death instinct

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death instinct

[′deth ‚in‚stinkt]
(psychology)
In psychoanalytic theory, the unconscious drive which leads the individual toward dissolution and death, and which coexists with the life instinct.
References in periodicals archive ?
Freud, further, states that this type of masochism originates from death instincts (165-170).
In such a scenario, the war dance kongonya, seems to paradoxically exude both the life and death instincts freedom and death.
14) Sugarman contends that, for Freud, the death instinct (Thanatos) functions in opposition to the life instincts (Eros).
What reason could she have," wonders Heyst, concerning Lena's decision to confront Ricardo, "Was it the promptings of some obscure instinct"; and indeed we could say that Lena's actions are motivated by the seemingly paradoxical death instinct which, however, is no less obscure than that of survival (Victory 294).
Unless, as Freud qualifies it, the reality principle intervenes, this nirvana principle, this death instinct, becomes the goal of life.
We have seen, therefore, that the conflict between Marie and Marguerite is best understood initially as reflecting that between the life and death instincts described by Freud.
Freud has it that instincts are never a conscious act and that we should not mistake the death instinct for the desire to die, and the life instinct for the desire to live.