Full text: Ownership as interpersonal dominance

the emplricists began describing mechanistic psychologles of passions that biological 
mechanisms of possessiveness gained prominence. At the close of the eighteenth century, it 
was common to consider that man’s irrational nature was the product of instinctive passions. 
Kant (1798/1974) expressed this in social and ethical terms: 
Since there are only so many different instincts - that is, only so many different modes of 
pure passivity in the appetitive power- they deserve to be classified, not according to 
objects of the appetitive power as things (which are innumerable), but rather according to 
the principle of the use or abuse men make of their person and of their freedom, when one 
man makes another a mere means to his ends. -Properly speaking, passions are directed 
only to men and can also be satisfied by men. ...These passions are the manias for honor, 
for power and for possession. (Kant, 1788/1974, p. 137) 
in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, passions were to become faculties, which in turn 
became instincts, and in turn psychodynamic libidinal forces. The theory of evolution helped 
make these transitions in Instinct theories and was also to helped provide the alternative 
theories of territoriality and dominance hierarchy that followed the demise of instinct theories. 
In the Cartesian and Hobbesian traditions of basing psychological passions on biological 
instincts, Cabanis (1802), Combe (1803), Hancock (1824) and others at the start of the nineteenth 
century considered psychological faculties to be instinctive. Included here was the instinct of 
acquisitiveness. The phrenologists all included a facuity of acquisitiveness; for example, 
Spurzheim placed acquisitiveness in the temporal lobe adjacent to constructiveness, 
secretiveness, combativeness, and cautiousness (Boring, 1950). 
Phrenology, of course, and faculty psychology fell into disrepute, but theories of instinct 
gained new support from nineteenth century developments in philosophy and biology. The first 
of these was German, post-Kantian philosophy, which had become focused on the dialectical 
processes and on manifestations of will. Schneider (1880) apparently combined these and, 
perhaps presaging Freud, argued that all instincts are manifestations of animal will expressed 
within the dialectic of expansion and contraction (Hocking, 1929). Acquisition and domination 
were both positive, expansive instincts (Schneider, in Hocking, 1929, p.74). According to 
Hocking (1929), James’ (1890) list of instincts was based on that of Schneider and thus included 
the instinct for acquisition. Hocking (1929) claims James (1890) was also influenced by 
Chadbourne (1872), who argued, not that the irrationality of instincts necessitated reason, but 
that the incompetence of reason necessitated instincts. Reminiscent of Malebranche, 
Chadbourne (1872) grouped the desires for knowledge, property, power, and esteem under the 
cateqorv of instincts for the progress of the individual and the race.

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