For Freud, the energy necessary for psychic life is produced by both libido and aggression and expressed, released or made available for use through the body: the drives. Psychic energy, moreover, is continuously generated but present in uneven amounts. Most importantly, while the source of the drive is biological, the drive itself is always a psychic representation; drives, thus, can be known only through their effects, just as gravitational fields are known only through their effects. Freud, in using the German word, ‘Anlehnung’ (to lean on) avoids the problem of reductionism: the drive is formed when the psyche leans on the soma (i.e. the drives are rooted in the body but not reducible to the body and thus should not be equated with the more limited notion of fixed instinct).
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