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Pleasure principle

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{{Top}}principe de [[plaisir]]{{Bottom}}
==Sigmund Freud==
According to [[Freud]], the [[pleasure principle]] is one of the "two principles of [[mental ]] functioning" -- the [[other ]] [[being ]] the [[reality principle]]. The [[pleasure principle]] directs all mental or [[psychical ]] [[activity ]] towards obtaining -- maximizing -- [[pleasure]] and avoiding -- minimizing -- [[pleasure|unpleasure]]. All mental or psychical activity is directed -- by the [[pleasure principle]] -- towards obtaining [[pleasure]] and avoiding [[pleasure|unpleasure]].
[[Unpleasure]] is related to the increase of quantities of [[excitation]]. [[Unpleasure]] results from increased excitation. [[Pleasure]] results from their reduction. The [[pleasure principle]] therefore serves to reduce tension and to [[return ]] the [[psyche]] to a [[state ]] of equilibrium or constancy.
===Beyond the Pleasure Principle===
[[Freud]] suggests that there is something "[[beyond the pleasure principle]]" -- namely the [[death drive]]s -- which attempt to reduce [[psychic ]] tension to zero, and thus to return [[living ]] beings to an inorganic state.
==Jacques Lacan==
For [[Lacan]] the [[pleasure principle]] is an obstacle to ''[[jouissance]]' that takes the [[subject]] to that extreme point where the [[erotic ]] borders upon [[death]] and where [[subjectivity]] risks extinction. The [[pleasure principle]] is closely linked -- closely related -- to the [[prohibition]] of [[incest]], the [[symbolic law]] and the regulation of [[desire]]. The [[pleasure principle]] is "that which regulates the distance between the subject and ''[[das Ding]]''. In [[Chronology|1960]], [[Lacan]] develops an important opposition between [[pleasure]] and ''[[jouissance]]''. ''[[Jouissance]]'' is an excessive quanitity of excitation which the [[pleasure principle]] tries to prevent. The [[pleasure principle]] is a commandment -- which can be phrased -- "[[Enjoy ]] as little as possible."
<blockquote>The function of the pleasure principle is, in effect, to lead the subject from [[signifier ]] to signifier, by generating as amny [[signifiers ]] as are required to maintain at as low a level as possible the tension that regulates the [[whole ]] functioning of the psychic [[apparatus]].<ref>{{S7}} p. 119</ref></blockquote>
[[Lacan]] describes the [[pleasure principle]] in the [[seminar]] of 1954-5.<ref>{{L}} "[[Seminar II|Le moi dans la théorie de Freud et dans la technique de la psychanalyse]]." (The Ego in Freud's [[Theory ]] and in the [[Technique ]] of [[Psychoanalysis]].) 1954-5. Unpublished.</ref>
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