death instinct

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death instinct

n.
A primitive impulse for destruction, decay, and death, postulated by Sigmund Freud as coexisting with and opposing the life instinct. Also called Thanatos.

death′ in`stinct


n.
1. Psychoanal. an impulse to withdraw or destroy, working in opposition to forces urging survival and creation (life instinct).
2. suicidal tendency or inclination.
[1915–20]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.death instinct - (psychoanalysis) an unconscious urge to die
depth psychology, psychoanalysis, analysis - a set of techniques for exploring underlying motives and a method of treating various mental disorders; based on the theories of Sigmund Freud; "his physician recommended psychoanalysis"
impulse, urge - an instinctive motive; "profound religious impulses"
References in periodicals archive ?
The death drive is a Freudian concept describing the perplexing and irrational, yet continually repeated, behaviors that undermine a subject's pleasure (Freud 1922).
At the heart of listening Professor Szendy locates the ear of the Other that manifests itself as the original division of a "split-hearing" that turns the drive for mastery and surveillance into the death drive.
Contrasting with the acceleration of the death drive that the end of human sleep would imply, Julia Feyrer and Tamara Henderson's neo-Surrealist sculptural installations and Leif Elggren's exploration of the space underneath different couches, one of them being Freud's own, are still trying to find a place of human autonomy.
A brief overview of the studies conducted psychoanalytically on Endgame shows that none has scrutinized Hamm in light of Freud's theory of life drive and death drive.
Freud began writing about the death drive during the interwar period and some have argued that his turn to the death drive summarizes his greatest revision of psychoanalysis following World War I.
Eros is the life force from which was derived the word erotic, while Thanatos is the death drive, the demonic representation of death in ancient Greek mythology.
She is narcissistic and antisocial, and does not fulfil her expected heterosexual and gendered narratives of matrimony and motherhood, thereby representing the death drive in her desire to reject procreation and follow her own path.
The relationship between the real and the death drive is significant in Lacanian psychoanalysis.
Bayley says he is looking at the death drive phenomenon that pulls people towards an exit from life and he cites the philosphical mantra of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung that there are no accidents.
These tales, Scala argues, contain, in Freudian terms, a death drive that "appears at the surface illogical or at least antithetical to what has gone before" in terms of self-preservation and narrative continuity (194-195).
Queerness, rather than a purveyor of any kind of production, is for Edelman a chaotic force aligned with a Lacanian death drive.
According to Zizek, the voice in this scene becomes a partial object, an object detached from the body and retaining an undead quality that contains within it the death drive.