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Reality and the Image, the Image and Reality

Reality and the Image, the Image and Reality

Reflections on the Écrits (4)

Important notes:

  • Lacan versus the second generation of the Freudian schools of psychoanalysis as governed by the reality principle

  • Lacan’s desire to revolutionise Freudian psychoanalysis internal to the pleasure principle (level of desire and not its presupposed external limitation)

  • The major importance of coming to analysis through affective strife or emotional catastrophe, and not just as an intellectual inclination

  • The breakdown of the subject’s image on the level of the ego as critical to understanding the role of the subject in organising form

  • Under the idea of the reality principle, the status of the image, and specifically hallucination, is undervalued

  • The image or the imago is a plastic form, the central or even the most important phenomenon to any psychology

  • Returning to Freud means returning to the methodology Freud was using to develop analytic experience and knowledge (underneath the principle of free association, i.e. non-omission/non-systematisation)

  • What is discovered in analytic experience is a subject whose unconscious is governed by an image of an omnipotent other

  • This omnipotent other is critical for the subject’s identifications (different from imitations), and complexes reflecting historical social conflict

  • Lacan suggests that the end of analysis has a relationship to the dissolution of this image, the tyranny it holds over the subject

  • In the dissolution of this image, we are brought back around again to the centrality of the pleasure principle, opposed to the reality principle, and the extremes of the pleasure principle, which are understood as forms of libidinal jouissance

The fourth Philosophy Portal course, focused on Lacan’s Écrits, starts September 3rd.

Podcast inspired by:

  • Lacan, J. 2005. Beyond the Reality Principle. In: Écrits. p. 58-74. New York: W.W. Norton Norton & Company.

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