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‘Circulus Vitiosus Deus’: The Death Drive Now and Then




Starting from an exploration of Freud’s notion of the Death Drive and applying it to our times (said to have arrived at the End of History) this contribution argues that our contemporary thanatological moment does still offer, against all odds, the possibility of the invention of new way of living. Deploying and assembling insights from authors such as Lacan, Derrida and Stiegler, it may indeed be argued that history is over, and that, thanatologically speaking, our ever-destructive way of late capitalist life has been running on memory and repetition since the late 1980s. We are living in the end times. However, it is in facing up to this painful truth, mourning the past, and recognising that we are now, more than ever before, caught in the primal death drive, that we will discover a better, more humble future. What is proposed here is a return to the idea that what we need to do to escape from the fatal circularity of death drive capitalism is to lean on psychoanalysis and the theory that recognition, realisation, and a coming to terms with our situation will open up a minimal distance from the necessity of the inertia of natural being and enable us to establish a new minor (non)humanism characterised by an understanding and acceptance of the constitutive nature of lack, vulnerability, and finitude.


Featherstone. (2022). ‘Circulus Vitiosus Deus’: The Death Drive Now and Then

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 2, 2022
Publication Date Aug 31, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 1, 2024
Journal Journal of Theoretical & Philosophical Criminology
Print ISSN 2166-8094
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Article Number 44-60
Publisher URL


This file is under embargo until Sep 1, 2024 due to copyright restrictions.

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