[percy-l] a question re The Thanatos Syndrome

JHForest at cs.com JHForest at cs.com
Thu Mar 3 09:54:49 EST 2005

Here's a question a friend sent regading The Thanatos Syndrome. Any comments?

Jim Forest

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Thanks for the review of the Percy book. I haven't read it, so I pose the 
following as 
a hypothesis you can confirm or reject.
You (and many others on this list) probably already know it, but even the 
appears to be ironic, given what you say about the content of the book. In 
early work he thought of drives as biologically driven to preserve the 
borrowing rather directly from Darwin. After World War I, Freud changed his 
and postulated the existence of a thanatos drive, a drive toward death and 
destruction that undid the positive direction of the eros drive. Freud's 
later theory 
never caught on in psychiatry or psychology; it is too much opposed to the 
of modern science (and evolution, the modern way of conceptualizing change 
time). But Percy evidently wanted us to think that modern psychiatry had 
fallen into the grips of the very drive in which it did not want to believe.


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