Philosophy Portal
Philosophy Portal Podcast
Subjective Jubilation

Subjective Jubilation

Reflections on the Écrits (3)

Important notes:

  • Lacanian intervention in psychoanalysis first came from focusing on a lack internal to the field of psychiatry in his studies of psychosis, that is, the way rationalist assumptions prevented psychiatry from understanding psychosis

  • Lacan found psychoanalysis more helpful than psychiatry in understanding psychosis insofar as psychoanalysis was more inspired by the subject’s speech and also literary qualities of the field, as opposed to the methods of psychiatry

  • However, once in the field of psychoanalysis, he started his journey with the presupposition that we should trust nothing but the subject’s experience in analysis, which led him to challenge the way the institutions of psychoanalysis were thinking about the relation between the pleasure and reality principle

  • The reality principle or system revealed again the problem of upholding a rationalist image preventing understanding, in this case, the extremes of the pleasure principle

  • Consequently, he saw analysis as working to reduce or submit the pleasure principle to the reality principle as opposed to really discovering the truth of the subject: its own jubilation in the extremes of pleasure

  • He started to develop his own theory of the starting condition of the subject, as appearing in an uncoordinated/impotent body totally dependent on the care of an Other (who becomes Absolute)

  • He thus sees analytic use of the reality principle as a reinstitution of an Absolute Other that we are dependent on, and to whom we must submit

  • In contrast, he starts to propose that the task of analysis is to overcome the original dependence on the Other, the recognition of its fantasmatic mirage, and perhaps to find the courage to face the real, to transgress the reality principle for the extremes of the pleasure principle, and to find a way to take responsibility for this task, beyond the externalisation of responsibility in a parental figure

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

Podcast inspired by:

  • Lacan, J. 2005. On My Antecedents. In: Écrits. p. 51-57. New York: W.W. Norton Norton & Company.

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