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"In Spinoza (1962), English philosopher Stuart Hampshire compares Baruch Spinoza to Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. He sees a parallel between Spinoza's conatus and Freud's conception of libido, observing that Spinoza and Freud both understand emotions as being based upon a universal drive to self-preservation and maintain that frustration of this drive causes painful disturbance."--Sholem Stein

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Self preservation is part of an animal's instinct that demands that the organism survives. Pain and fear are parts of this mechanism. Pain causes discomfort so that the organism is inclined to stop the pain. Fear causes the organism to seek safety and may cause a release of adrenaline which has the affect of increased strength and heightened senses such as hearing, smell, and sight.

Self-preservation may also be interpreted figuratively; in regard to the coping mechanisms one needs to prevent emotional trauma from distorting the mind.

Self preservation and morality

Many moral thinkers have made the human urge of self-preservation a foundation of their moral or political systems. Especially in the brand of social contract theory associated with Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, it is assumed that people form societies in order to better preserve themselves. This can be true of the average person under extreme circumstances such as starvation. In society, if one doesn't have the money to buy food, one might steal something to eat. This aspect could be self-preservation because what is happening isn't socially acceptable but is understood because of the need to feed.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Self-preservation" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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