The Death Drive and the Im-Possibility of Psychoanalysis

Andrea Hurst

in Derrida Vis-à-vis Lacan

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228744
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235179 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

The Death Drive and the               Im-Possibility of Psychoanalysis

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Derrida's three theses on Sigmund Freud are bound together by a common thread, namely, the divisive specter of death at the heart of life. This chapter looks at the second thesis: the reinterpretation of Freud's concepts in terms of the death drive as the “nonoriginary” motivating force behind psychical (synthetic) processing. Here, Derrida argues that the quasi-conceptuality of the death drive, which coordinates the divergent thematics of conservation, return, aggression, destruction, and dissolution, entangles the psychoanalytic theory of constitution in the double bind of economic and aneconomic aporias, so opening it to the multiple risks (but also the chances) of fiction, fabrication, prosthesis, and delusion, which are brought together (in Archive Fever) in the quasi-figure of the specter. Paradoxically, Freud does not always believe in belief, but sometimes believes in knowledge, truth, and reality. This chapter addresses similar aporetic entanglements associated with Freud's conception of the task of psychoanalysis.

Keywords: Sigmund Freud; psyche; Jacques Derrida; death drive; psychoanalysis; constitution; aporias; dissolution; delusion; fabrication

Chapter.  16165 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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