Rejection of Progress
"There is not the slightest idea of progress in anything I articulate, in the sense that this term would imply a happy solution."
Unidirectional Concept of Time
Lacan rejects the idea of progress because it is based on a linear unidirectional concept of time, and because it implies the possibility of synthesis. Lacan rejects other related concepts such as that of a unilinear sequence of phases of psychosexual development.
Progress in Psychoanalytic Treatment
There is one sense, however, in which Lacan does speak of progress: the progress in psychoanalytic treatment. Treatment is a process which has a beginning and an end. When the treatment is moving and not 'stuck', we may speak of progress. Indeed, psychoanalytic treatment may be described as "a progress towards truth."
- Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre XVII. L'envers de la psychanalyse, 19669-70. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p.122
- Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book VII. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, 1959-60. Trans. Dennis Porter. London: Routledge, 1992. p.183
- Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 253