This paper contains my attempt to pastiche the Lacanian philosopher and social theorist Renata Salecl. The pastiche focuses on the effects of coronavirus on liberal societies, the invasion of Ukraine, and offers a definition which I think is of interest to analytic philosophy.
This paper is a pastiche of the Lacanian philosopher Renata Salecl, my fourth attempt, combined with a note. In it I present a response I anticipate from analytic philosophy to the thesis that the signifier has priority over the signified: that this thesis is either trivially true or obviously false.
The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan describes the right-wing intellectual as “no more than your Mr. Everyman, but your Mr. Everyman with greater strength of character.” It is tempting to apply the description to sensible English essayists, though they take up positions across the political spectrum. I shall raise two worries about this application, one of which is a puzzle for Lacan.
Two terms, solitude and common, were chosen in order to develop some reflections on the articulation between difference and sameness in Lacan’s teaching and to tease out some political implications therefrom. In this context, an analysis of the collective experience of transmission such as is practiced and theorized in Lacan’s École de la cause enables a critical evaluation of the so-called Lacanian left.
In 2021, the men’s English national football team reached their first final at a major international tournament since winning the World Cup in 1966. This success followed their previous achievement of reaching the semi-finals (knocked-out by Croatia) at the 2018 World Cup. True to form, the defeats proved unfalteringly English; with the 2021 final echoing previous tournament defeats, as England lost to Italy on penalties. However, what resonated with the predictability of an English defeat, was the accompanying chant, ‘it’s coming (...) home’. A ubiquitous presence throughout the course of both tournaments—while chanted at England football matches, it was also repeated across social media, the press and commercial advertising—the chant originates from the 1996 single, Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home), performed by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and The Lightning Seeds. In what follows critical attention will be given to examining how the song offers what will be argued is a melancholic outlook. By re-approaching examples of English nostalgia and hubris, this chapter will expose how illustrations of English melancholy offer the potential for promoting collective forms of expression, which, when contextualized alongside England’s lack of footballing success (for the men’s team, at least), can be offset against a melancholic mediation that is cognizant of the centrality of loss—both for the subject and our collective sporting endeavours. (shrink)
This article demonstrates that Lacanian thought on One is narrow and does not completely cover the whole reality of One. A better understanding of One and Two could be facilitated by using the representation ‘#’, which can explain both disjunction and unity in language and thought. In addition, it presents some possibilities in abstract thinking. The first section of the paper considers Lacan’s doctrine on One and difference. The following section elaborates on the defect of this doctrine, focusing especially on (...) its onesided apprehension, and introducing the derivation of the representation ‘#’. In the last section, the representation ‘#’ and its usage are briefly explained. (shrink)
This article describes the conditions under which it is possible for neoliberalism to render itself invisible to the economic field that created it, allowing that field to define the discourse as a paranoid construction of the left. In addressing the issue, the text aims to extend the reach of Bourdieu’s field theory by infusing it with aspects of Lacanian psychoanalysis. This construction facilitates the use of the example of neoliberal economics to suggest wider principles of field functionality. It is suggested (...) that the main purpose of any field is not the generation of new knowledge but the preservation of its doxa, which is protected by a series of self-legitimation strategies. In the example of neoliberal economics, the strength of these systems has allowed that field to close its eyes to the catastrophic failure of its knowledge. (shrink)
Much has been written about the disagreement and even radical opposition between Gilles Deleuze’s and Félix Guattari’s conceptualizations and those of Jacques Lacan: for example, about desire, psychotherapy, the subject and the radically opposed political consequences that result from their approaches. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate from a Lacanian perspective that in the case of a central concept such as the body, there are rather more similarities than differences. Its main thesis is that Deleuze’s and Guattari’s body (...) without organs is very close to Lacan’s notion of the Other jouissance and that with slightly different strategies they both provide arguments to fight the same enemy: that is, the control and repression of singularity under capitalism. (shrink)
Lacan and Capitalist Discourse explores the political and theoretical connections between the Covid-19 Pandemic and Capitalism, unravelling the direct consequences of Lacan's thesis of so-called "Capitalist Discourse". Jorge Alemán provides an account of neoliberalism, its mechanisms to produce subjectivities and the new modes of the political far Right. The book begins with the problem of a possible exit from capitalism, continuing to consider the possibilities of mourning and the active production of a new Left. Alemán engages deeply with a range (...) of thinkers: primarily Lacan, but also Heidegger, Marx, Laclau, Foucault, Butler, Badiou, Althusser, and others, in making his case. Lacan and Capitalist Discourse will be of great interest to psychoanalysts and to academics of psychoanalytic and Lacanian studies, cultural theory, philosophy and political thought. (shrink)
It is this very contention that sits at the heart of Matthew Flisfeder’s, Algorithmic Desire: Towards a New Structuralist Theory of Social Media (2021). In spite of the accusation that, today, our social media is in fact hampering democracy and subjecting us to increasing forms of online and offline surveillance, for Flisfeder (2021: 3), ‘[s]ocial media remains the correct concept for reconciling ourselves with the structural contradictions of our media, our culture, and our society’. With almost every aspect of our (...) contemporary lives now mediated through the digital, the significance of the algorithm maintains a pertinent importance in making sense of the social and psychic investments that our interactions on social media, as well as other forms of digital media, rely upon and encourage. The socio-political tensions and contradictions that such interaction prescribes remains a reoccurring theme throughout Algorithmic Desire, with Flisfeder masterfully navigating the problems and pitfalls of a burgeoning digital infrastructure that is redefining our lives as social beings. What becomes apparent from Flisfeder’s account is how debates and discussions regarding the algorithm can be couched in a number of pressing concerns, including the proliferation of online misinformation and the contradictions inherent to our freedom and security. While these debates are drawn together through the prism of the algorithm, it is mostly with regards to the medium of social media that Flisfeder examines how our desire and enjoyment are algorithmically organized. This focus is expertly followed throughout the book’s eight chapters, producing a critically engaging inquiry that continually considers the socio-political tensions and ambiguities that frame and sustain our digital media interactions. Ultimately, it is this contention that lends further support to Flisfeder’s assertion that algorithms play a key role in reading our desire. In the discussion that follows, this reading will be critically considered by tracing and outlining a number of key significances underpinning Flisfeder’s approach. Most notably, this will require a discussion of the Lacanian conception of desire; the effects of disavowal and cynical perversion; the importance of ‘maintaining appearances’; and, finally, the significance of the social media metaphor. (shrink)
The Psychosis of Race offers a unique and detailed account of the psychoanalytic significance of race, and the ongoing impact of racism in contemporary society. Moving beyond the well-trodden assertion that race is a social construction, and working against demands that simply call for more representational equality, The Psychosis of Race explores how the delusions, anxieties, and paranoia that frame our race relations can afford new insights into how we see, think, and understand race's pervasive appeal. With examples drawn from (...) politics and popular culture--such as Candyman, Get Out, and the music of Kendrick Lamar--critical attention is given to introducing as well as explicating on several key concepts from Lacanian psychoanalysis and the study of psychosis, including foreclosure, phallus, the Name-of-the-Father, sinthome, and the objet petit a. By elaborating a cultural mode to psychosis and its understanding, an original and critical exposition of the effects of racialization, as well as our ability to discern the very limits of our capacity to think through, or even beyond, the idea of race, is provided. The Psychosis of Race speaks to an emerging area in the study of psychoanalysis and race, and will appeal to scholars and academics across the fields of psychology, sociology, cultural studies, media studies, and the arts and humanities. (shrink)
This essay explores the interrelationship between tragedy and comedy, with specific focus given to the potential that comedy can provide in transforming the most tragic of situations. In building this claim, the very dynamics and distinctions that divide the tragic from the comic are considered in view of the self-negation that the comic posits. That is, while tragedy requires a certain acceptance of the finite, from which destiny and circumstance come to certify the hero’s tragic predicament, in comedy, what succeeds (...) is that which functions through an act of self-negation. This, it is argued, offers a subversive redefining of tragedy, one that proves constitutive of a comic fatalism that does not mourn one’s tragic predicament or fated end, but, instead, fully identifies with our comic predicament. Going beyond the pitfalls of political nicety and moral condemnation, which seek easy gratification or cynical distance, the conclusion examines the conceptual artist, Vanessa Place, and her performance of rape jokes. (shrink)
Exploring the relationship between humans and AI chatbots, as well as the ethical concerns surrounding their use, this paper argues that our relations with chatbots are not solely based on their function as a source of knowledge, but, rather, on the desire for the subject not to know. It is argued that, outside of the very fears and anxieties that underscore our adoption of AI, the desire not to know reveals the potential to embrace the very loss AI avers. Consequently, (...) rather than proposing a knowledge that seeks to disavow loss, we can instead recognize the potential in loss itself: an opportunity to assert and define the gap inherent to both the subject and AI we create. (shrink)
Psychoanalysis, particularly as articulated by figures like Freud and Lacan, highlights the inherent division within the human subject—a schism between the conscious and unconscious mind. It could be said that this suggests that such an internal division becomes amplified in the context of generative art, where technology and algorithms are used to generate artistic expressions that are meant to emerge from the depths of the unconscious. Here, we encounter the tension between the conscious artist and the generative process itself, which (...) may yield unexpected, even uncontrollable results. -/- This paper, therefore, seeks to address this division within the modern subject and its relationship to technology, wherein the division within the living body is revealed through the presence of prosthetic elements, which mirrors the division brought about by the incorporation of language as a signifier. I argue that the amplification of this internal schism does not necessarily lead to a more fractured subject. Instead, generative art, bolstered by advancements in AI and machine learning, offers a unique opportunity for individuals to externalize and explore their minds in novel ways. -/- By examining contemporary works such as Hal Foster’s Prosthetic Gods, which stands as a pivotal exploration of the convergence between modernist art and psychoanalytic theory and Isabel Millar’s Psychoanalysis of Artificial Intelligence, this paper elucidates the profound implications of Freud’s vision of modern -/- subjectivity as Prothesengott (Prosthetic God) and address the questions concerning this technological imbrication of the human mind and body through the Lacanian framework. Although for Freud, Man does not become a real God, rather, the potential to transcend one’s limitations ascribes us to God-like qualities by seeking to generate new forms of life that go beyond merely reproducing nature — a transcention of the natural. Millar emphasizes that Freud observes that this is evidenced by the fact that these additional organs remain distinct from the organism and can never assimilate into it. One continually falls short of realizing the fantasy he envisions, opting instead to use his supplementary artificial organs to endlessly revolve around the objects of the drive. -/- This evolving relationship that the drive has with its technological objects, resounds in Lacan’s conception of “lathouse” which allows extimate objects to convert interiority (unconscious) into exteriority (conscious) and exteriority into interiority. The thesis of this paper seeks to employ this underutilized concept to understand the nature of human subjectivity and its bodily and structural relationship to generative art. Therefore, this paper emphasizes what really happens when we enter into this relationship with the lathouse, whereby this artificial object has effects in the "real of jouissance", where these Lathouses create a network, namely the Alethosphere. My goal is to argue that generative art as a technological development, can be seen as an extension to the development of the drive. Conclusively, I make the claim for generative art's potential to externalize the human creative drive by emphasizing the interplay between randomness and structure, and how it offers a means to surpass our inherent limitations by presenting an avenue for self-expression that transcends traditional modes of art. (shrink)
Although the desire to be free from God springs from humanity’s wish to enjoy pleasure without restraint, Lacan observes that humans remain neurotic and unhappy. That is because the prevailing “dead of God” form of atheism relies on the denial of a father/god, a negation that inadvertently replicates the logic of religion. Lacan, by contrast, grounds his atheism in a theory of pleasure that recognizes the role of “unpleasure” in breaking the tedium of easy, unlimited gratification. Turning to Greek tragedy, (...) Lacan shows how the ancient world used the gods as creators of “unpleasure” to generate human _jouissance_. The figure of Antigone, in particular, shows how the divine function can fulfill “the true formula of atheism,” which is not “God is dead,” but rather, Lacan affirms, that “_God is unconscious_.”. (shrink)
"Joyce as Theory is the first study to argue James Joyce can be read as a theorist. Joyce is not just a favourite case study of literary theory; he wrote about how we make meaning, and to what effect. The present volume traces his hermeneutics in those narratives in Finnegans Wake which deal with textual production and interpretation, showing that the Wake's difficulty exemplifies Joyce's theoretical stance. All reading involves responding to problems we cannot quite fathom. This preoccupation places Joyce (...) alongside Jacques Derrida and Jacques Lacan. Joyce as Theory revives debates on theory with a linguistic focus, laying open misconceptions that have muddled attempts to be over and done with this kind of thought. It demonstrates that Derrida and Lacan, almost exclusively presented as rivals, converge on a common position. It opposes the myth of linguistic theory as a formalist approach, instead showing that Joyce, Derrida, and Lacan give us a hermeneutic ethics alert to how meaning-making impacts our lived experience. And it challenges the notion that theory imposes matters alien to Joyce, demonstrating that it is an appreciation of Joyce's arguments in Finnegans Wake that generates a theoretical perspective. Joyce as Theory is essential reading for researchers and students in Joyce studies, continental philosophy, literary theory, and modernist literature"--. (shrink)
This essay will attempt a line-by-line reading of Lacan’s famous “The Mirror Image as Formative I Function as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience” (1949) published in the collected volume of essays, Ecrits (1966). The article attempts to show that Lacan’s essay opens a space of primordiality, whereby we can revisit Heidegger’s critique of subjectivity and the Cogito, terms that originate with Descartes and evolves to Kant’s Critiques of dogmatic metaphysics, particularly in Heidegger’s Being and Time. These are steps Heidegger takes to (...) set up his attempted critique of Hegel, who in turn tries to surpass the history of philosophy rooted in modern subjectivity, particularly in his Phenomenology of Spirit (1807). However, missing in Lacan’s essay and what remains unarticulated in Heidegger’s Being and Time is the following: relation between time, movement, and the space of primordiality where all notions of factical existence dissolve. Being born in time, developing in time, being in or at time, and being-towards-death, as Heidegger struggles to deconstruct – by way of his unique appropriation of phenomenology in Being and Time – can be questioned. Indeed, what Heidegger fails to develop, and he admits it explicitly, is the other side of his ‘one-sided’ treatment in the investigation: he only analyzed death as a possibility of Dasein’s greatest possibility to ‘be-Whole’ authentically (1962, 277) and completely neglected ‘being-towards-birth’ as the ‘other end’ of Dasein’s movement (1962, 425). We will argue that one is never born as a biological fact of existence, a social construction assigned at physical birth, like a gender or sex, or any religious notions of a created being from God the Creator, or any notions of rebirth, reincarnation, or resurrection, namely from religions in the West, like Roman Catholic Christianity, and the East, like Hinduism. Rather, ‘being-towards-birth’ in relation to the linear time of flowing now-points (past as no longer now, present as now, future as yet to be now), or ‘being-within-time,’ (Heidegger 1962, 457) is temporalized other than a dateable origin in spatialized time or history. (shrink)
This essay performs a comparative reading of the themes of language, otherness and subjectivity in the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Lacan. Their focuses on the place and role of an ethical subjectivity who is profoundly affected and displaced by the (non)presence of the absolute Other provide apt philosophical material for comparison and contrast. Through a close analysis of the important philosophical and psychoanalytic themes in Levinas’ early work Totality and Infinity and Lacan’s Seminar VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, (...) I demonstrate how the different articulations of alterity in both influence their separate conceptions of the possibility of ethics in relation to decentered notions of subjectivity. In reading both, I argue that Lacan’s treatment of otherness and the eccentric nature of language provides a reimaging of certain gaps in Levinas. In return, I position Levinas as being able to provide a notion of ethical community that Lacan leaves out. (shrink)
In Alain Badiou’s most recent work, L’immanence des vérités ( The Immanence of Truths), psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan once again figures peripherally but saliently. What is their specific relation in this text, however? We argue that Badiou responds here to the problem raised precisely by the Lacanian subject, situated as it is between the radical subjectivity of the symptom and the possibility of formalization. In L’immanence, he introduces the term ‘absoluteness’ to secure truths against both relativism and transcendental construction. We show (...) that in drawing on Lacan to establish an understanding of the absolute, Badiou highlights the implicit tension between psychoanalysis and philosophy. We treat central cross-currents – truths, knowledge, the event and love – to help reveal the specific character of their confluence in this third book of Badiou’s trilogy. Although he stresses the unity of his and Lacan’s efforts, the impossible Real marking their divisions also invariably emerges the closer one investigates. (shrink)
O artigo tem como objetivo traçar uma visão panorâmica sobre como Lacan trabalha a questão de Deus em seus seminários. Tendo em vista a importância da questão de Deus para Lacan, nosso artigo se mostra como uma tentativa de mapear tal problema nos seminários e evidenciar que o tema sobre Deus perpassa toda a obra de Jacques Lacan, que vai alterando as suas formulações sobre Deus à medida que seu ensino avança.
Since Narcissus sees himself seeing himself, i.e., comes to self‑ consciousness and plunges into self‑destruction under the gaze, thinkers have problematized the Delphic maxim of “knowing thyself” from a visual perspective. In this trend, psychoanalysis joins the self‑criticism of phenomenology in subverting the “myth” of the self‑reflective consciousness. Whereas Lacan relegates the mirror stage to the Imaginary and interprets the gaze as objet a to account for the split in the subject, Merleau‑Ponty overcomes the narcissistic enclosure of the tacit cogito (...) by appealing to the self’s abandonment to the gaze of the other in an open‑circuit of the reversible flesh. Through the lens of the topological concept of parallax, this study illuminates the fundamental distinctions between these two perspectives and proposes a promising future of psychoanalytic phenomenology. (shrink)
In this essay, I try to go through the questions and analysis that Judith Butler puts on Althusser’s work—reading fundamentally and almost exclusively the essay on the “Ideological State Apparatus” from 1970, and the relationship she maintains in her reading with the Freud’s concept of repression and the Lacanian “symbolic order”. My central hypothesis is that it is the Foucauldian reading of Freud and Lacan, begun early in 1990 with Gender Trouble, that guides Butler in his interpretation of the Althusserian (...) concept of interpellation understood almost exclusively from the perspective of the “hailing” example that Althusser provides in his essay from 1970. This leads Butler to a reading that I characterize here as biographical—for its obscene reliance on a particular episode in Althusser’s life: the murder of Helène Rytman—and anti-Cartesian, insofar as it attempts reading the ideological readiness of the subject as something beyond the split of the cogito, and materially effected by an ontological repetition. The problem with Judith Butler's concept of repression is its unappealable juridical nature—which is paradoxical for an erudite reader of Michel Foucault—insofar as the agent of repression appears as analogous to the State and therefore it results assimilable with rebellions “melancholic” subjectivity. This conflation of the psychological and the social is conducive to some mass psychologism, which forgets Althusser’s debt to Lacan when elaborating his theory of ideology. I proceed to investigate the origins of this theory in the text “Three Notes on the Theory of Discourses” (1968) and in the recently published Que faire (2018). My tentative conclusion is that there is an idea of supplementary violence (in the Lacanian sense of plus-de-jouir) constitutive of the unconscious in Althusserian theory of ideology that cannot be overlooked, and that is linked to his reading of Freud. (shrink)
Anthropocentrism and the fact that some animals are just considered a means to an end while others are loved are often subject to criticism in animal ethics. Drawing on the psychoanalytic theories of Jacques Lacan, the author examines how the apparent ambivalence in human–animal relationships is based on different forms of enjoyment. Referring to the Real, the Symbolic and the Imaginary, which according to Lacan define human reality, the author shows how enjoyment and its limits shape, for example, how we (...) think about pets, farm animals or wild animals. This alternative perspective will contribute to a better understanding of the challenges in human–animal relationships. (shrink)
According to the 2020 docudrama, The Social Dilemma, our very addiction to “social media” has, today, become encapsulated in the tensions between its facilitation as a mode of interpersonal communication and as an insidious conduit for machine learning, surveillance capitalism and manipulation. Amidst a variety of interviewees – many of whom are former employees of social media companies – the documentary finishes on a unanimous conclusion: something must change. By using the docudrama as a pertinent example of our “social media (...) malaise,” and while remaining aware of the problems and unethical practices encompassing international digital/social media companies, this paper will argue that we continually refrain from the very question(ing) that would call these companies to account: what does the algorithm desire? In approaching this question, this article will draw from Lacan’s ‘hysterical’ position in accordance with Robert Pfaller’s notion of interpassivity. Together, these concepts will be used to provide a psychoanalytic account of how our subjectivization in social media renders an unconscious endorsement that both frames our awareness of the dilemmas encompassing social media, while also positing an inherent limitation that may offer a possible path out of its impeding affects. This subjective ambivalence – delegated yet reluctantly disavowed – offers an opportunity to realign discussions on the lost object of desire (objet a) and its reproduction in social media algorithms. In so doing, the case will be made that an account of interpassivity can help lay bare the hysterical significance underscoring our digital subjectivization. (shrink)
Alongside the increasing popularity of digital, ‘social’ media platforms, has been the emergence of self-styled digital life-coaches, many of whom seek to propagate their knowledge of and interests in a variety of topics through online social networks (such as, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, etc.). With many of these ‘social influencers’ garnering a large online following, their popularity, social significance and cultural impact offers important insights into the place and purpose of the subject in our digital media environment. Accordingly, this chapter will (...) examine the proliferation of digital media technologies, which, on the one hand, propose the dissolution of the subject (wearable technology, technological singularity, etc.), while on the other, provide new opportunities for discovering, ‘sharing’ and/or improving one’s ‘inner-Self’ (digital media gurus, online health and fitness regimes, etc.). It is in considering how the effects of this ‘digital subject’ redefines traditional (Cartesian) conceptions, that the relative significance of ‘Digital Guru Media’ (DGM) can be drawn. In particular, explicit attention is given to examining how our engagements with social media can be considered in relation to Lacan’s (2002) notion of the big Other and its relevance in introducing, examining and, possibly, subverting, the digital media guru. (shrink)
In exploring the intra-active, relational and material connections between humans and non- humans, proponents of posthumanism advocate a questioning of the ‘human’ beyond its traditional anthropocentric conceptualization. By referring specifically to controversial developments in mHealth applications, this paper critically diverges from posthuman accounts of human/non-human assemblages. Indeed, we argue that, rather than ‘dissolving’ the human subject, the power of assemblages lie in their capacity to highlight the antagonisms and contradictions that inherently affirm the importance of the subject. In outlining this (...) claim, we propose a turn from the posthuman to the inhuman as a way of understanding the contemporary landscape of (digital) health. (shrink)
This article brings together Roland Barthes and Samuel Beckett into a dialogue devoid of hierarchy, with Jacques Lacan as mediator. Both writers were intent on escaping the sway of the image considered as formatted by meanings. For Barthes, the themes of love and photography point to the existence of unicity within the dispersal of meanings and the reality of loss. Rather than undoing the image like Barthes, Beckett starts from an inaugural absence of instituted reality: from an original absence of (...) any ‘that-has-been’, as expressed in the motif of the mask. Both authors locate vision within speech, and the alterity contained within the latter. (shrink)
Based on Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, Alexandre Kojève produces a theory of an "anthropogenesis" that allocates the constitution of self-consciousness in a markedly historical and social field centered on the "dialectic of the master and the slave". More than this, it emerges in a domaine seized by the conflictuality of such a central operator of socialization, namely the desire, which is always, in the last case, a desire for recognition. Aware of this idea and on the path of the development (...) of an imaginary’s theory, Lacan was pursuing the necessity to reallocate certain points of the Freudian constitution’s theory of the ego. He was aiming to bypass Freud’s supposed “biologism” by emphasizing the fundamental dependence of the other’s figure on the process of "hominization", in which "aggressiveness" plays an inherent role. If the projects of Kojève and Lacan present undeniable convergences, it is necessary, however, to better understand them, as well as to establish the uniqueness of their distances, inflections and objectives. (shrink)
This article examines the death of God theme in the work of Jacques Lacan and indicates some convergences with Christian theology. It distinguishes the ‘atheism’ of Lacan from the atheism of Freud. And it demonstrates that if Lacan does not believe in the God equated with Being, the God of the philosophers, the later Lacan’s argument for what he calls the ‘eksistence’ of God beyond language, the God of the mystics, makes for a highly nuanced atheism.
This paper is concerned with the background to Lacan’s Seminar I, chapter xx on Augustine’s De magistro, its manuscript sources, editions and structure. The discussion of Augustine’s treatise was suggested to Lacan by Louis Beirnaert but he seems not to have known the text. We argue that there are reasons to think the suggestion came from his Jesuit confrere Paul Henry, the learned co-editor of the Enneads, who was helping to organise an international congress in Paris that year on Augustine. (...) Although the history of the discussion of ‘signs’ goes back to Aristotle, the only attempt to bring signification into a theory of language, prior to Augustine, is found in a passage in Plotinus which Henry had discussed some years earlier. The Latin text of De magistro they used was, unfortunately, badly corrupted and this contributed to a mistaken understanding of its structure. Nevertheless, Lacan found some important parallels between Augustine’s view on teaching and the complexity of understanding and his own teaching and psychoanalysis. (shrink)
The following article presents an analysis of the conflict that occurs between philosophy and psychoanalysis in both the works of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan; This conflict is conveyed from the alienated condition of the subject that arises from the thesis of the unconscious. The subject deconstructs himself as consciousness and reveals the impossibility of him in the very act in which he presents himself through his saying. In this way, language configures the Freudo-Lacanian idea of the unconscious in the (...) form of an act of performative iteration, not so much at the level of consultation, but as the founding cogito of philosophical and scientific reflection. (shrink)
This article proposes that Deleuze’s psychoanalytically inspired theory of humour and irony provides an underappreciated way to theorize acts of resistance that adopt a structurally perverse position towards a law or authority. In his books Coldness and Cruelty and Difference and Repetition, Deleuze explains that the law is susceptible to two kinds of subversive procedure. The first, which he calls irony and which he aligns with sadism, reveals a gap between the law and its principles. The second, which he calls (...) humour and which he aligns with masochism, exposes a gap between the law’s interdictions and their consequences. For Deleuze, humour and irony harbour the potential to overturn or overthrow the law. Drawing on Lacanian psychoanalytic theory and contemporary examples – alt-right ‘free speech’ demonstrations in the United States and protests surrounding Russia’ s 2012 parliamentary elections – the article argues that Deleuze overstates the transformative potential of perversion. Nevertheless, his account remains useful for showing the circuitous routes that some subjects take to enjoy their position within the law. Given the global rise in right-wing authoritarianism in recent years, this may prove to be an important insight. (shrink)
This paper seeks to consider the similarities between Kierkegaard’s life stages and Lacan’s orders to demonstrate that we can understand each description in a structurally similar way to the other. Accordingly, a reading of Kierkegaard is developed that uses his life stages to describe a metapsychology, and a reading of Lacan is developed that shows how his orders can be conceived of progressively. All this leads to a further analysis of the different ways in which each stage relates to repetition (...) and a culmination in which the achievement of faith in Kierkegaard is thought together with the analytic cure in Lacan. (shrink)
Dans cet ouvrage, Monique Lauret retrace l'histoire du mouvement psychanalytique en Chine qui ne cesse de croître depuis les années 1980, analyse l'influence de la pensée chinoise sur la théorisation de Lacan, et établit des passerelles entre pensée chinoise et psychanalyse. Il existe un passage inattendu entre pensée chinoise et psychanalyse autour de la question de l'humanisation et du rêve. Lacan s'intéressa en particulier à trois notions de la philosophie chinoise: la nature, le désir et la sagesse (discernement). Il reprit (...) les concepts clés de Mencius, fils spirituel de Confucius: le Xing (nature ou sexuel) et le Ming (décret du Ciel ou destin) à partir desquels il conçut la nature de l'être parlant soumis aux lois du Ciel, c'est-à-dire celles de son désir et de sa jouissance. Il porta aussi un regard neuf sur la langue et l'écriture idéographique chinoises: il y découvrit un système de signifiance révélant le mécanisme subtil de l'inconscient structuré comme écriture, ce qui lui permit d'approfondir les concepts de jouissance, d'identification et de Trait unaire. Enfin, il dénonça l'effondrement de la ' sagesse ' de l'humanité à l'origine de nos maux contemporains: une précipitation dans la haine et l'archaïque, la haine étant le plus puissant vecteur de la pulsion de mort. Par ce dialogue entre deux pensées civilisationnelles qui défendent l'idée que l'homme ne peut être humain que dans sa relation à l'autre, cet ouvrage propose une position de discernement face à l'essor de la révolution techno-numérique et au malaise dans la civilisation. (shrink)
Lacanian psychoanalysis has received increasing attention in the last few decades for its relevance to thinking about politics, mainly as a result of its key role in the work of the post-Althusserian philosophers of the Ljubljana School. This, however, has resulted in a portrayal of Lacan’s position with respect to Marx that can seem obvious and uncomplicated, and that elides the complexities of the historical narrative of psychoanalysis’s interaction with Marxist thought. This thesis offers a more complex historical picture of (...) how Lacan relates to Marx. It argues that the political possibilities opened up by psychoanalysis, in particular with respect to its response to Marx, cannot be understood extraneously to this historical dimension. The thesis carries out readings of key texts in twentieth-century philosophy, science, and political theory associated with Marxist thought to construct this intellectual history. It finds that, at each moment of its development, Lacan’s work responded to conceptual impasses precipitated by the legacy of this tradition. What also emerges, though, is a view of Lacan that cannot be reduced to a Marxist framework, precisely because of the pressure-points within it that he exploits. There is a history conditioning Lacan’s position with respect to Marx that has been forgotten, and that haunts attempts currently being made, in the half-century after his work was completed, to come to terms with it. This thesis begins a study of the contours of this history, in order to register the political possibilities that Lacan opened up. (shrink)