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Commentary on Sessions 1 and 2 of Lacan's Seminar XXIII

Raul Moncayo Karnac Books ePub

Wednesday 18 November 1975 and Wednesday 9 December 1975

Lalangue and sinthome

In the session of Wednesday 18th November 1975 Lacan calls the French language his lalangue. Lalangue, of course, refers to the language of the unconscious based on homophony (words that sound the same), and to the alliterations and obliterations of language that circle around the objet a as object of the drive, and the object cause of desire. Lalangue is the language of the One, and how the Real appears within language and not only in mathematical formalisation or jouissance.

At this point a similar equivocation arises between language and lalangue as between symptom and sinthome; both terms sometimes are used as similar and duplicate and sometimes as different.

This is an example of the division of one into two apparently identical terms that differentiate: S1 and S2. “What is proper to the signifier, which I called by the name of S1, is that there is only one relationship that defines it, the relationship with S2: S1–S2.” (Lacan, session 1 of Seminar XXIII). S1 stands for lalangue and for sinthome while S2 stands for language and the symptom.

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Lalangue and Sinthome

Raul Moncayo Karnac Books ePub

Wednesday 18 November 1975 and Wednesday 9 December 1975

Lalangue and sinthome

In the session of Wednesday 18th November 1975 Lacan calls the French language his lalangue. Lalangue, of course, refers to the language of the unconscious based on homophony (words that sound the same), and to the alliterations and obliterations of language that circle around the objet a as object of the drive, and the object cause of desire. Lalangue is the language of the One, and how the Real appears within language and not only in mathematical formalisation or jouissance.

At this point a similar equivocation arises between language and lalangue as between symptom and sinthome; both terms sometimes are used as similar and duplicate and sometimes as different.

This is an example of the division of one into two apparently identical terms that differentiate: S1 and S2. “What is proper to the signifier, which I called by the name of S1, is that there is only one relationship that defines it, the relationship with S2: S1–S2.” (Lacan, session 1 of Seminar XXIII). S1 stands for lalangue and for sinthome while S2 stands for language and the symptom.

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Medium 9781855755093

6 The Question of Time: Phases of Analysis and Oedipus in Analytic Treatments

Raul Moncayo Karnac Books ePub

Lacan developed what I call a multiform criterion for the practice of analysis. This does not mean that the Lacanian field has no practice standards but that psychoanalysis cannot be practiced according to the “one size fits all” criteria. Lacan's clinical practice was consistent with his early theoretical cry for a return to Freud. Post-Freudian classical psychoanalysis attempts to be more Freudian than Freud and follows him in his sayings but not in his practices with patients. Typically, Freud's unconventional or nonstandard frame is attributed to him being the first analyst and not having been analysed himself. It is said that Freud was overly active and educative with patients, that he spoke too much, fed them, lent them money, did couple sessions, and conducted analytical sessions in people's houses, walking, on horseback, and in cafés. Freud also advocated having sessions almost every day, or more often than not. His analyses lasted up to one year but certainly not the ten and twenty years that became the norm in the psychoanalysis practiced under the standard frame.

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Medium 9781782201717

Chapter Eight - Phi, Phi, and I

Raul Moncayo Karnac Books ePub

I am speaking about logic—by attributing the function of truth to a signifying grouping. That is why this logical use of the truth is only encountered in mathematics, where as Bertrand Russell says, one never knows in any case what one is talking about. And if one thinks one knows, one is quickly disabused. You have to tidy things up quickly and get rid of intuition.

—Lacan, Seminar XIV, lesson of Wednesday 21st June, 1967, p. I 40)

The previous chapter allowed us to enter the world of Lacanian algebra. Here we would like to explain more in depth some of the mathematical problems raised by Lacan's use of numbers and focus in particular on the Golden number. We are mainly interested in the interconnection between mathematics and psychoanalytic ideas. While we want to stay true to both of the disciplines we are aware of the limitations of such approach. We are familiar with criticisms both from the side of mathematicians who accused Lacan of overusing their theories in order to make analysis more scientific, and psychoanalysts who felt that any attempt at formalising psychoanalysis was risky and by doing that one could lose a singular and personal approach to a subject. Lacan himself in his usual way did not engage in such dialogue. However in Seminar XX: Encore he clearly stated, “mathematical formalisation is our goal, our ideal” (1972–1973, p. 119). In the seminar on Logic he even jokingly suggested that a mathematical exam would be a good passage procedure for analytical candidates.

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Medium 9781782201717

Chapter One - Phenomenology, Empiricism, Hermeneutics, and Lacanian Psychoanalysis

Raul Moncayo Karnac Books ePub

The philosophy of science

We would like to start the discussion on the various trends within contemporary epistemology by describing some important viewpoints that have been present in the philosophy of science.

When we began with this project we believed that juxtaposing the different trends of knowledge within the social sciences would obviously meet with the approval of most social scientists. This assumption quickly proved to be wrong and in some ways provides evidence for our upcoming thesis regarding the fact that denotation cannot be dissociated from connotation. After all, as Kety used to say, “Many disciplines contribute to understanding human behaviour, each with peculiar virtues and limitations” (Kety, 1960, pp. 1861–1870).

Adherents to the various tendencies have various reactions when their beliefs are considered in the light of other forms of knowledge. This state of affairs also demonstrates Lacan's conviction in his Seminar RSI (Real, Symbolic, Imaginary) that neurotics (most “normal” people are neurotics) develop symptoms in relationship to their beliefs.

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