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Being

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French: être
Jacques Lacan
Metaphysical and Philosophical Foundations of Psychoanalytic Theory
Metaphysics and Philosophy

Lacan's use of the term "being" introduces a metaphysical note to his discourse that distinguishes it from most other schools of psychoanalytic theory, which refuse to engage with their metaphysical and philosophical foundations.[1]

Analyst in Relation to Being

Lacan argues that it is necessary for psychoanalysts to engage with such concerns, for when the analyst intervenes his action "goes to the heart of [the analysand's] being," and this also affects his own being, since he cannot "remain alone outside the field of play."[2] Hence "it is certainly in the relation to being that the analyst has to find his operating level."[3]

Psychoanalytic Treatment
Loss of Being

Lacan also argues that during the course of the treatment the analyst is subjected to a progressive loss of being (désêtre), as he is gradually reduced to being a mere object for the analysand.

Martin Heidegger

Lacan's discussion of being is clearly influenced by the ideas of Martin Heidegger.

Symbolic Order

Being belongs to the symbolic order, since it is "the relation to the Other in which being finds its status."[4]

Lack of Being
Desire for Being

This relation, like the Other itself, is marked by a lack (manque), and the subject is constituted by this lack of being (manque-à-être), which gives rise to desire, a want-to-be (manque-à-être); desire is thus essentially a desire for being.

Being and Existence

Whenever Lacan opposes being to existence, it is with existence in the real, which contrasts with the symbolic function of being. Something may thus be without existing, when it is constructed from speech but finds no correlate in the real (e.g. the complete Other). Conversely, something may exist without being, such as the "ineffable, stupid existence" of the subject, which cannot be completely reduced to a signifying articulation.[5]


See Also

References

  1. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.228
  2. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 228
  3. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.252
  4. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.251
  5. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.194