Freud’s “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” constitutes a major landmark and a real turning point in the evolution of psychoanalytic theory. Pushing aside the primacy of the tension-discharge-gratification model of mental dynamics, this work introduced the notion of a daemonic force within all human beings that slowly but insistently seeks psychic inactivity, inertia, and death. Diverse and rich connotations of the proposal are elucidated in this book. Other consequences of Freud’s 1920 paper–namely, the marginalization of ego instincts, the introduction of Freud’s second dream theory, and the upgrading of aggression in the scheme of things–are also addressed. The editors have gathered a body of distinguished psychoanalysts from around the world to argue, discuss, elaborate upon, and advance Freud’s groundbreaking contribution.
Contributors: Salman Akhtar, Ira Brenner, Fátima Caropreso, Michael Feldman, Betty Joseph, Otto Kernberg, Joshua Levy, Ashok Nagpal, Mary Kay O’Neil, Henri Parens, Richard Theisen Simanke, W. Craig Tomlinson, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl.