Whitehead and Freud's Theory of Eros (Love) & Thanatos (Death)

In the later more sociological Freud, there is a great emphasis on Love (or Eros) which, as a newcomer to Process thought and theology, I cannot help but think of as a vision of the process God. Freud, however, found it necessary to balance Love with Death (aggression), and he describes the universe as the arena in which the battle of Love and Death takes place. I am reluctant to follow Freud in affirming this second power, but at the same time I find it difficult not to feel it is needed. In particular, I find it hard to understand why God's (Love's) persuasive power would not be more effective were there not this countering power. In fact, I find it difficult to understand why persuasion toward the good would not be completely effective minus some countering contrary power.
Publication Month: 
March 2010
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

Of course, the categories that arise in one system are not likely to be identical with those that arise in another. But all systems must account for both coming into being and ceasing to be, both life and death, both construction and destruction. In Whitehead the pair of terms might be creativity and perpetual perishing.

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