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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The notion of sublimation is essential to Nietzsche and Freud. However, Freud’s writings fail to provide a persuasive notion of sublimation. In particular, Freud’s writings are confused on the distinction between pathological symptoms and sublimations, and on the relation between sublimation and repression. After rehearsing these problems in some detail it is proposed that a return to Nietzsche allows for a more coherent account of sublimation, its difference from pathological symptoms and its relation to repression. In summary, on Nietzsche’s account, while repression and pathological symptoms involve a disintegration (of the self), sublimation involves integration. The chapter provides a brief consideration of some post-Freudian accounts of sublimation that, arguably, represent a return to a more Nietzschean approach. In closing, the chapter contrasts the different bases of Nietzsche’s and Freud’s valorization of sublimation.

Keywords: sublimation, repression, pathological symptoms, integration, disintegration, master drive, Shreber, Leonardo da Vinci

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