The bonding of will and desire

by Joanne Stroud

Book, 1994



Call number


Call number



New York : Continuum, 1994.

Physical description

208 p.; 24 cm

Local notes

Over many centuries, philosophers, theologians, and poets have been fascinated by the interplay of will and desire in the human psyche. Does will follow or precede desire? How can we bond them and thus unite body, soul, and spirit in harmonic concord? For fresh insights to these age-old questions, Dr. Joanne Stroud enlists the tools of modern psychology. Her eclectic probe of basic human drives moves from the awesome power of Eros, the great liberator of antiquity, through the impact of the monotheistic faiths on will and desire, and finally to the discordant views of the great philosophers and psychologists of the modern era, among them Nietzsche, Freud, Jung, and the little known but magnetic Frenchman, Gaston Bachelard.
Love and will, human aspirations and desires, are caught - the author concludes - in a whirlwind of change, with impersonal scientific data supplanting the myths, the ancient lore, the stories rich in imagery, that previously contoured human behavior. As a result we live, in W.B. Yeat's famous phrase, in "the age of disordered will."
In the twentieth century will became recognized only in its more conscious applications, as almost synonymous with ego. With this increasing reverence for the strong ego, will was elevated (by psychologists, among many others) to new egotistical summits as a potent tool of power. The more subtle aspects of will, such as the way it delineates identity, have been neglected, the author contends, and can only be recaptured by an understanding of how will becomes bonded to desire.


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