Theory, Culture and Society 24 (4):131-138 (2007)

In a recent article published in Theory, Culture & Society Michael Billig proposed a formal, rhetorical method of evaluating Lacanian theory, applying it in a critical reading of Lacan’s early work on the ‘mirror stage’. What is crucially at stake in this reading is Lacan’s citation practices: indeed, Lacan is credited with significant omissions. Central among them is the ‘repression’ of the work of the French psychologist Henri Wallon in Lacan’s article on the ‘mirror stage’. Furthermore, it is also argued that such omissions have been instrumental in the creation and reproduction of a whole Lacan mythology, which is supposedly uncritically accepted by Lacanian scholars. What this note attempts is a brief assessment of this critical method and of its conclusions. Is Lacan’s ‘repression’ of Wallon as straightforward as it seems? What criteria should be employed in evaluating Lacan’s complex citation practices? Is the assumed complicity of Lacanian scholars in Lacan’s mythologization really representative of the current status of Lacanian bibliography? Billig’s own repressions seem to cast serious doubts on the validity of his proposed method of evaluating Lacan. But his critique does open a much-needed debate on issues of intellectual debt and repression, and on the relation between psychoanalysis and academic discourse.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0263276407080399
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,160
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Lacan’s Misuse of Psychology.Michael Billig - 2006 - Theory, Culture and Society 23 (4):1-26.
Lacan and the Political.Yannis Stavrakakis - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 62 (3):603-604.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Arabic Freud: The Unconscious and the Modern Subject.Omnia El Shakry - 2014 - Modern Intellectual History 11 (1):89-118.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
13 ( #766,098 of 2,499,389 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #418,195 of 2,499,389 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes