By Charles Freeland
A research of Lacan’s engagement with the Western philosophical traditions of moral and political inspiration in his 7th seminar and later work.
With its privileging of the subconscious, Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic concept 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 indicates how Lacan seriously addressed a number of the key moral matters of these traditions: the pursuit of fact and the moral sturdy, the beliefs of self-knowledge and the care of the soul, and the relation of ethical legislation to the tragic dimensions of loss of life and wish. instead of maintaining the characterization of Lacan’s paintings as “anti-philosophical,” those essays determine a resonance in a position to enriching philosophy by means of commencing it to wider and evermore hard perspectives.
“Freeland’s examining of Lacan is extraordinarily philosophical not just simply because he examines the psychoanalyst’s bills to philosophical discourse, yet, extra forcefully, simply because his personal strategy isn't indebted to any of the at present dominant developments in psychoanalytic thought. This booklet is as singular because it is insightful.” — Steven Miller, collage at Buffalo, nation college of recent York
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Additional info for Antigone, in Her Unbearable Splendor: New Essays on Jacques Lacan's the Ethics of Psychoanalysis
It is, in short, the tradition of the “care of the soul” that is in question here, a tradition that begins in the early Socrates and Plato, continues strongly through Aristotle and the Stoic and Epicurean traditions, and that has continued down into modernity in the work of the Czech philosopher Jan Patoçka, for example. It is this tradition Lacan wishes to “demystify” by showing that it has missed and occluded something deeply fundamental, namely, the dimensions of desire in relation to the functioning of language and the unconscious.
It shows not only that moment where the subject becomes a subject in the sense that it becomes a speaking, desiring being, one condemned to always having its being elsewhere, but it also shows how, insofar as this subject reaches for its “good,” it becomes an ethical subject. The subject in the maze of language and desire brings into view lalangue, the language of the unconscious that “shelters” and supports knowledge and yet itself cannot be an object of knowledge. The analogy of the rat in the maze brings into view something that is ordinarily missed: the rise of the speaking subject in and through castration and its institution as something represented by a signifier for another signifier.
The real is whatever disrupts that order and that law; whatever breaks the operation of the symbolic order. Access to the real is difficult and perhaps dangerous, but also not without a certain enjoyment, a certain jouissance. Even the love 24 Antigone, in Her Unbearable Splendor of knowledge and the love of truth, insofar as they are ways of access to the real, are the ways of jouissance as access to the real. ” It is this attempt at an access, however indirect, to the unconscious, an access to the “real” of the unconscious and to everything that is at the limits of language, that is so essential to Lacan’s discourse on ethics, his teachings on the ethics of psychoanalysis.