Reference Entry

pleasure principle

Ian Buchanan

in A Dictionary of Critical Theory

Second edition

Published in print February 2018 | ISBN: 9780198794790
Published online February 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191836305
pleasure principle

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According to *Freud, all actions—conscious and *unconscious—give rise to *pleasure or its opposite unpleasure in the psychical apparatus. In the course of daily life we try to regulate our thoughts and actions so that we have more of the first and less of the second. It is for this reason known as an ‘economic model’ of the psychical apparatus, where pleasure is regarded as an equivalent of money and unpleasure the equivalent of debt. It is also known as a constancy principle or nirvana principle because it is assumed that the subject’s primary aim is to achieve a plateau which is just pleasurable enough. ...

Reference Entry.  193 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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