The lost cause of mourning

Continental Philosophy Review 46 (2):209-221 (2013)
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This paper examines the evolution of Jacques Lacan’s concept of mourning from his treatment of Hamlet in Seminar 6, “Desire and Its Interpretation,” to its transformation in the tenth Seminar on “Anxiety.” It is a transformation that occurs in tandem with Lacan’s reconception of anxiety as lack of the lack and his reshaped conception of the objet a as object/cause of desire. The key point is the way that Lacan’s renovated conception upends the common sense notion of mourning, that which assumes that suffering the death of a loved one means accommodating oneself to an absence where there was previously a presence. On the contrary, says Lacan, part of what is most deeply to be mourned is the lack in the Other around which the love relation was constructed. The paper concludes by asking to what extent Lacan’s account of mourning should be distinguished from those of both Hegel and Freud



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Richard Boothby
Loyola University Maryland

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The Parallax View.Slavoj Žižek - 2004 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 8 (2):255-269.
The Parallax View.Slavoj Žižek - 2004 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 8 (2):255-269.

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