The key point on which Freud’s argument turns and which is responsible for the surprising results that shocked Freud’s contemporaries is the distinction between the aim, the sexual drive (or instinct (“Trieb”)) and the sexual object. We shall have to work with this; but basically the drive or instinct aims at satisfaction. The sexual object is highly variable and different objects are relatively readily substitutable for one another.
By the end of George Makari’s engaging – indeed monumental – Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind (W.W. Norton 2016: 652 pp.) one comes to understand that the modern mind is more ancient than most people believe and the… Read More ›