death instinct

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instinct

 [in´stinkt]
a complex of unlearned responses characteristic of a species. adj., adj instinc´tive.
death instinct Freud's concept of an unconscious drive toward dissolution and death, in opposition to the life instinct.
herd instinct the instinct or urge to be one of a group and to conform to its standards of conduct and opinion.
life instinct Freud's concept of all the constructive tendencies of the organism aimed at maintenance and perpetuation of the individual and species, in opposition to the death instinct.

death in·stinct

an instinct of living creatures toward self-destruction, death, or a return to the inorganic lifelessness from which they arose.
Synonym(s): aggressive instinct

death instinct

n.
A primitive impulse for destruction, decay, and death, postulated by Sigmund Freud as coexisting with and opposing the life instinct. Also called Thanatos.

death instinct

instinctive behavior that tends to be self-destructive.

death in·stinct

(deth in'stingkt)
The instinct of all living creatures toward self-destruction, death, or a return to the inorganic lifelessness from which they arose.
References in periodicals archive ?
Evidence of the death instinct and its Nirvana principle abound: people's desire for peace, alcohol and narcotics; escape from stimulation; escapism through reading and watching movies; the craving for rest and sleep; suicide and suicidal tendencies.
He effectively uses costume and body zones but Anally, because it is the best time of his life to parade that the death instinct in him was in ascendancy over the life instinct.
The text plays with the tension between the pleasure principle and the death instinct, showing that Pym's motions are governed by the compulsion to repeat; however, if the Freudian notion of repetition--as a source of terror--is linked to the uncanny and Gothic sublimity, Pym's lack of closure points--rather than to Eros or Thanatos--to the postmodern trapping of the subject in an incessant pattern of repetitions and duplications, in which the ultimate denouement is forever deferred and postponed.
In order to complete the picture of Berenger's unconscious, one might say that Juliette and the Doctor are component instincts of the life and death instincts respectively, while the Guard may represent his instinct for mastery, for when the King can no longer command the Guard's movements, he loses power over himself: not only is the army 'paralysee', but he himself stumbles and falls (TC, 752-3).
Frequent allusions in Journal en miettes to this theory, and especially to Freud's hypothesis of the death instinct (which Ionesco appears to accept uncritically),(7) juxtaposed with references to Le Roi se meurt, including some early notes for the play(8) and the purpose of its composition ('pour que j'apprenne a mourir'),(9) strongly suggest the existence of a link in the playwright's mind between Freud's theory of instincts and the play.
Freud not only found in the death instinct the source of self-destruction but also derived from it that of the impulse to destroy and kill and wage war: 'A portion of the instinct is diverted towards the external world and comes to light as an instinct of aggressiveness and destructiveness.
17) Marie, his younger, attractive, second wife, has come to dominate his more austere first wife, Marguerite, that is to say, his life instinct has come to the fore while his death instinct has been repressed.