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[[Algebra]] ([[Fr]]. ''[[algèbre]]'') is a branch of [[mathematics]] (or [[logic]]) concerned with the properties and relationships of abstract entities represented in symbolic form.
Three main reasons lie behind this attempt at [[formalization]].
:1. [[Formalization ]] is necessary for [[psychoanalysis]] to acquire [[scientific]] status.
:Just as [[Claude Lévi-Strauss]] uses quasi-mathematical formulae in an attempt to set [[anthropology]] on a more [[scientific]] footing, [[Lacan]] attempts to do the same for [[psychoanalysis]]
:The [[matheme|formulae]] thus become an essential aspect of the [[training]] of [[psychoanalysis]] which take their place alongside [[training|training analysis]] as a medium for the transmission of [[psychoanalytic]] [[knowledge]].
:3. [[Formalization ]] of [[psychoanalytic theory]] in terms of [[algebraic]] [[symbols]] is a means of preventing [[knowledge|intuitive understanding]], which [[Lacan]] regards as an [[imaginary]] [[lure]] which hinders access to the [[symbolic]].
:Rather than being understood in an intuitive way, the [[algebraic]] [[symbols]] are to be used, manipulated and read in various different ways.<ref>{{E}} p.313</ref>

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