Eros and Civilization
A Philosophical Inquiry Into Freud

Marcuse, Herbert

Publisher:  Vintage Books, New York, USA
Year Published:  1962   First Published:  1955
Pages:  256pp  
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX7406


Table of Contents

Preface to the Vintage Edition




1. The Hidden Trenc in Psychoanalysis

2. The Origin of the Repressed Individual (Ontogenesis)
The mental apparatus as a dynamic union of opposites
Stages in Freud's theory of instincts
Common conservative nature of primary instincts
Possible supremacy of Nirvana principle
Id, ego, superego
"Corporealization" of the psyche
Reactionary character of superego
Evaluation of Freud's basic conception
Analysis of the interpretation of history in Freud's psychology
Distinction between repression and "surplus-repression"
Alienated labor and the preformance principle
Organization of sexuality: taboos on pleasure
Organization of destruction instincts
fatal dialectic of civilization

3.The Origin of Repressive Civilization (Phylogenesis)
"Archaic heritage" of the individual ego
Individual and group psychology
The primal horde: rebellion and restoration of domination
Dual content of the sense of guilt
Return of the repressed in religion
The failure of revolution
Changes in father-images and mother-images

4. The Dialectic of Civilization
Need for strengthened defense against destruction
Civilizaiton's demand for sublimatioin ( desexualization)
Weakening of Eros ( life instinct); release of destructiveness
Progress in productivity and progress in domination
Intensified controls in industrial civilization
Decline of struggle with the faterh
Depersonalization of superego, shrinking of ego
Completion of alienation
Distintegration of the established reality principle

5. Philosophical Interlude
Freud's theory of civilization in the tradition of Western philosophy
Ego as aggressive and transcending subject
Logos as logic of domination
Philosophical protest against logic of domination
Being and becoming: permanence versus transcendence
The eternal return in Aristotle, Hegel, Nietzsche
Eros as essence of being

6. The Historical Limits of the Established Reality Principle
Obsolescence of scarcity and domination
Hypothesis of a new reality principle
The instinctual dynamic toward non-repressive civilization
Problem of verifying the hypothesis

7. Phantasy and Utopia
Phantasy versus reason
Preservation of the "archaic past"
Truth value of phantasy
The image of life without repression and anxiety
Possibility of real freedom in a mature civilization
Need for a redefinition of progress

8. The Images of Orpheus and Narcissus
Archetypes of human existence under non-repressive civilization
Orpheus and Narcissus versus Prometheus
Mythological struggle of Eros against the tyranny of reason -against death
Reconciliation of man and nature in sensuous culture

9. The Aesthetic Dimension
Aesthetics as the science of sensuousness
Reconciliation between pleasure and freedom, instinct and morality
Aesthetic theories of Baumgarten, Kant, and Schiller
Elements of a non-repressive culture
Transformation of work into play

10. The Transformation of Sexuality into Eros
The abolition of domination
Effect on the sex instincts
"Self-sublimation" of sexuality into Eros
Repressive versus free sublimation
Emergence of non-repressive societal relationships
Work as the free play of human faculties
Possibility of libidinous work relations

11.Eros and Thanatos
The new idea of reason: Rationality of gratification Libidinous morality
The struggle against the flux of time
Change in the relation between Eros and death instinct

Epilogue: Critique of Neo-Freudian Revisionism