The Principle Of The Conservation Of Energy Essay

The Principle Of The Conservation Of Energy Essay

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Another important influence on Freud however, came from the field of physics. The second half of the nineteenth century saw monumental advances in contemporary physics, which were largely initiated by the formulation of the principle of the conservation of energy by Helmholtz. This principle states, “That the total amount of energy in any given physical system is always constant, that energy quanta can be changed but not annihilated, and that consequently when energy is moved from one part of the system, it must reappear in another part.” (Koenigserger 129) This principle led to tremendous discoveries in the fields of electromagnetism, thermodynamics, and nuclear physics which, with their associated technologies, have so comprehensively transformed the contemporary world. You can recall as Freud attended the University of Vienna he worked under the direction of Ernst Brücke who published a book setting out the view that “all living organisms, including humans, are essentially energy-systems to which, no less than to inanimate objects, the principle of the conservation of energy applies.” (Brucke 38) Through such principles, Freud developed his own claim that there is such a thing as "psychic energy," in that the human personality is also an energy-system, and that it is the function of psychology to investigate the modifications, transmissions and conversions of psychic energy within the personality which shape and determine it. Such conception is the mainspring of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory and it is what led him to further his analysis of the unconscious mind.
Freud’s theory of the unconscious, was based on a method of “applying deterministic principles systematically to the sphere of the mental, and to hold that the broad...


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...nd cruelty. It is important to note that Freud does not interpret that human actions derive from motivations which are sexual in their origin because Thanatos (the death instinct) was not sexually motivated. Thanatos is the irrational urge to destroy the source of all sexual energy in the demolishment of the self. However, Freud gave sexual drives an important influence in human life, actions, and behavior, arguing that sexual drives exist and can be detected in children from birth (the theory of infantile sexuality). He also argues that sexual energy (libido) is “the single most important motivating force in adult life” (Freud 139). He defined "sexuality" so that it covers any form of pleasure that can be derived from the body which supported his theory of instincts that defines that every human being is driven by the desire to attain bodily pleasures from birth.

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