instinctual object

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In psychoanalysis, anything through which an instinct (3) seeks to attain its instinctual aim, including a person, a part object, or either of these in a person's fantasy. It is not necessarily a physical object but rather an object in the sense of a phrase such as object of her desire. Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) introduced the distinction between the instinctual aim, the instinctual object, and the instinctual source in his book Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905). See also good object, object-cathexis, object-choice, object-relationship, primary object, splitting of the object, transitional object, whole object.

Subjects: Psychology.

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