- Introduction: Know Thyself
- Intellectual Prehistory: Introduction
- Psychoanalytic Theory: A Historical Reconstruction
- From Recognition to Intersubjectivity: Hegel and Psychoanalysis
- Schopenhauer and Freud
- From <i>Geschlechtstrieb</i> to <i>Sexualtrieb</i>: the Originality of Freud’s Conception of Sexuality
- A Better Self: Freud and Nietzsche on the Nature and Value of Sublimation
- Twentieth-Century Engagements: Introduction
- Merleau-Ponty and Psychoanalysis
- Wittgenstein and Psychoanalysis
- ‘In Psychoanalysis Nothing Is True but the Exaggerations’: Freud and the Frankfurt School
- Ricœur’s Freud
- Clinical Theory: Introduction
- Imagination and Reason, Method and Mourning in Freudian Psychoanalysis
- ‘A Ritual of Discourse’: Conceptualizing and Reonceptualizing the Analytic Relationship
- Symbolism, the Primary Process, and Dreams: Freud’s Contribution
- Integrating Unconscious Belief
- Making the Unconscious Conscious
- Phenomenology and Science: Introduction
- Complexities in the Evaluation of the Scientific Status of Psychoanalysis
- Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience
- How Should We Understand the Psychoanalytic Unconscious?
- A New Kind of Song: Psychoanalysis as Revelation
- Body Memory and the Unconscious
- Aesthetics: Introduction
- On Richard Wollheim’s Psychoanalytically Informed Philosophy of Art
- Literary Form and Mentalization
- Psychoanalysis and Film
- Religion: Introduction
- Psychoanalysis and Religion
- Psychoanalytic Thinking on Religious Truth and Conviction
- The No-Thing of God: Psychoanalysis of Religion After Lacan
- Ethics: Introduction
- Hiding From Love: The Repressed Insight in Freud’s Account of Morality
- Human Excellence and Psychic Health in Psychoanalysis
- Evolution, Childhood, and the Moral Self
- Politics and Society: Introduction
- Psychoanalysis, Politics, and Society: What Remains Radical in Psychoanalysis?
- Epistemic Anxiety
- Psychoanalysis in the Twenty-First Century: Does Gender Matter?
- Political Philosophy in Freud: War, Destruction, and the Critical Faculty
Abstract and Keywords
Freud’s reflections on death and the death drive form a proper part of political philosophy. If the idea of a self-governing polis requires that citizens maintain a set of social bonds, then the threat to social bonds also threatens the possibility of self-rule. Freud identifies a destructive impulse or drive as part of the human psyche, clarifying that it has the specific capacity to destroy social bonds. This chapter considers the importance of ambivalence as a permanent feature of love relations and those social relations that form the basis of political life. It argues that a political effort to counter destruction must call upon the resources of melancholia, including the manic refusal of tyranny and a normalizing reality principle. Defending the idea of militant pacifism, the argument here suggests that aggression can be—and must be—part of the strategy against violence and the sustainable future of political life.
Comparative Literature, University of California at Berkeley
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