Freud on the uneasiness on the identities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The epistolary exchange between Freud and Einstein, promoted in the mid 30’s by the International Institute for Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations, resumes and summarises many of Freud’s previous concerns with an aggressive dynamism inherent to the cultural process and to the formation of identities. Although culture and civilisation undeniably promote and render possible a greater proximity between individuals and between groups through love, empathy and friendship, the process of identifications and the great demands of culture also create the conditions for destructiveness and antagonisms. Collective identities, as they are shaped in the logic of a primitive affirmation of the “I”, oppose self and others, rendering the acceptance and the recognition of foreigners inseparable from aggressiveness and conflict. Any pacifistic and cosmopolitan endeavour has therefore to take into account this irretrievable reality, creating international institutions capable of transforming such spontaneous tendencies into a pursuit of common and universal interests that do not constraint individual liberties, rights and duties. But is that possible?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Critical Archaeology of Cosmopolitan Thinking
Subtitle of host publicationReturn to the Interwar Years
EditorsGerard Raulet, Daniel Meyer
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherDuncker & Humblot
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-428-58577-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-428-18577-1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventA Critical Archaeology of Cosmopolitan Thinking: Looking Back at the 1920's and 1930's - Paris, Portugal
Duration: 30 Jan 202031 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameBeiträge zur Politischen Wissenschaft (BPW)
PublisherDuncker & Humblot


ConferenceA Critical Archaeology of Cosmopolitan Thinking


  • Identity
  • Self
  • Masses
  • Conflict
  • Peace
  • Cosmopolitanism


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