By Charles Freeland
A learn 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 suggestion would appear to be at odds with the targets 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 notion, 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 many of the key moral issues of these traditions: the pursuit of fact and the moral strong, the beliefs of self-knowledge and the care of the soul, and the relation of ethical legislations to the tragic dimensions of loss of life and hope. instead of maintaining the characterization of Lacan’s paintings as “anti-philosophical,” those essays establish a resonance able to enriching philosophy by means of establishing it to wider and evermore tough perspectives.
“Freeland’s interpreting of Lacan is enormously philosophical not just simply because he examines the psychoanalyst’s money owed to philosophical discourse, yet, extra forcefully, simply because his personal technique isn't really indebted to any of the at present dominant traits in psychoanalytic concept. This ebook is as singular because it is insightful.” — Steven Miller, collage at Buffalo, country collage 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
Shall these be maintained uncritically? Clearly, he concludes, the ethics of psychoanalysis will involve an “effacement,” a “setting aside,” and a “withdrawal” such that the it shall be distanced from the sort of philosophical ethics that preceded it, namely the ethics of “good character,” the ethics of “habits, good and bad habits,” (S7: 10/19) for that ethical tradition, rooted as it was in the teachings of Plato and Aristotle, is an ethics of “improvement,” and so is an ethical tradition that became identified in Lacan’s seminars with a kind of orthopedics of the human soul.
Yet, it must be asserted from the outset that Lacan’s thought is no doubt subtler than being a simplistic anti-philosophy. ” 2 Philosophy’s Preparation for Death Who, as fearlessly as this clinician (Freud-Lacan), so firmly rooted in the everydayness of human suffering, has questioned life as to its meaning—not to say that it has none, which is a convenient way of washing one’s hands of the matter, but to say that it has only one, that in which desire is borne by death. —Jacques Lacan, The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of Its Powers 1 It might seem that Lacan is not really interested in ethics at all.
Moreover, there seems a reversal is operative here: no longer is it philosophy that shall provide the truth about psychoanalysis, rather it is a reconceptualized psychoanalysis that shall tell the truth about philosophy, at least the truth about its relation to the truth of desire. And that truth shall show that the philosophical tradition, in denying or discounting the Freudian truth of the unconscious, never went far enough, that it only dealt in half-truths. Nonetheless, that tradition and its half-truths was something that Lacan never felt he could ignore.