Freud and the ‘Death Drive’

Lecture in English by Alenka Zupančič


Thursday, 20 April 2017, 8 p.m., Sigmund Freud Museum

Free admission, please register below
In his 1920 essay Beyond the Pleasure Principle Freud introduces the intriguing and controversial notion of the “death drive”, which remains subject to very different interpretations and uses. The lecture will explore different facets of this notion: how it dismantles the idea of a primordial force or will of life, and of vitalism; how it gets entangled in some interesting contradictions; and how these contradictions can be used to further sharpen and shape this concept. The aim is to show in what way the notion of the death drive is highly pertinent and relevant for many contemporary discussions taking place not only in psychoanalysis and philosophy, but also in the broader social context.
Alenka Zupančič is a research advisor at the Institute of Philosophy of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts and professor at the European Graduate School, Switzerland. Notable for her work on the intersection of philosophy and psychoanalysis, she is the author of numerous articles and books, including What is Sex? (forthcoming with MIT Press); Ethics of the Real: Kant and Lacan (Verso 2012); Why Psychoanalysis: Three Interventions (NSU Press 2008); The Odd One In: On Comedy (MIT Press 2008) and The Shortest Shadow: Nietzsche's Philosophy of the Two (MIT Press 2003).




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