Goldstein,Jeffrey, "Freud’s Theories in the Light of Far-from-Equilibrium Research", 1990

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Freud’s theories are shown to rely on an equilibrium-seeking model derived from nineteenth century physics. This model is traced through Freud’s concepts of neuronal inertia; the pleasure principle; the primarily and secondary systems; instincts; the compulsion to repeat; the Nirvana Principle; the death instinct; and resistance. Quandaries concerning adaptation as well as the delay of discharge are attributed to the limitations of Freud’s equilibrium model. Next, the main features of far-from-equilibrium research are recounted, primarily from the work of Prigogine but properties of chaotic systems. The concepts of self-organization and dissipative structure, sensitivity to the environment, energy exchange, and nonlinearity help resolve the quandaries of adaptation in Freud’s theories.

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  • 1990
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