La science et la vérité

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This text was the opening lesson of the seminar on L' Objet de la fJsychanalyse (59), and it was published in 1966, both in Cahiers pour {'Analyse (n.1) and as the conclusion of Ecrits. I feel rather uncomfortable talking about it be�cause it irresistibly reminds me of the philosophical exercises practiced at the E.N.S. and at the Sorbonne: one is given a highly abstract subject that is, in its very principle, impossible to solve, but it allows one to shine and exhibit an eclectic, broad, and modern "culture." The best thing for the reader is to go to the text and see for himself. However I want to note that Lacan claimed to draw from a number of figures while he dissociated himself from them:

Freud, as well as linguists such as Jakobson, Hjemslev, and Chomsky, formal logic, Levi-Strauss, not to mention several philosophers such as Descartes, Spinoza, Heidegger, and Angelus Silesius (the last straw). His enemies were still the same, "phony intimacy" lie personnalisme d la manque] and the "liberal heart-to-heart" I {' Gllle-a-Gme liberal] (44, 49). All this should satisfy his audience.

I also want ~o note a few aphorisms: in psychoanalysis, there is no way out, "a mistake in good faith is, among all mistakes, the most unforgivable"; "There is no science of man because the man of science does not exist, only its subject does" (a topological subject, of course); "Logic is the subject's navel"; "The truth of neurotic sulTering is that its cause is truth"; "A suc�cessful paranoia is the closure of science" .... Lacan also gives us a (pro�vocative?) self-presentation: "/ say the truth about Freud who, under the name of the unconscious, allowed the truth to speak" (see La Chose freu�dieTl1le 29). Finally he reveals a confidence to us: "I cannot console myself for having had to give up linking the study of the Bible with the function of the Name-of-the-Father" ...

Besides this opening lesson, "the answers to students in philosophy con�cerning the object of psychoanalysis," given in February 1966, were also published in issue 3 of Cahiers pour {'Analyse. The four topics of these an�swers arc quite original!: "Consciousness and the subject," "Psychoanalysis and society," "Psychoanalysis and anthropology," and "Psychoanalysis and philosophy." It would be more interesting to read A. Green's analysis of "L'objet a dans I'oeuvre de Lacan" ("The objet a in the works of Lacan"), which is in the same issue.