The Singularity of Being:Lacan and the Immortal Within
Lacan and the Immortal Within
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Fordham University Press
Series: Psychoanalytic Interventions
Title Page, Copyright
In this book, I use the lower-case other to refer to the intersubjective other (the other person). When the word is capitalized, it refers to the Lacanian big Other (the symbolic order). Many of the authors I quote do not adhere to this distinction, but their usage should be clear from...
From a Lacanian viewpoint, human subjectivity entails a constant negotiation of the three principal registers of being: the symbolic, the imaginary, and the real. The symbolic interpellates us into the normative regulations of the social order. The imaginary founds our conception of...
Part I: The Call of the Immortal
1. The Singularity of Being
In the opening chapter of his famous seminar on the ethics of psychoanalysis, Lacan draws a contrast between Aristotle’s “science of character” and psychoanalysis. He explains that while Aristotle’s method of self-fashioning is centered on the cultivation of habits, psychoanalysis...
2. The Rewriting of Destiny
I have stressed that the repetition compulsion organizes our desire in ways that shape the basic orientation of our existence. Another way to express the matter is to say that unconscious fantasy formations can become so fate-defining that we come to feel that the course of our lives...
3. The Ethics of the Act
I have argued that analysis mobilizes the play of signification in order to release psychic and bodily energies that have become ensnared in life-constricting fantasy formations. This is why the “talking cure”—which essentially consists of the signifier-galvanizing methods of free association...
4. The Possibility of the Impossible
Alain Badiou’s theory of the truth-event, and particularly his approach to ethics, shares a number of important intersections with Lacanian psychoanalysis—intersections that not only allow me to wrap up some of the themes I have been developing this far, but also provide a bridge to...
Part II: The Echo of the Thing
5. The Jouissance of the Signifier
The contrast between Žižek and Badiou I introduced in the end of the last chapter gets to the heart of how we envision subjective singularity, namely the relationship between the symbolic and the real. As I have noted, the early Lacan tended to view the jouissance of the real as...
6. The Dignity of the Thing
When it comes to the aliveness of language, we are never far from the Lacanian Thing—or, more particularly, the absence of this Thing. I have already established that lack and creativity are related in the sense that it is precisely because we feel lacking that we are compelled to create...
7. The Ethics of Sublimation
Given how much emphasis post-Lacanian theory has, in recent years, placed on the ethics of the act, it is important to note that Lacan also views sublimation—our capacity to raise mundane objects to the dignity of the Thing—as a matter of ethics: “We must now, therefore, consider...
8. The Sublimity of Love
I have demonstrated that because our desire circles around a riddle (of the Thing) that can never be definitively solved by, or dissolved into, significations, we are motivated to devise ever-new ways of symbolizing it. And I have argued that the difficulty of this task in many ways only...
Conclusion: The Other as Face
Throughout this book, I have offered different ways to read Lacanian ethics, gradually working my way from the ethical act to the ethics of sublimation. I would like to close my analysis by highlighting an ethical concern that has been central not only in Lacanian theory, but in...
Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Psychoanalytic Interventions
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