a. First, there is the need to give some consideration to the appearance, at very different levels, of repetition phenomena (see 'Compulsion to Repeat') which are difficult to account for in terms of the search for libidinal satisfaction or as a simple attempt to overcome unpleasant experiences. Freud sees the mark of the 'daemonic' in these phenomena-the mark, in other words, of an irrepressible force which is independent of the pleasure principle and apt to enter into opposition to it. It was starting from this idea that Freud was brought to wonder whether instinct might not have a regressive character, and thi hypothesis, pushed in turn to its logical conclusion, led him to see the death instinct as the very epitome of instinct.
b. Another factor was the importance attained in psycho-analytic practice by the concepts of ambivalence, aggressiveness, sadism and masochism- as developed, for example, from the clinical experience of obsessional neurosis and melancholia.
c. It had seemed impossible to Freud from the very beginning that hate could be derived, metapsychologically speaking, from the sexual instincts. He was never to espouse the tendency which ascribes 'whatever is dangerous and hostile in love to an original bipolarity in its own nature' (5a). In 'Instincts and their Vicissitudes' (1915c), sadism and hate are viewed in their relation to the ego instincts: . . . the true prototypes of the relation of hate are derived not from sexual life, but from the ego's struggle to preserve and maintain itself (4b); Freud sees hate as a relation to objects which 'is older than love' (4c). After the introduction of the concept of narcissism*, the distinction between two kinds of instincts-the sexual instincts and the ego-instincts-tends to disappear and to be replaced by an explanation in terms of the modalities of the libido; we may suppose that at this point Freud found hate particularly hard to integrate into the framework of an instinctual monism. The idea of a primary masochism, mooted as early as 1915 (4d), is a first pointer to one pole of Freud's great new dualism, yet to be developed.
'The tendency of the life instincts is to create and maintain ever greater unities. Known also as 'Eros', they embrace not only the sexual instincts proper but also the instincts of self-preservation.'
strives towards the reduction of tensions to zero-point In other words, their goal is to bring the living being back to the inorganic state.
The death instincts are to begin with directed inwards and tend towards selfdestruction, but they are subsequently turned towards the outside world in the form of the aggressive or *destructive instinct.
“instincts” -> originate in the interior of the body vs stimuli -> outside
(no protective shield)
Destructive instinct: The libido has the task of making the destroying instinct innocuous, and it fulfils the task by diverting that instinct to a great extent outwards-soon with the help of a special organic system, the muscular apparatus-towards objects in the external world.
A portion of the instinct is placed
directly in the service of the sexual function, where it has an important part to
play. This is sadism proper.
Another part does not share in this transposition outwards; it remains inside the organism and [...] becomes libidinally bound
there. It is in this portion that we have to recognise the original, erotogenic masochism'
In the case of the life instincts Freud had to admit his inability to show how these could be said to obey what he had described as the basic trait of any instinct-its conservative (or, better, regressive) character.
--> Same: pleasure principle (and its modified form, the reality
principle*), which is supposed to represent the demands of the life instincts, is hard to understand in any economic sense, and Freud reformulates it in 'qualitative' terms (see 'Pleasure Principle', 'Principle of Constancy').
It is clear that Freud is taking up once again-even on the instinctual level-a model of conflict which pre-dates Beyond the Pleasure Principle (see 'Ego-Libido/Object-Libido' -> ego + sexual drive); the assumption is simply that each of the two forces in play-the 'ego-instincts' and 'object-instincts' whose confrontation with each other is quite clearly observable-is in fact itself the expression of a fusion between life instincts and death instincts