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Vol. 1 No. 2 (2021): Subject, Otherness and Uncertainty

Freud’s concept of "Trieb": A psychoanalytical account of its antinomic nature

November 17, 2021


According to Freud, the drive (Trieb) is a borderline concept located between the psychic and the somatic. A circular account of Freud’s conceptualization of Trieb is provided, along with a dialectical hermeneutics of the dual aspectivity that characterizes Freud’s concept of Eros and Thanatos as thrusts towards the somatic discharge and psychic representability. As such, the understanding of Trieb cannot escape from an internal antinomy, which involves tautological and contradictory modes of being manifested in human experience. Therefore, we argue that Eros destroys life, whereas Thanatos contributes to making life possible. Ultimately, Freud’s concept of drive seems crucial to a deep understanding of the psyche itself, which is always embedded in worldly relations that are in-formed by its core intentionality.