Antigone, in Her Unbearable Splendor: New Essays on Jacques by Charles Freeland

By Charles Freeland

A research of Lacan’s engagement with the Western philosophical traditions of moral and political notion in his 7th seminar and later work.

With its privileging of the subconscious, Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic suggestion would appear to be at odds with the ambitions and techniques 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 suggestion, 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 severely addressed many of the key moral matters of these traditions: the pursuit of fact and the moral stable, the beliefs of self-knowledge and the care of the soul, and the relation of ethical legislations to the tragic dimensions of dying and wish. instead of maintaining the characterization of Lacan’s paintings as “anti-philosophical,” those essays establish a resonance in a position to enriching philosophy by means of starting it to wider and evermore not easy perspectives.

“Freeland’s examining of Lacan is fantastically philosophical not just simply because he examines the psychoanalyst’s accounts to philosophical discourse, yet, extra forcefully, simply because his personal strategy isn't really indebted to any of the presently dominant traits in psychoanalytic conception. This publication is as singular because it is insightful.” — Steven Miller, collage at Buffalo, country college of recent York

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Extra info for Antigone, in Her Unbearable Splendor: New Essays on Jacques Lacan's the Ethics of Psychoanalysis

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However the psychoanalyst posits the fact of the unconscious, getting back to this unconscious is not possible for the articulations of knowledge. The truth it seeks, the truth that speaks lalangue, can only be half-articulated in the language of knowledge. There are barriers; there are limits. The unconscious, which, for Lacan, is not just a dark bag full of instincts but something structured, “like a language,” is no doubt a kind of cause, a cause of the speaking, desiring subject. As a cause, the unconscious has its effects, which are themselves subject to being folded back, reduced (rabattu).

Rather, perhaps the agenda in Seminar VII is to recast and upset that entire tradition by taking the question of the “meaning of life” to a point where it no longer makes any sense, where “meaning” touches upon its own death, its own destitution. Lacan probably sees the traditional philosophical perspectives on ethics as framed and trapped in the theater of a philosophical mirror stage wherein the human, ethical subject is conceived as born prematurely, a fragile, helpless and fragmented body confronting and recognizing its Philosophy’s Preparation for Death 39 wholeness in the other of the mirror image before it and longing to be that wholeness.

Moreover, as Lacan continues in that seminar, semblance is continuous with discourse; it a question of a semblant that regulates the economy of discourse (S18: 18), an economy that is also an economy of truth insofar as the truth is not only what obtains from within language as something said, but especially insofar as truth is always only “half-said” (mi-dire). These are the Lacanian theses and questions on truth that we shall be following in our reading of Lacan’s seminars. In all these ways, Lacan’s The Ethics of Psychoanalysis is philosophical not only in its passion, but also in its purpose, which is to question the possibilities of and the limits for an ethics today.

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