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By Charles Freeland

A examine of Lacan’s engagement with the Western philosophical traditions of moral and political suggestion 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 exhibits how Lacan significantly addressed a number of the key moral issues of these traditions: the pursuit of fact and the moral solid, the beliefs of self-knowledge and the care of the soul, and the relation of ethical legislations to the tragic dimensions of demise and hope. instead of maintaining the characterization of Lacan’s paintings as “anti-philosophical,” those essays determine a resonance in a position to enriching philosophy through establishing it to wider and evermore not easy perspectives.

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

Charles Freeland is Lecturer and path Coordinator, instructing philosophy and structure on the foreign application of layout and structure at Chulalongkorn collage in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Additional resources for Antigone, in Her Unbearable Splendor: New Essays on Jacques Lacan's The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (SUNY series, Intersections: Philosophy and Critical Theory)

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One might ask in this regard, is “the One” a “master signifier from which the ‘whole of thought’ emerges”? “It is,” Lacan says, “what is at stake in what I call the master signifier” (S20: 143/131). We shall be returning to these themes over the course of the other essays in this collection. For now, this addresses our question concerning the beginning point for an ethics of psychoanalysis. The “master signifier” is the point of inscription of the subject into what Lacan’s 1960 essay “The Subversion of the Subject and the Dialectic of Desire” (published in Écrits), calls the “treasure trove” of the signifier.

What can we learn from them? What do they have to teach us? It is in this regard that experiment shows in connection with language and the symbolic order precisely how and where desire arises. A rat is placed in a maze. It must find its way to a button that it must learn to push in order to obtain its reward, its “good,” the nourishment necessary for the maintenance of its being. For the researcher, the rat is first identified with its body and with its bodily needs for nourishment. These are recognized starting points.

This position can seem anti-philosophical. In Badiou’s reading of Lacan, for example, we meet a Lacan who presents himself as an outsider of philosophy, perhaps an anti-philosopher. ” But, however set aside, surpassed, or deconstructed, Plato’s philosophy in fact remains a reference or a touchstone for Lacan. His eighth seminar was a long interpretation of Plato’s Symposium dialogue, showing the relations and ruptures between Plato’s philosophical usage of the themes of love, desire, and truth and their usage in Lacanian psychoanalysis.

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