Splitting of the Ego
Freud talks about the "splitting of the ego" (Gr. Ich-spaltung, Fr. clivage du moi) as a process -- observable in fetishism and psychosis -- whereby two contradictory attitudes come to exist side by side in the ego -- acceptance and disavowal.
Lacan expands the concept of Spaltung -- from a process unique to fetishism or psychosis -- to a general characteristic of subjectivity itself; the subject can never be anything other than split -- divided and alienated from himself.
The split is irreducible, can never be healed; there is no possibility of synthesis.
Truth and Knowledge
- Freud, Sigmund. "Splitting of the Ego in the Process of Defence." SE XXIII, 1938. p. 273
- Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 288
- Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 269
- Lacan, Jacques. Écrits. Paris: Seuil, 1966. p. 856