By Charles Freeland
A examine of Lacan’s engagement with the Western philosophical traditions of moral and political proposal in his 7th seminar and later work.
With its privileging of the subconscious, Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic idea would appear to be at odds with the objectives and strategies of philosophy. Lacan himself embraced the time period “anti-philosophy” in characterizing his paintings, and but his seminars undeniably evince wealthy engagement with the Western philosophical culture. those essays discover how Lacan’s paintings demanding situations and builds in this culture of moral and political inspiration, connecting his “ethics of psychoanalysis” to either the classical Greek culture of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and to the Enlightenment culture of Kant, Hegel, and de Sade. Charles Freeland exhibits how Lacan seriously addressed the various key moral matters of these traditions: the pursuit of fact and the moral reliable, the beliefs of self-knowledge and the care of the soul, and the relation of ethical legislations to the tragic dimensions of dying and wish. instead of maintaining the characterization of Lacan’s paintings as “anti-philosophical,” those essays determine a resonance able to enriching philosophy through commencing it to wider and evermore tough perspectives.
“Freeland’s studying of Lacan is surprisingly philosophical not just simply because he examines the psychoanalyst’s money owed to philosophical discourse, yet, extra forcefully, simply because his personal method isn't really indebted to any of the at present dominant tendencies in psychoanalytic concept. This booklet is as singular because it is insightful.” — Steven Miller, collage at Buffalo, country college of latest York
Charles Freeland is Lecturer and path Coordinator, educating philosophy and structure on the overseas software of layout and structure at Chulalongkorn college in Bangkok, Thailand.
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Extra resources for Antigone, in Her Unbearable Splendor: New Essays on Jacques Lacan's The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (SUNY series, Intersections: Philosophy and Critical Theory)
Already at this stage, Lacan was careful to keep his distance from the closure of the Hegelian system, from an Absolute Knowledge that was allied to the unachievable ideal of a perfectly homogeneous discourse, complete and closed in upon itself. Later, the introduction of the logic of the not-all [pas-tout] and the concept of the barred Other () would render this initial reference to Hegel obsolete. Can one imagine any opposition more incompatible than the one between Hegelian Absolute Knowledge – the closed ‘circle of circles’ – and the Lacanian barred Other – absolutely empty knowledge?
It is in these distortions and exaggerations, in the contingencies and inadequacies of expression, that the truth is to be found and relayed. In a sense, these distortions are the truth. And it is this very truth that is repeated throughout Žižek. His work both demonstrates and speaks at every level of the truth of this contingency or distortion. This is why both the cultural studies and the straightforwardly philosophical understandings of Žižek are incorrect. The former because it does not understand the Truth contained in Žižek’s method; the latter because it does not understand that this Truth may only be attained through the detour of this method.
The illusion on which both these stories rely – that of putting two incompatible phenomena on the same level – is strictly homologous to what Kant called a ‘transcendental illusion’, the fallacy of being able to use the same language for phenomena that are mutually untranslatable and can only be grasped by a kind of parallax view, constantly shifting perspective between two points between which no synthesis or mediation is possible. There is thus no rapport between the two levels, no shared space – although connected, they are as it were on opposite sides of a Möbius strip.