Psychoanalysis > Theory


The relations of an instinct to its aim and object are also open to alterations; both can be exchanged for other ones, though its relation to its object is nevertheless the more easily loosened. A certain kind of modification of the aim and change of the object, in which our social valuation is taken into account, is described by us as 'sublimation'. Besides this, we have grounds for distinguishing instincts which are 'inhibited in their aim' - instinctual impulses from sources well known to us with an unambiguous aim, but which come to a stop on their way to satisfaction, so that a lasting object-cathexis comes about and a permanent trend. Such, for instance, is the relation of tenderness, which undoubtedly originates from the sources of sexual need and invariably renounces its satisfaction. (Sigmund Freud: New Introductory Lessons on Psychoanalysis.)

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Sigmund Freud

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