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The Human Psyche

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes that all living beings should be seen as encompassing a plurality of 'selfs' as well as multiple levels of self. In most living beings the activities of these 'selfs' are co-ordinated in a manner which suggests the pursuit of shared. The goals of the human psyche may not be identical with the goals of the human organism qua living being; One might even hypothesise that, at least at a certain stage of its development, the human psyche attributes neither value nor meaning to the goal of physical survival. It seems strange that where Castoriadis speaks of the defunctionalisation and autonomisation of desire he should speak only of the autonomisation of affect. This odd asymmetry may be explained if one reflects that what the domination of representational pleasure over organ pleasure amounts to is just this defunctionalisation of affect.

Keywords: Castoriadis; defunctionalisation; human psyche; representational pleasure



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