Human Psyche As Inherently Ambivalent: Semiosis of Construction and Destruction

  • Jaan Valsiner
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)


Psychology has been a naively positive science–focusing on the construction in its various forms: cognitive enhancement, creativity, innovations in environments, new technologies, etc. What is systematically overlooked is the destructive functions of the psyche: most of our psychological inventions are based on the pursuit of goals of destruction (creating military technologies, building forts of defense or castles, procedures of devastation, etc.). Wars and genocides have been recurrent in human history. I claim that the human psyche—through constructive semiosis—builds on the opposition of destruction and construction of new versions of cultural artifacts that further feed into further positive presentation of inherently ambivalent new oppositions.


Constructive-destructive semiosis Unit of two dual infinities Sublime Ambivalence, Tension 

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaan Valsiner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Communication and PsychologyAalborg UniversitetAalborgDenmark

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