Religion Past and Present

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Drive Theory
(328 words)

[German Version]

A drive theory attempts, with the aid of the hypothetical construct, “drive,” more precisely to define human behavior, its origin and objectives. For Freudian psychoanalysis, drive theory is central: drives are regarded the “ultimate cause of all activity” (Freud 70); theories of development, disease, therapy and even culture derive from drive theory. For S. Freud, “the entire palette of life's phenomena” results from the “collaboration and opposition of the two basic drives,” eros (Sexuality) and the death drive (Aggression; loc. cit., 71). Freud distinguish…

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Klessmann, Michael, “Drive Theory”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 28 March 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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