Instinct and Drive in Darwin and Freud, Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Biology

  • Raul Moncayo
Part of the The Palgrave Lacan Series book series (PALS)


This chapter explores the current relationship between Darwin and Freud particularly since nowadays Darwinian principles play a greater role in biology than ever before. Darwin’s theory of natural selection lacked an adequate account of inheritance and thus once genetic mechanisms were identified (following Mandel’s work), evolutionary genetics became a central part of biology. However, the dangers of the synthesis between Darwinian ideas and genetics is the temptation to reduce cultural phenomena to biological and physical principles. This chapter argues that it is precisely psychoanalysis that needs to be used by the social sciences and the humanities to understand Culture in Symbolic terms that cannot be reduced to biology and yet can interact with the biological determinants of instinct and inheritance in human beings.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raul Moncayo
    • 1
  1. 1.BerkeleyUSA

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