Terry1 - 04/02/00 16:40:27 EDT
Kant's trascendental idealism implies that we can never know the THING in itself to this extent Lacan supports him. One of the few points of humour in Kant is his metaphor of freedom and the bird..........the bird thinks it is free as it soars ever higher, but is dragged down to earth by gravity implying it can never be free.........Can perfume say something about 'efficient cause' and perhaps Croce?

In the his book 'The origins of the sublime and the beautiful' Burke relates the experience of the universal beautiful to the empirical experience we have when we make contact with certain surfaces.

a.m. - 04/01/00 02:53:46 EST

thanks for your response...it prompted me to read in a specific direction.


Nietzche said something to the effect that Kant conflates the beautiful with the subject. If you invert Kant, (turn him "on his head") -- beauty is some piece of shared subjectivity(culture, especially its modes of production) that has been sublimated,and what was formerly sublimated brought to the surface, made tangible. In other words, the sense of the universal is actually the always-already (as opposed to the apriori): it is anterior to experience. Looked at this way, could we say that the experience of beauty as unique or private reveals both a misrecogniton and a symptom? (I think this is something like what Croce said in his book on aesthetics as well.) In some sense then, there IS something of the One in the analyst. The awareness that there is no Analyst and the question of beauty would both be the classic problem of modernity/ the Death of God-- what now, after the disenchantment? Did I correctly understand you?

bri(a)nk - 03/30/00 15:19:48 EST

I believe Kant (as well as the various proponents of practical criticism who descend from him) says something similar: that the experience of the beautiful is absolutely singular, which however provokes in the subject a sense of the universal. There is no universal symbol or notion of the beautiful; ultimately we're left with our individual shoes or locks of hair about which there can be no agreement (de gustibus . . .), but to feel convinced of something or someone's beauty makes us want to argue for a sensis communis nonetheless, makes us feel a rational duty to insist that anyone else ought to feel just as strongly with regard to this same singular presence. You say that there is no Analyst; to which I would reply there is My analyst, and in her I believe there is something of One. And I believe that in love the lover wishes the beloved to agree with his own opinion about her, or at least so he insists. How does my awareness that there is no Analyst, but either only my analyst or a de(s)file of others, effect the direction of my treatment?

perfume - 03/30/00 00:53:11 EST
bri(a)nk -

Like with "woman," Lacan says "there isn't the analyst." And I think this says a lot in concern with the intersubjective. The "analyst" doesn't exist. What exists are analysts - the many analysts. I mean, the analyst as a set is not a consistent notion, each patient forever diverse, singular. No analyst has the value of an example - each one is "the case" in itself, and should be considered in itself. Then all theory with regard to "the analyst" can only be theory of cases, more precisely the theory of a singular case. For each case, it's very theory. Then of course you can reunite the singular and diverse cases in a theory, as to demonstrate something, in concern with each case, in their singular way - one after the other. And this is how when it comes to the analyst you are better off talking of cases, I would say.

gm - 03/29/00 14:59:36 EST
We are trying to determine if we have this quotation right: "Language begins over the detah of the mother." It's from 1966. Can anyone tell us?

perfume - 03/29/00 02:42:22 EST
I would say the death drive - much as it entails repetition - with perversion it is parangon. Wether the case is the shoe, the shine of the nose or what have you, the pervert has the answer... the answer stemming from the reality of his subjective constitution. He has an immutable constant joy always ready to use...
And about the ethical act that risks (symbolic) death, it makes for a master - an S1. The pervert is no master. The pervert makes himself be object small a.

- 03/26/00 11:36:03 EST
I just put a link to Lacan.com on my site, gwbush.com. Sorry to use Dr. Ruth as the voice of psychoanalysis, but she the only person my audience would recognize. Please check out the site--and maybe someone could rewrite the stuff I have dr. ruth saying about the sexual symbolism of the politican-capitalist relationship. Maybe I could then put that up with the label, "Lacan explains"...people wouldn't get it, but it would be better.
-zack, gwbush.com (parody site that is nominated for a webby award in humor.)

alice - 03/26/00 04:53:36 EST
for a good overview of Lacan, go to the University of Birmingham, England web pages, and look for Tom Davis's web pages in the English Department

bri(a)nk - 03/25/00 15:38:39 EST

which is why i think the lacanian analyst always assumes a pose of subjective destitution, says, through sighs and silence, I am your object and (though there is a delay and it usually takes the analysand some time to get the message; we always think that at any minute it's going to get interesting, it's going to get real) I'm not worth having--which is what I think may make Lacan's "Television" so brilliant; it's an hour-long info-mercial for something noone could never sell; it's pure camp, bathos, failure; and yet, installment by installment, we keep buying. Despite what he's said from the very beginning, you're sure he's lying, holding back; you keep waiting for him to say the whole truth, to get interesting. (Boredom as hysterical symptom?)

It seems to me that what the pervert and the analyst have in common is not the inability, but the refusal to participate in the common assumed ritual; neither can stick to the terms of the deal. The pervert is always bored with you, because what he really wants is the shoe, the lock of hair, not what's being marketted but the actual "glanz" off the TV screen. The point is we can't believe he's actaully this excited, or this depressed,or this distracted, over this absolutely insignificant inch of the real. The pervert it would seem, always draws the ritual out too long, keeps watching the same thing when everyone else is bored; or persists in foreplay when anyone else would, along with their partner, already be asleep. Whereas the (lacanian) analyst, I believe, generally finishes too early; you paid for fifty minutes (and a certain feeling) and he's already gotten what he wanted after five. You can't believe he's already finished. It's as if he wanted it to end prematurely, this quickly. Either way, the two share a discourse which is designed to drive you crazy, to force from the subject (in the position of the other) a chain of signifiers intended to compensate for a lack, to fill in the gap. The analyst is supposed to be repressing some knowledge (S2), withholding something; supposed to be on the verge of getting interesting, giving up the real thing. But the analysand never gets the payoff from that direction, from the (ego) side of the mirror. Rather, after enough provocation, the subject will eventually cough up S1, from behind her own eyes, the blind spot, the unconscious, the body. Some word which has been hiding there under the bar, the repressed signifier, will suddenly appear as the subject's self-convicting Truth.

Am I getting this right?

Greta - 03/25/00 13:30:24 EST
Need an overview of Lacan's theory for a paper I am writing for class and wnat to get other angles on his thought than what was discussed in class. Please e-mail me at Greta242@aol.com with subject head of Lacan. Thank you.

a.m. - 03/24/00 07:19:39 EST
Rufus wrote "So the pervert is caught between freedom from prohibition on one hand and an inability to make anything meaningful out of the drives..."

Perversion is of course incapable of subversion,(as it originates in the Law and is constitutive of it) But what of the Death Drive? What is the qualitative difference between perversion and the ethical Act that risks (symbolic)death? (this question is not rhetorical...)

perfume - 03/23/00 20:26:54 EST
also the knowledge (S2) of the analyst is to be distinguished from the pervert's knowledge.

he - the pervert - "knows" the ways and means... (wether it implies the shoe, the lock of hair, or the shine in the nose, it is forever the same "knowing")

with the analyst instead, it is "supposed knowledge" (it happens in the transference)

perfume - 03/21/00 22:26:21 EST

It may come as a surprise but the discourse of the analyst has the same structure the discourse of perversion has. That is: a -------- S (barred)

S2 -------- S1

the pervert makes himself be "objet a." What distinguishes the analyst from the pervert is that the analyst is a semblance of "objet a."

Kingsley - 03/21/00 18:43:51 EST
I want to know more about male hysteria... can you explain yourself briank.

bri(a)nk - 03/19/00 18:03:20 EST

your comments make sense in terms of what I've been reading about 60s-70s minimalism (ABC art) and 80s-90s (queer) performance art--the presentification of bodiliy jouissance so as to reveal the superfluity of the (non-objective) symbolic, that it misses the point, always takes place over there. My questions: beside the acknowledgement of the nullity of the fantasy object by the pervert (who cannot acknowledge the given ritual) how would you distinguish between perversion and male hysteria? Also, what prompted your seemingly atopical remarks in the first place, something about the similarity of the discourse of the pervert and the analyst, each intended to outrage the analysand, to "cause"?

Rufus - 03/17/00 15:51:33 EST
Thoughts on Perversion (Homosexuality)

The pervert has come to the conclusion that the fantasy object is really just a burden placed on him by the Other. It is no longer the excess or the remainder that eludes the symbolic process. It is the direct result.
He believes this. But a consequence of believing that the fantasy object belongs to the Other is that he must act as if the fantasy object belongs to the Other. That is, act as if the fantasy object were an external thing. So he spends his time externalizing the object, presenting it to the Other, in the form of his own body. The act of speech becomes the act of speaking the object; he speaks what should remain unspoken. The mediation of Desire by the symbolic, the prohibition on jouissance becomes his target and he is the first to point out the Emperor has no clothes.
Since fantasy belongs to the Other, it is a barrier to the direct attainment of joiussance. Fantasy largely disappears; it has lost the dimension of lack. When he fantasizes, he speaks about it too freely. It has become make believe. When he is confronted by it, he is strangely intolerant. (Fantasy is the most binding force in intersubjectivity.)
He is more interested in crossing directly over into the drives. But he remains frustrated, giving rise to aggression, because he cannot make the drives into a fantasy object that is his own.
So the pervert is caught between freedom from prohibition on one hand and an inability to make anything meaningful out of the drives, a dilemma that becomes radicalized in psychosis in the megalomania of the I and the feeling of being completely helpless and taken over by the Other.

Jo - 03/17/00 06:21:19 EST
Anyone knows where the original "L'origine du monde", Courbet's paint is right now? Thanks.

Rob - 03/15/00 19:38:28 EST
Help me doctor!

whatever brings you there should be the cause of psychoanalysis, call it a symptom.

Colline - 03/11/00 21:57:46 EST
the sinthome is beyond psychoanalysis,,,
the symptom is not psychoanalysis, but the analyst himself,,,
the analyst, a semblance of "objet a" - he is not enjoying (jouissance) as he is a semblance - he desires, yes.
What does he want from me?
In an ideal situation the analyst will in turn become the cause - the hidden cause of the desire. And this fact differentiates Lacan from Freud. With Freud the cause is forever the lost object - the mother, the breast - with Lacan instead the cause may change, through the work in psychoanalysis.

susanfrank - 03/06/00 17:30:04 EST
Hmmmm,,,the sinthome is beyond psychoanalysis,,,well I'll try.
Perhaps psychoanalysis is the synthome which it tries to analize.
could the question be put another way?
Perhaps,,,;what does the analyst want?
What is the cause of psychoanalysis?

Terry1 - 03/05/00 14:06:58 EST
HelenPs. Have you anything more to say?..Can you open up?

Terry1 - 03/05/00 14:05:44 EST
Kant said: 'Out of the crooked timbers of humanity no straight thing was made' Zizek believes that to be a Kantian makes one no better than a sadist. Kant believed we have to 'make ourselves straight'...Has anybody any thoughts on this?

HelenPs - 03/05/00 06:41:13 EST
Sinthonian stations, borders, enemies on the road, e.t.c. The equilibrium between extremes. Simple [?] vivido?

Terry1 - 03/03/00 19:03:47 EST
Thanks Frank!.......'The sinthome is beyond pychoanalysis'.......discuss?

Terry1 - 03/03/00 19:01:21 EST
Helen Ps what are you referring to? Can you explain

HelenPs - 03/03/00 06:09:12 EST
In my case Achilles,in a final try runned backwards so the turtoise had to show its belly. A. was simply petrified in a very awkward position. And as always [when you are right], an angel appeared and moved the turtoise. ///.../// [Terry1 are you a Libra too?]

susanfrank - 03/02/00 19:46:33 EST
Sisyphus/Camus, well, Camus thought that it might be helpful to consider that in those moments when old Sisyphus was heading downhill to take up once more his patient and ever-present burden that he might, in those moments, find a kind of happiness. Camus as some of you know posited that the only serious question is whether or not to kill ourselves. After this perhaps he is best known for using Sisyphys as an exemplar of the futile labor which is in some sense the lot of each of us. Camus/Sisyphys asks simply if we can love. The asintote of the love relation, the inability to ever really 'reach' this other and we might say, the oblivion which would most likely follow if we were to reach through, to surpass 'S (barred A)', in short, the fatal price of telling the whole truth is vouchsafed by the endless and futile labor of sisyphus.

Terry1 - 03/02/00 17:42:57 EST

'Achilles and the tortoise' is what was in my mind. Achilles can never beat the tortoise no matter how fast he runs because he will always be behind the tortoise in the race. Achilles can never catch the tortoise even though the time taken is continually reduced.. This is Zeno's paradox therefore 'The one is one'

Helen Ps. - 03/02/00 05:50:54 EST
i found the tortoise but an alligator tried to kill us both.Then he begun to die.But I had all the psychosomatic..I'm in the clinic,but no data.They still attack. Send some info someone.

Pepo - 03/02/00 04:57:15 EST
TO PERFUME: Thanks...But, Who & where are Mr. and Mrs. Jacques Alain? Are they in France ? Any complementary information would be very apreciated...

Robson - 03/01/00 21:38:28 EST
I'm looking for references in regards to Lacan's second clinic as far as psychossomatic is concerned.
Could anyone help me out?

bri(a)nk - 03/01/00 18:53:57 EST
Terry1--the best tortoise i can refer you to is the one Huysmans describes in "A Rebours." At the very moment in which the narrator would seem to succeed perversely in forcing the tortoise to "participate in the ambiguity of the jewel," it dies.

perfume - 03/01/00 17:51:40 EST
Pepo, Courbet's "L'origine du monde" paint in the internet is located at http://www.lacan.com/courbet.htm Courbet's "L'origine du monde" paint in real life is located at Mr and Mrs Jacques Alain Miller place, in France. This information I got from the catalogue of the Courbet exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, the year 1998.

Terry! - 03/01/00 17:25:05 EST
Aristotle said: 'to live alone we have to be an animal or a god' biologically we need friends. I think somewhere Lacan talks about the irrationality of rational numbers and the only meaningful numbers are those up to 7. The majical number seven the size of the family ...the number of planets ....the number of pieces of information we can remember in short term memory Bri(a)nk can you say something about Zeno's paradox and the race of the tortoiose or how half of 1=1? Frank can you say something about sysyphus and Camus?.. existence precedes essence?

Pepo - 03/01/00 10:43:48 EST
my contact: ppepo@yahoo.com - Thanks again.

Pepo - 03/01/00 10:42:36 EST
Does someone know where Courbet's "L'origine du monde" paint is located right now?

susanfrank - 02/29/00 16:03:59 EST
Friendship-don't know of any thing specific but I could probably extrapolate that, given his idea of the sexual relationship one might reasonably assume that if a 'friend' is different from a 'lover' this difference would be that while in the specifically 'sexual' relation, the other serves the function of varigying ones image by observation and feedback while friends would share a relationship wherein they both refer to some third entity to derive their similarity as objects. Notions like 'fraternity' come to mind. As a related issue, does any one have any idea what, if anything, Lacan did with the notion of non-monogymous sexual relationships. I ask this for a number of reasons one being that the 'from one object to another' might be given a different articulation when considered outside the conceptual framework of monogamy which underlays so many of the assumptions implicitly as well as explicitly about what a sexual relationship is supposed to be like. For example, the idea of infidelity is in many ways structured on the assumption of monogamy as the expected norm. Since Freud is said to have had an 'open marrige' I thought the subject might have come up some where, no pun intended.

bri(a)nk - 02/28/00 20:01:34 EST
Could someone say what Lacan might have to contribute to the topic of friendship?

susanfrank - 02/28/00 18:25:53 EST
The ego is a seashell or the dead wood of a tree. It is the con trail of the subject, the tial the commet uses to verify its passage through space. It is the cast off mold of moments. I am where I am not thinking, my thought is the product of this thinking through which I am. It is what I leave behind as me, My writing.

bri(a)nk - 02/28/00 17:21:27 EST
ananke poo--
What if the ego is multiple, is something elusive haunting the graveyard of objects (fossils) for the subject, something radically other in which the subject temporarily finds evidence of itself, say, a grecian urn, or the skull of a monkey? Or, as Proust put it, "This imagined remoteness of the past is perhaps one of the things that may enable us to understand how even great writers have found an inspired beauty in the works of mediocre mystifiers such as an Ossian. We are so astonished that bards long dead should have modern ideas that we marvel if in what we believe to be an ancient Gaelic ode we come across one which we should have thought at most ingenious in a contemporary. A translator of talent has only to add to an ancient writer whom he is reconstructing more or less faithfully a few passages which, signed with a contemporary name and published separately, would seem agreeable merely; at once he imparts a moving grandeur to his poet, who is thus made to play upon the keyboards of several ages at once. The translator was capable of only a mediocre book, if that book been published as his original work. Offered as a translation, it seems a masterpiece." If the ego is not that (misrecognized) signifier beaming forth out of the sentimented backdrop of the past in order to represent the totality of the subject for another signifer, then why does so much (unacknowledged) libidinal investment pervade historicism? Why so much presence? And why does any authentic interpretation of the past entail an act of disfigurement, of extraction?

susanfrank - 02/28/00 12:18:22 EST
Parmenides and Zeno offer a certain view of the un-fullfilled nature of sexual relations. However I think we can't under estimate the importance of Sisyphus via Camus if this fact is to retain any thing but a tragic tone. The imposibility of reaching the other is the very condition upon which life proceeds both at the theoretical as well as the actual physical (Real) level. How do I know this, I don't, I rather suppose a co-extensiveness between the futility of explaination and of that which explaination attempts to recapitulate. The funny and beautiful aspect of life is its comic aspect. As to the question posed by Terry about how I came to "lose interest" in former partners, this answer will have to wait for futher reflection. Briefly though, I would say that I have never lost interest in anything so much as having the content of the interest vary. The idea of variable interest might form something of a brridge to understanding of how we move from one object to another. We in fact do not do this but merely believe we do. In truth the only object which really holds our itherest is the one which we are. Since we don't have access to this object we continually seek its explication in the other. More later

B(R) I ANKY POO - 02/28/00 10:15:12 EST
What if the ego is not a response to subjectivity?
What if the subject is a reponse to the ego?

bri(a)nk - 02/27/00 19:02:53 EST
I too have noted what Kant called "a newly arisen superior tone" of late on board, or at least the harkening after one. But I trust you detected no sounding brass or tinkling cymbal in anything said by me. I would agree with your assertion of the importance of Parmenides (vs. Aristotle) for psychoanalysis. In fact, it is thanks to the paradoxes of his disciple Zeno (illustrating how desire, in dreams or otherwise, never attains its object) that Lacan is able point out the absurdity of the sexual relation, that rather than the thing itself we are always given instead a repeating series of studio outtakes, a whole proof sheet revealing nothing but ineffectual caresses and premature evaporations (which I believe is the correct definition of sublimation). But never the sex itself. And it is in Encore, of course, that Lacan declares human attempts at sexual fulfillment, at achieving the real thing, inevitably resound within the comic register.

Terry1 - 02/27/00 16:31:28 EST
Why is it that doubters of Lacan's work seem to be pushed to eastern mysticsm and related spirit based mental philosophies?.They either look to the Upanishads,Taoism, Budhism or other such philosophies. Why can't students accept the western canon? Parmenides is the philosopher that Lacan draws on most. What is wrong with the pre-Socratic philosphy of Parmenides to EST
ablish a foundation for belief? 'The one is one' as Parmenides said, led to him becoming the founder of set theory. Is it that we all need safety in numbers? When we SPEAK the truth it is the practice of healing. When we THINK the truth we are still in the world of theory. We are speaking, thinking beings. Living in the world of theory alone only ever illuminates one dimension of the mobious strip.

robson - 02/26/00 21:19:04 EST
Does anybody have any reference as far as psychosomatic relating to Lacan's second clinic?

robson - 02/26/00 21:03:53 EST
I've seen a lot of questions regarding Lancan's words that womam does not exist. I would like to recomend a book etitled "A\ Mulher" from Kalimeros. I believe that is written in portuguese only, but for those that have this language ability would function as a plus.

bri(a)nk - 02/26/00 20:40:32 EST
SF-- Also see Lacan's remarks on Zhuang-Tsu's dream in his discussion of the Gaze and the "Zwang" in The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, chapter 6, pg. 76.

bri(a)nk - 02/26/00 12:26:19 EST
Frank--re: Lacan and Taosim, here's a lead: in Elizabeth Roudinsco's biography, Jacques Lacan, see chapter 27, Oriental Yearnings and a Series of Bereavements.

Terry1 - 02/26/00 08:52:17 EST
Bernard Burghoyne at the London CFAR has done some interesting work on the 'Limit Point' using projective geometry to 'draw the soul'. He argues that the soul can be constructed around the limit point using this form of analysis. This work relates to physics in a non Euclidean way.

Frank can you tell us if you wish, why or how your interest in your former partners ended or faded away?...Have you got any comments on the Lacanian thesis.....'From one object to another so do they ALL behave'?

Terry1 - 02/25/00 16:06:20 EST
Frank and Brian.......'From one object to another so do they ALL behave'..... any comments...... Aims and goals are words...........words lie......

susanfrank - 02/25/00 11:12:25 EST
Aims and goals are interesting concepts re the way in which language uses us. The aim of all speech, (all activities are speech to the speaking being IMO), is exhaustion, what is the goal. A goal seems to imply a set point of arrivial, the endpoint of some mapped area (the use of 'goal' in sport) But the subject never knows what language, life, the big other, wants it to reach and so it must imagine such a goal, such a deffinite attainment rather than the simple discharge of energy. Speaking more than I know, that is to say, staking a claim to knowledge which can not be verified experimentally, I would say that language, life, the Big A, God, has no goal and strives with humans for the lowest possible state of tention. Generally, humans can't stomach the idea that life doesn't really care what they accomplish and have always tried to find a way to deal with this either by supposing some sort of goal (roughly this method is that of 'western religion), or by finding some way in which the futile expenditure of energy makes some sense (Bhuddism, Taoism and the philosophy of Camus and Bataille among others). Perhaps the artist can perform/preform no greater service for the critic than to present him/her with something which doesn't yeild easily to analysis because this keeps the critical jouissance level high and forces him/her to say something "deffinite" about some work which would necessarily due to the obscurity of the work in question (Joyce is a good example) force the critic to discharge something in the form of something groundless and therefore original. By the way, can any one here point me to any place where Lacan says anything about Taoism?

bri(a)nk - 02/24/00 21:18:47 EST
since you're naming names, and they are as endless as rejection, I'd say in Joyce you settled on a good one. To follow up on my remarks about not breaking surface, I'd say Freud's mishap with art was the result of his actually attempting to plunge into the river, whereas what Joyce attempted was much more humble, only deigning to walk on the water. He preferred to subject himself to indefinite rather than infinite criticism. Always wise! terry1--
could it be that Joyce succeeded in speaking so much because, as Lacan says at the beginning of Television, he was content to speak the truth, but not all of it? His goal was silence; but then there is his aim. Terry1 - 02/24/00 19:22:40 EST
Joyce noted that his work would perplex literary critics for a hundred years. His work illuminates the possibility of language saying everything and nothing. Lacan utilised Joyce in his project to develop the concept of the speaking being. Language uses us, we dont use language; hence we are speaking, thinking beings, who must become what we were meant to be. The goal of language is silence. Can Frank and Bran continue? Or does every relationship have to be written or enscribed to enable it to end? 'From one object to another so do they ALL behave'

Lynne - 02/24/00 18:41:32 EST
Brian K and Frank:
I'm new to Lacan--but your exchange put me in mind of what Lacan wrote in Preface to "The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis." in which he said: "I shall speak of Joyce, who has preoccupied me much this year, only to say that he is the simplest consequence of a refusal--such a mental refusal!--of psychoanalysis, which, as a result, his work illustrates. But I have done no more than touch on this is view of my embarrassment where art--an element in which Freud did not bathe without mishap--is concerned."

briank - 02/23/00 22:15:58 EST
which is why, not to mention a name, a certain writer refuses to be seen as a theorist, and refuses to allow any of his signifiers to be reduced to a signified, a theoretical term. Rather, he would prefer his act of signification to be seen as an endless series of inscriptions upon a glistening and delicate membrane the surface of which he desires never to break through. Of course one can look at these traces from a critical remove, holding up to them the brief candle of theory--to use George Elliot's metaphor--and seeing how these random and unconsciously produced scratches in their capturing and scattering of the light yeild an effect of circularity and closure, of "glaring back," i.e. of subjectivity. But the point, of course, it that this constitutional act is only an effect, the horror of the moment of self-recognition being a function of the power of the analyst to distort, to disfigure the speech in which the analysand would attempt to represent herself. While the supposed real subject is in fact merely a speculative illusion, the spectre of the Father, a pure positting of something which exceeds the surface of the mirror.
So I guess I agree with you; we're all practicing artists, and it is only the Theoretical Gaze (a certain succumbing to the intimidating effect of the symbolic, its a priori glaring back) which paralyzes the inscribing artist, turns her into a theorist, into that famous author we all know to be a dead man.

susanfrank - 02/23/00 19:48:38 EST
Interesting juxtiposition man/theorist-woman/artist. I think this is another example of the same kind of fantasy seperation of a return to the Real. There are no theorists. The theorist naively assumes that his doctrine is something different than the product of art. The critic believes he/she will look behind the artists work for what the artist means and therefore is. The theorist/critic is deluded into the belief that his artifice is the reflection of something Real, the artist qua artist makes no such claim. The critic/theorist is a frustrated artist who's frustration arises from the refusal of his doctrine to yeild more than art, for there is no more than art.

briank - 02/23/00 18:35:13 EST
which is just one reason why I think Lacan says "THE woman does not exist"--because man has positted her as his window of access to the Real, a domain in which he thinks he will find the Thing he has lost. A convenience for man as well, because his inevitable failure (either obsessive or phobic) to adequately encounter what he has lost enables him to place the blame for his failure on woman (for being too opaque or frozen over), whom he will construe as the condition of the impossibility of his self-realization--and in this sense I would say that man does not exist either, although his manner of not existing is different from that of woman. She keeps forcing him to say things he "doesn't really mean," do things which aren't really "him." Put another way, man (the critic or theorist) constructs his existence around a central wound in being, whereas woman (the artist) stands in the place of this wound, "causing" man to make the phallic attempt to exist in reactive form to her performance, her imaginary presentification of the inaccessible conflict in the Real. And what artists have been telling critics for so long, of course, is this: stop looking over my shoulder, stop looking through me in order to see and reconstruct the meaning of what I do (its signified), but rather be seduced by the beauty of my movements (the poetic act as the pure passion-play of the signifier), purely phenomenal, purely superficial, water droplets coursing down a foggy mirror. But most critics never look at art anyway.

susanfrank - 02/23/00 12:49:21 EST
Yes. I think the idea is that we can't avoid living in pure theory because we have no access to the real. In the long run its a question of whether we produce good art or sloppy art measured by how well we think we have expressed our fantasy of life into the symbolic, how truthfully we have told our dream. Exhaustion is the clear goal of all speech, rest following the pleasure principal.

briank - 02/21/00 18:59:35 EST
I'm not so sure that living in a world of pure theory is not a cure for human suffering. Not that its the only cure availible, or even the very best. But much like driving, it's the cure on the way to the cure. What theory does, if it's practiced properly, is free up the analysand (the subject speaking theory) to engage in an uninterupted, or only strategically interupted, speech which forms a kind of protective webbing around the body, the site of jouissance. First of all theory can offer a space for the speaker to inhabit (the space of traffic, of intersubjectivity) which is not the body itself. Thus one can be in the driver's seat, gazing through the window of fantasy, at a remove from the internal workings of the body, the realm of unmediated suffering. As one drives, as one engages in theoretical talk, the experience of time registered not so much by the body as by the flow of the signifier. If followed sufficiently backward, the chain of signifiers, however, must always lead back to the body out of which they emerge, a body in distress. What makes the theoretical, associative approach different, I believe, from more traumatic suffering is that in the case of free association one speaks in search of the signifier which will produce the effect of Truth, and in failing to reach this, one finally wears oneself down, wears ones jaw out. This fatigue is not immediate but gradual. One slowly descends out the symbolic and lands, brushes lightly up against the phenomenal realm. No sleep is more restful than that following long and measured exertion, a cross-country haul. However, what we call trauma, in the most manifest cases of human suffering, occurs not with a gradual settling into/onto the somatic, but rather when the phenomenal realm, that of body contacts, suddenly and without a forewarning, forces its way into the symbolic, lacerating into the web of signification and leaving the speaking subject utterly breathless, impaled on its own steering wheel, pierced by its own body. If anaylsis is at all therapeutic, its goal may be to teach the speaker how to exhaust herself incrementally, so that she can take a proper rest--something most of us could stand. If analysis is in fact interminable, if its goal can never be reached, this nevertheless doesn't change its aim, which would be to detect the rhythms of the drives and, through proper listening and interuption, steer speech according to their path so as to the wind the subject down around the traumatic kernal of the real, to ease the speaking subject (using resistances as brakes) back into contact with the body, rather than allowing the analysand to experience yet another traumatic crash. With regard to this strategic abandonment of symbolically regulated traffic space, one might recall here the anecdote regarding artist Tony Smith's nightime ride on the unfinished New Jersey Turnpike. To quote him out of Hal Foster's The Return of The Real: "The experience of the road was something mapped out but not socially recognized. I though to myself, it ought to be clear that's the end of art. Most painting looks pretty pictorial after that. There is no way you can frame it, you just have to experience it." I would agree with this, with the understanding that we always begin in the traffic system already (castration as our license to drive), and only work our way through it, ease our way out of it, gradually, blindly in the dark, talking all the while, up to that last slab of concrete.

susanfrank - 02/18/00 10:53:54 EST
Want to keep it short here.
Terry, thank you for your comments. The only thing I can strongly object to is the notion that I am living in a world of pure theory. In fact the only reason I am interested in the whole 'woman doesn't exist' is that I have had a number of female humans, including the one to whom I am married, ask 'what do'ya mean the woman doesn't exist, what am I? So I try to dig below lacans words, a kind of shamanic trickery in this case IMO, to see whats there. I find that the answer which is true, is that, in the context that she is usually posited, that is to say, as a 'cause' for man (which applies to love and many another thing beside) she is the object which gaurentees man's existence, which is why I say (and this is one thing more than I know) that 'the man' doesn't exist.
As far as the quote re Goethe goes in its relation to Lacan closing the school, I will tell you what I think it"means" Lacan's whole theory(vision) is a grand hoax, a charlatin's game to make the analysand see that there is nothing much behind their condition. The theraputic aspect (and I think the notion that analysis, Lacanian or any other kind, is supposed to 'relieve human suffering, as you suggest, is patently incorrect)is to bring one to something like the conclusion that they will suffer any way iether with or without a cause, thus 'enjoy your symptom. The goal is for the analysand to realize that the analyst knows nothing, or at any rate, no more that the analysand. I like the poetry of the theory thats why I talk about it. I don't believe in it.

Perfume - 02/17/00 22:57:06 EST
Oh yes...Terry. I read The death of an intellectual hero... such a lovely book. And "For the love of Lacan" if it's the Derrida article in Resistances of Psychoanalysis... so nice

Terry1 - 02/17/00 15:59:30 EST
Has any body read : 'The death of an intellectual hero' and 'For the love of lacan'.........if so can they relate their understanding of the books?

Terry1 - 02/17/00 15:56:47 EST
Frank.....Can I suggest that you are living in a world of pure theory. The old adage still stands:
'Theory without practice is sterile - Practice without theory is blind' Lacanian theory is in essence a humanity whose cause it to relieve human suffering...You are being entertaining but one dimensional in your comprehension of Lacan. He dissolved his school in an attempt to make people act for themselves. At the end of the analysis the analysand walks away from the analyst. Frank we are waiting for you to say more than you know then we will see the truth appear.
'In all of human life there is one elementary truth beyond all others. That the moment one definately commits oneself all sorts of things happen and come your way that you could only have dreamt of. Genieous has boldness and majic in it go forth and commit yourself.........'

Terryfrank - 02/17/00 11:08:33 EST
"Enjoy your symptom!":
If you understood it, you'd be scared to death of it.

susanfrank - 02/16/00 08:58:46 EST
OK, woman is one of the names-of the-father, like all names inadaquate, like God. I see this but my responses were to a specific wondering about the existence of woman as positive entity (re Clara). The question I think has to do with what such a reading of woman as the one given in the previous post effects the lives of human females who want to know what this rather poetical reading of the non-existence of woman in Lacan means in their own lives. So the question remains un-answered? is a woman, not 'THE woman' but simply a human female, a think in her own right (what ever that might mean) or is she simply a human subject who's personal body is of a certain type. Better put, is there any difference between the homo sapien female and male with regard to their subjecthood or is the posession of female reproductive organs simply an accidental quality like race. Or is the answer somewhere in between given that ones body makes as good or better an idiosyncratic foundation on which to build an image but this image will rise no higher than reality and will not point toward the real. And if the last case be granten then my original thesis holds, namely, that 'THE woman' is no more non existent that 'THE man' since neither can claim their identity as something which is in the Real but rather must settle for sembalance and therefore only half telling. Gender is a symptom.
Zipzap the Turtle:
'enjoy your symptom is the best kind of nihlism ever devised.
Regards susanfrank

Terry1 - 02/15/00 14:59:56 EST
A woman can ALWAYS take a man to his limit.

Zipzip the Turtle - 02/15/00 11:31:57 EST
Isn't "Enjoy your symptom!" the worst kind of nihilism ever devised?

perfume - 02/15/00 00:54:51 EST
With the Woman - the mythical She, the Lady in courtly love ˜ as with the primordial father, you are dealing with an organ of power which is pre-symbolic, not restrained by the Law of castration.
The primordial father - jouisseur - not afflicted by any prohibition was able to fully enjoy all women
The Lady in courtly, not bound by any law wants it all... so she charges her night-servant with arbitrary and outrageous ordeals...
In this sense Woman is one of the names-of the-father (one of the nominations of the excess called primordial father).

susanfrank - 02/14/00 16:12:26 EST
It may help if you clarify how woman is also one of the names-of-the father. THE DRIVES CAN GO FUCK THEMSELVES

susanfrank again - 02/14/00 09:53:44 EST
Sorry if if seems hair splitting, but it seems that man is meant in the context we are using it, as synonymous with 'speaking being' and so the question originally raised, by Clara I believe, regarding the status of woman as an existent entity, centers around this term 'man' in so far as man is generic for both woman and man. It would seem that what we have is a situation wherein the woman could exist by 1.) simply saying 'I am man' or 2.) by saying that I am something wholly other than man, and there for, something wholly other than man/woman if man is held to be generic. In the former case, women only gain their existence by bint something reducible to man (at least terminologically [and what else is there?]), in the latter only by renouncing her position as human. I really thing this has a lot to do with the way language and power interact. It seems that the whole reason why one might care to make an issue of this whole 'The woman doesn't exist she is not whole' buisness is of woman in the symbolic economy, her lack of status in this economy and therefore in the "general economy". It is an impowerment issue which seems to want something than a choice between eduction to man or renunciation of general humanity. This is the reason I think we might seek another term for the one who names, is the law, carries the seed etc. because the person in question might equally possess male or femal reproductive organs and may in fact believe that said organs have little or nothing to do with how they are placed in the world in their own imagination. Finally, given that women will move into positions of social and political power in greater numbers over the years to come it seems that this term 'man' as generic for human will become a clumsy if not downright rediculous anacronism.

susanfrank - 02/14/00 08:50:12 EST
What do we gain by continuing to use the word man for this one which you discribe. If, for example, someone who is biologically female speaks, if she is able to point to some 'scant reality' upon which the pleasure principal in her own body might be based, is she then the man? And if so what do we gain from continuing to use a word which has such loaded connotations?

perfume - 02/14/00 01:24:09 EST
- the man is the bearer of the phallic trait (not the bearer of the phallus)
- the man is the bearer of the name - the law
- the man is the bearer of the seed
˜ the man is both, man and woman

susanfrank - 02/13/00 18:19:59 EST
So at this stage of the game I think we should ask:
'what is the man?'

perfume - 02/12/00 20:02:59 EST
As to start with let's say that Lacan believes we are sick because we speak. So from that point of view is that Lacan points at the use of words like man and woman which don't reciprocate, if I may say so. the man, being generic, includes both man and woman the woman, does not include them both and he emphasizes the fact baring the article. It's "the woman" that doesn't exist - that is not whole - and yes, there are women.
And about her being non-man, Jacques-Alain Miller, and this is quoted in Lacanian Ink 1, phrases it this way "woman is not only Other to the man, she is Other as such. And because she is Otherness, what is normal is always only non-male."

Clara - 02/12/00 12:57:17 EST
Returning to Woman is not-whole for a moment--
I'm sorry but I am having difficulty escaping what you could call concrete-headedness, but doesn't the fact that we say "Woman" and all refer to a certain species (homo sapien) with certain anatomical characteristics (and Man, a homo sapien with other anatomical characteristics) make for the existence of Woman--as a positive entity, not as not-man.

susanfrank - 02/12/00 10:47:16 EST
There is no excape into the real because such an escape is something which resides somewhere between the imaginary and the symbolic in the form of a kind of salvation of the
mineral world, which is every bit something which doesn't correspond to the rReal qua Real any more then any other kind of afterlife thinking as far as I can see. So suicide could be viewed as an act which the subject mistakenly believes will return him/her to the Real. However since the idea of the real is not the Real itself once the act has been committed its purpose would no longer exist. Jouissance is something which does not allow for the possibility of salvation in some final state but only allows tor the fantasy of such salvation. In some way it seems that salvation and the fantasy of salvation are one and the same thing.

susanfrank - 02/10/00 18:49:54 EST
If it is true, as Lacan seems to want us to understand,

susanfrank - 02/09/00 14:05:43 EST
sorry I meant to say, it would be inappropriate to make woman synonymous with anything anatomical.

susanfrank - 02/09/00 10:14:43 EST
I'm not sure the word cow is as generic as some seem to think, I think the neuter is more like "cattle", the cattle in the field of which there 300 head etc. If the cow is a symbol of domesticity in art and literature this serves only to futher my point except to say that perhaps cow has more the implication which in humans belongs to the idea of 'mother' rather than 'woman'. So perhaps we still have the problem with respect to the existence of woman because it would certainly, in our current socio/political climate, be inappropriate to make woman synonymous with woman. So what makes 'woman' a natural type, something worthy of a name in its own right? It certainly can't be any thing physiological which would return us to a naturalism which I think Lacan would certainly have difficulties with, and which also would not serve a 'class interest' for social/political purposes because this would assume that individuals, by virtue of the form of thier anatomy have identical or at least higly overlapping issues. I think this view is belied by the fact of the various offshoots of what are called 'woman's issues' in various social contexts, (women-of-color, lesbians, christian-conservative-woman, transgendered women ond so on). So this begs the question if the woman doesn't exist, and it seems that the only thing you could say about her which would please everyone is that she is 'not-man-, than does the man exist. I think this saying of Lacan has far more radical implications then is often suspected.
Finally, the question of what is the woman can be recast as who gets to give a name, self naming etc. If everyone gets to name themselves in the post-revolutionary spirit of inclusion and fairness, what does that do to symbolic economy which depends to a greater of lesser extent on the use of common currency. Who sets the value on this currency.

Julia - 02/09/00 02:17:25 EST
Don't get drunk on Woolite, Spence H.

Spence Hatlock - 02/08/00 12:32:23 EST
Maybe making the female the general term in the animal kingdom helps better isolate her as fantasy object in her own body, so that we don't go chasing after sheep.

Clara - 02/08/00 09:53:10 EST
I have read that the cow is a symbol of domesticity in art or literature.

perfume - 02/08/00 00:35:42 EST
"I would say that in English the cow is considered neuter, even though the bull is distinctly male."
So this is my point. The neutral sense to the word cow , much as it includes both, the male and the female cow, i.e., "the cows in the field...," it is generic
The word bull instead will not include both sexes.
With humans the equivalent eventuality is reversed. i.e., "man of stone..." includes them both, man and woman but the word woman won't, and this is precisely what makes for the grounds with regard to woman. Lacan bars the article: (the) woman doesn't exist - what doesn't have a name doesn't exist - the word woman is not generic.
As for the bull... you tell me.

Frank Murdoch - 02/07/00 15:31:36 EST
I was wondering if Lacan ever said anything about sounding a consonant being a topological cut, i.e. the sound of the voice, including vowels, being a surface and consonants cutting that surface.

susanfrank - 02/07/00 08:26:13 EST
At the risk of a long digression here I would say that if the bull is distinctivly male it is by virtue of the totemic attribution of virility based on the stories stubberness and strength. By the same token, the cow is distinctively feminine; ask any six year old what cows do and they will tell you that they give milk. Giving milk is indicative of femininity re the veiw of female as nurturer. On the other hand there could be a disconnect between the cow and the woman in that although men might identify with the bull they do not necessarily identify the cow as 'woman as object'. Which only goes to show, as I said before, that having a vagina is not synomous with womanhood nor is the possession of the mamalian capacity to create milk to feed young.

Chief Marco di Pesa - 02/07/00 07:34:59 EST
I would say that in English the cow is considered neuter, even though the bull is distinctly male.

susanfrank - 02/06/00 10:30:50 EST
In english 'cow' always refers, so far as I know, cow is like woman in refering to the female a certain species bovine have cows and bulls as well as sea loins and a few others which don't come immidiately to mind, the female horse is a mare. I know in spanish there are truely seperate designations for the male and female human as opposed to the english where we simply add the suffix 'wo' to man. Does this reflect any thing about the backfround cultures of the two languages? As for bulls being in the real, in india, do bulls count as sacred or is it only cows? Makes me wonder about men/women, It would seem that in courtly the woman is in the real or at least stands as a prozy for the thing in the real. Thus the man looks to her for merci to be made real, so where is the man? Of course there seems to be a pssive assumption that man is real in certain systems and woman is nothing, so in india the woman throws herself on her husband's funeral pyre in order to become something (the word for what the woman becomes as a result of self immolation is translated into something like something).
I think the problem is that both woman and man are in the Real already. the Real in my conception would be the where of "i am where I am not thinking" So the woman and the man are both created in the symbolic where they are not but where they are thought.

perfume - 02/05/00 23:51:03 EST
how feminine is the cow in English?
in French, in Spanish, the word cow is distinctly feminine: "la vache", "la vaca", while including the bull in its generic aception. thereof, can you conceive of thinking the bull as in the real hmmm... in India the cow is sacred
just a thought

susanfrank - 02/04/00 10:44:28 EST
sorry I didn't sign that last bit about the woman

- 02/04/00 10:43:25 EST
Clara wrote: And women exist physically. The vagina exists. Can it break down into a complement of the penis/phallus situation?
The difficulty I see with this poi8nt is that it makes woman synonymous with vagina. This is something which is already in the symbolic because the designation of woman as "that class of things which have a vagina" is symbolic by its very nature since it makes some quality a kind of trancendental proof of womanhood and thereby creates the notion of womanhood based on the possession of a certain quality. Needless to say that cows also have vaginas and they are not women. I think what Lacan tries to get at by saying that the woman doesn't exist is something like; the designation of a thing based on some shared quality is not something which points at the Real.
As for the penis/phallus question, Lacan points out in seminal X that a phallus is among other things a device for hooking onto something (he uses the image of stings 'das dards' in the world of insects. One could similarly locate the breast here. I think Lacan should have said that since one of the designations of woman is that thing which is not man, that the man also does not exist.

clara - 02/04/00 10:22:49 EST
Terry wrote:
'The woman does not exist but women do'...any comments? I've read, I've heard woman is not whole. This is in the symbolic order woman is not whole. But can this change? Does the symbolic order change as thought changes? Can we make woman whole?
And women exist physically. The vagina exists. Can it break down into a complement of the penis/phallus situation?

susanfrank - 02/03/00 19:52:39 EST
Terry wrote:
'The woman does not exist but women do'...any comments? If women exist as a class of thing, what defines this class? I believe that Lacan said something like "there is only one sex with the construction of the other" (paraphrased). Given this I would conjecture that woman exists somewhere between reality, which Lacan distinguishes from the Real as the "scant reality on which the pleasure principal is based" and the symbolic.

Terry1 - 02/02/00 14:29:09 EST
When a man loves a woman, the woman has the phallus. When a woman loves a man, the man has the phallus. The phallus is a force that moves between individuals.It is not a thing.
Deductive logic can be used if a patient for instance says : 'In 1986 I was in Paris all year'...........and then completely contradicts this by saying at a later date that: 'in 1986 I was in Ireland all year' We can by deduction state that the two statements cannot both be true and there must is a contradiction. At the same time we must believe what the patient says is true. It will be by deduction that the contradiction will be opened up. 'The woman does not exist but women do'...any comments?

perfume - 02/02/00 01:48:37 EST
the imaginary; the notion is complex since its structure is determined by the symbolic...
Already the way the child relates to his mirror is determined by the way he is held by a parent before the mirror. The Other is determinant: the dual relationhsip between the child and his image is defined by the intervention of a third party. These factors form the material of the symbolic. The symbolic should come to replace the imaginary as structuring.

Glutemus Hunch - 02/01/00 16:31:26 EST
What do you think of this statement?
"Of the three orders, symbolic, imaginary, and real, the imaginary is hardest to understand."

Ju - 01/30/00 09:38:46 EST
Hello, can anyone tell me, briefly (if possible) how the Lacanian version of the castration complex differs from the Freudian? Does it operate on basically the same lines as the Freudian, apart from the addition of the neutral signifier of the phallus idea? I am stuck on an essay (due tomorrow!!) and I would be so grateful if someone could point me in the right direction. Also, does the castration complex lead directly to the condition that the male has to pretend to have the phallus, and the female has to pretend to be it? If so, how? Thanks.

Love Between Pokemons - 01/29/00 23:53:12 EST
Seems like induction is more the reality of the unconscious. You know, associations and all that. Still, it'd be nice to know just what deduction is.

Terry1 - 01/29/00 17:15:29 EST
Would anybody agree that the only form of logic that can be used in Lacanian theory is DEDUCTIVE logic rather than INDUCTIVE logic?......Any comments?

perfume - 01/27/00 00:18:03 EST
It certainly breaks in some way with that... if only where it reverses the terms. Says Lacan, "I am where I don't think, I think where I am not"

ivory - 01/26/00 21:31:21 EST
And thanks for being so clear.

ivory - 01/26/00 21:30:31 EST
Is this Lacan's Cartesian meditation or does it break in some way with that?

perfume - 01/24/00 19:50:48 EST
ivory, what I meant with regard to the "also" is: where else is the subject to arise if it isn't in the Other?
Early in his career Lacan defines the subject as whoever is speaking. Determined retroactivley by the act of speech, to the extent that what is spoken rarely coincides with what the ego intends to communicate, there is a splitting between the ego and subject. Ultimately the subject is the subject of the unconscious, and it speaks most truthfully, as Freud stated, in slips of the tongue and other errors showing the ego's censorship is suspended.
Lacan defined the Other as a place rather than a subject. If the subject knows anything, it knows that in having a fault or a lack the other is desiring (wanting). The question that EST
ablishes the subject's relationship to the Other is, "What does the Other want from me?"

ivory - 01/24/00 13:25:56 EST
Perfume, "The gaze is that which permits the subject to realize that the Other is also a subject." I can't remember what is wrong with the also. Can you explain again?
Is it because the subject finds its existence by imagining the other? Reading autobiography of a yogi.
Ahamkara--the subject falsely appears as object.

Terry1 - 01/23/00 17:40:44 EST
My reference to Chomsky as 'The Foghorn of the Western World' is a term of endearment used by The Sunday Times in London to describe Chomsky's valient attempts to defend free speach in America. He has been frozen out of political and academic life because of his commitment to free speach and political freedom. Chomsky's linguistic theory holds a powerful grip in the academic world. This makes it even more difficult to silence his calls for social and political freedom.

Terry1 - 01/23/00 06:23:38 EST
My apologies for putting an entry under Sol Sessman's name a Fruedian slip ( of the finger!).

Terry1 - 01/23/00 06:20:33 EST
Sol,thankyou but I think the point is there is no point( I say this without being smart). Everytime we step on a plane we prove the exact sciences are correct. It is the question of causality.....an example..If a person went to the doctor with a racing pulse the doctor may well locate the cause of the racing pulse as for instance the lack of a specific neurotransmitter. He may then give to the patient medication that will 'correct' the racing pulse. but the cause of the racing pulse may be something external to the patient something s/he has seen. The exact sciences would not concern themselves with this phenomenon whereas the conjecural sciences using the signifier would. Thankyou for your response.

Sol - 01/23/00 06:19:30 EST
Thankyou but I think the point is there is no point( I say this without being smart). Everytime we step on a plane we prove the exact sciences are correct. It is the question of causality.....an example..If a person went to the doctor with a racing pulse the doctor may well locate the cause of the racing pulse as for instance the lack of a specific neurotransmitter. He may then give to the patient medication that will 'correct' the racing pulse. but the cause of the racing pulse may be something external to the patient something s/he has seen. The exact sciences would not concern themselves with this phenomenon whereas the conjecural sciences using the signifier would. Thankyou for your response

Sol Sessman - 01/23/00 04:25:34 EST
I think you missed the point entirely.

TerryI - 01/22/00 11:27:59 EST
Sol, Chomsky did not understand the lacanian method, I heard Chomsky (The Foghorn of the Western World) in London a few years ago. His biological/genetic perspective represented in his theory of grammatical structure (deep structure and surface structure)is a 'frozen' concept. I dont think it does come down to party lines. Everthing hangs on the defintion of the term science. In the 'exact' sciences (positivistic) a signifier isn't used whereas in the 'conjectural sciences' it is. I agree different forms of positivism are still rendered in Lacanian theory.

Sol Sessman - 01/22/00 03:44:05 EST
I don't think it should come down to party lines. Chomsky has called Lacan a "conscious charlatan." But he has also since said that Lacan is worth reading. As for Lacan, he never condemned Chomsky's linguistics. He was too much the thinker for that.
It is understandable why Chomsky could see Lacan as a "conscious charlatan." Not because of being trapped in some "positivist" ideology, but because of Lacan's method and, one can see, the desire of Lacan.
Lacan offered his audience at MIT samples of what turned out to be the triumph of speculative thought, his psychoanalytic theory. Lacan himself was no doubt sensitive to being painfully out of place; speculative thought itself was out of place. How else could he advance these like the only proof (he could find) of an inside to the body was excrement? Here is Lacan accepting his destiny, by advancing a thesis, not forcefully, that only highlights the difference between him and his audience (and the continent).
As for speculative thought, as opposed to the hard sciences, it is a thing practically dead. It is a thing that died with Lacan for the most part. Zizek said once that Derrida was "far, far more brilliant" than Lacan. And yet what Lacan produced is better than what Derrida produced. (You may try to use phrases like "more original" or "yielding more insights" in an attempt to avoid that impasse. I'll accept it.) How is that possible? The break between Lacan and Derrida is like the break in classical music between the twentieth-century steel-fingered classical virtuosos like Vladimir Horowitz or Itzhak Perlman and their predecessors. Derrida is a rock star, a technical virtuoso. To even name the difference is to beg the question, what do these virtuosos lack? It is an elusive difference, but because suggesting its absence is the same as suggesting it does not exist.
Speculative thought is especially dead in those who take bodies of work to be ideological edifices, spinning the right tone and adopting the wordplays. Real thinkers don't need to do that.
Of course, once you've sold your soul you can't have it back.

susanfrank - 01/21/00 12:06:09 EST
Terry posted on 1/17 and asked if I could articulate an answer (to ivory?). Well the "thing" is dealt with pretty extensively in chapter foru of Ecrits. The envelope, well I'm not sure where, if at all, Lacan says, "this is what the anvelope means" but I gather from references made to it that it is kind of a signifying uniform. have a look at the following passage from Lacan's "Knowledge and Truth":
"It is only on the basis of the clotheing of the self image that envelopes the object cause of desire that the object relationship is most often maintained...The affinity of a to its envelope is one of the major conjunctions put forth by psychoanalysis.."
Of course we are always on shakey ground quoting Lacan, as I just did, out of context. But of course we would need to have the whole body of his work at our disposal and even then to say that we fully "know" what lacan was trying to say is a proposition that I suspect Lacan himself would have had reservations.
So lets see, a of course is the object cause of desire, but how do we know what this object is. We know by its clothing. What I desire is the desire of the other. Remember that according th Lacanian theory, that what comes from the other is never understood primarily as the answer to some specific need but rather a token of the love, or what ever of the other. This helps us understand that what we desire from the other is their desire. So if Mommy feeds me I know she loves me. So the desire of the other, being the cause of my desire finds its object in the one who knows me. So we could say that it is the outward appearence of the other who will grant to me their desire which is the envelope or we could say that the envelope is more generally a sertain framework within which i can locate some thing to attribute cause of my desire to.
I spoke above of uniforms. When I am lost or have suffered some crime or other trouble, I can easily locate that thing which is the cause of my desire in the person of a police officer. I know the officer by the uniform byt it would be wrong to assume that it was this particular officer the police in general which causes me to see the uniformed officer as the object of my desire when I say "I am in trouble and I want a cop". What I want is the protection, assistance, the authority of the law which is in fact the cause of my desire. The law in turn is merely another envelope which contains the cause of my desire for safety, security, order. The law of course isn't it self the cause of this desire and we could find the same kind of identificative process in appeals to God which is a law and has its "officers".
I could say more but I don't want to stray too far from the original question. Just to say that the envelope is, to wax humourous Lacan style, that which contains the address.

Terry1 - 01/20/00 15:31:46 EST
Chomsky met Lacan and thought he was mad!!.....He couldn't understand him.Coming from conventional science this is understandable...Chomsky couldn't think outside his understanding of positivism. He couldn't understand the positivistic or exact sciences are not enough. The exact sciences represent the :'architecture of a delusion where man confronts his limit in madness' Thomas (1998) We need something more. Lacan found it!!...The exact or positivistic sciences AND the linguistic sciences

Sol Sessman - 01/20/00 01:06:26 EST
How can you dismiss Jakobson's work on aphasia?
Besides, Lacanian psychoanalysis relies far less on structural linguistics than one would think. By the time he's done, Lacan uses the signifier in a way pretty far removed from "signifier: sound or image that represents a signified".

Chomsky - 01/19/00 18:23:43 EST
Does any of you ever wonder about the consequences of a psychoanalytic theory based on linguistics that are outmoded and just plain wrong?

Terry1 - 01/17/00 18:52:04 EST
Frank can you articulate a response to this question?

ivory - 01/17/00 11:36:49 EST
I am unclear on the terms the Thing and the Envelope. Can you explain or direct me to the source? Terry1 - 01/16/00 17:20:20 EST
The Thing, The Envelope and Joiussance create The Real does anybody know why?

cal - 01/15/00 11:41:52 EST
Ronald, to begin with Sartre, the gaze is that which permits the subject to realize that the Other is also a subject. Lacan develops the gaze as being on the side of the object. When the subject looks at an object, the object is already looking back.

- 01/14/00 08:48:34 EST
can anyone explain in simple clear prose of no more than fifty words what the gaze is all about.

Terry1 - 01/07/00 16:22:50 EST
When a child first sees its image as a reflection in the mother's eye perhaps, the ego is born, according to Lacan. The ego is a linguistic construction and is a mecannaissance or misrecognition by the subject. It is false in that we mistakenly consider ourselves to be centred human beings, when in fact we are fragmented or in bits. This is Lacan's reworking of Freud or as he called it 'The return to Freud'...Lacan claims to have retuned to him and surpassed him. The Oedipus complex is the choosing of the identification of the child. The child has to identify with either the Mother or the Father......Homosexuals haven't chosen to Identify with either parent.....So there are 3 sexes in this schema. But what is interesting is the relationship to the m/other......Homosexual men like the company of women. Lesbian women obviously like the company of women. The role of the woman as creator is interesting. It can be argued that Latent homosexuals like Leonardo da Vinci gain their creativity from their adherence to the feminine ( Lacan believes their is only one sex and that is male. Feminity is a masquerade.) Leonardo's mother poured love into him and as a result it can be argued the creativity flowed from him. The relationship between the mother and the son is interesting in that the son can give the mother what she lacks. The Father can give the daughter what she lacks. The relationship between the Father and the daughter will always be stronger. It is harder to be a woman than a man. Lacan believed (as Frank has noted previously that the woman does not exist) In language it is interesting there are no words to describe a sexually strong woman although there are many to desribe a sexually strong man.The degeneration of meaning is also interesting in language when words are used by women. Lacan believed a womaan's partner is solitude. A man can never give a woman what she wants. Women want the truth. Women are seen as 'The Not One'. A woman in the process of living her life can become 2, 3, or 4 perhaps (when her body splits or divides to have children. The man's body can never split or divide physically as the woman's can. From this it can be argued that women are IMMORTAL. Because when a woman dies there is always a part of HER body left behind (if she reproduces).The child WAS the mother...'The ONE is ONE' (Parmenides). Like a glove turned inside out the womb becomes the breast until the child is eventually pushed away totally from the m/other.
Women don't have to be great artists or builders. A woman's life is art. Men can only send rockets to the moon. Women can make the hand or the foot or the brain that sent the rocket to the moon.

Mars - 01/06/00 23:21:39 EST
Does any one know the interaction among the pre-Oedipus phase, Oedipus complex and the mirror-stage?