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Eros and Thanatos — new book by Hans-Peter Waldhoff

Eros and Thanatos as Driving Forces of Thought:
Psychoanalytical and Epistemological Perspectives


In modern, ostensibly enlightened societies, people tend to deny both their destructive passions as well as their own mortality. This book postulates that such repression will resurface in a mortifying tendency (G. Devereux, who uses the German term ‘Abtötung’ in his English text) albeit in an unconscious manner. The ensuing destructive repercussions will affect thought processes in general, as well as modern scientific thought, the consequences of which leading to the extinguishing of life; one’s own or that of others.

By drawing on examples from a myriad of scientific disciplines and literature, the study explores the intercourse of domination and terrorism in this terminating thought process.

At the same time, a lively counter-current is observed through which pluralistic thought emerges as the distinguishing feature of the models. Hanna Arendt demonstrated that pluralistic thought, at its ‘source, is the capacity for interior monologue’. This is confirmed by Wilfred Bion’s Containing Modell. The Interplay of the woof of ‘this dialogue with the self’ and the weave of a single life in a tapestry of the human condition will reveal a new approach to death and the dead.


Hans-Peter Waldhoff
Eros und Thanatos als Triebkräfte des Denkens:
Psychoanalytische und erkenntniskritische Perspektiven
Velbrück Verlagsgruppe
ISBN 978-3-95832-137-3