuality or liberal penology.

Keywords:   Psychoanalysis, Freud, pleasure principle, death drive, infantile sexuality, perversions, vicissitudes, perversity, evil, Lacan

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