Changes

Jump to: navigation, search

Father

159 bytes removed, 06:02, 26 April 2006
no edit summary
father (pËre) From very early on in his work, Lacan lays great impor-
tance From very early on in his work, Lacan lays great importance on the role of the father in psychic structure. In his 1938 article on thefamily, he attributes the importance of the OEDIPUS COMPLEX to the fact that it combines in the figure of the father two almost conflicting functions: the protective function and the prohibitive function. He also points to the contemporary social decline in the paternal imago (clearly visible in the images of absent fathers and humiliated fathers) as the cause of current psychopathological peculiarities (Lacan, 1938: 73). The father continues to be a constant theme of Lacan's work thereafter.
familyLacan's emphasis on the importance of the father can be seen as a reaction against the tendency of Kleinian psychoanalysis and object-relations theory to place the mother-child relation at the heart of psychoanalytic theory. In opposition to this tendency, Lacan continually stresses the role of the father as a third term who, by mediating the imaginary DUAL RELATION between the MOTHER and the child, saves the child from psychosis and makes possible an entry into social existence. The father is thus more than a mere rival with whom the subject competes for the mother's love; he attributes is the representative of the importance social order as such, and only by identifying with the father in the Oedipus complex can the subject gain entry into this order. The absence of the OEDIPUS COMPLEX to father is therefore an important factor in the fact that itaetiology of all psychopathological structures.
combines However, the father is not a simple concept but a complex one, one which begs the question of what exactly is meant by the term 'father'. Lacan argues that the question 'What is a fatherT forms the central theme which runs throughout Freud's entire work (S4, 204-5). It is in order to answer this question that, from 1953 on, Lacan stresses the figure importance of distinguishing between the symbolic father, the imaginary father, and the real father two almost conflicting functions: the
protective function and the prohibitive function. He also points to the con-
temporary social decline in the paternal imago (clearly visible in the images of
absent fathers and humiliated fathers) as the cause of current psychopatho-
logical peculiarities (Lacan, 1938: 73). The father continues to be a constant
theme of Lacan's work thereafter.
Lacan's emphasis on the importance of the father can be seen as a reaction
against e The symbolic father The symbolic father is not a real being but a position, a function, and hence is synonymous with the term 'paternal function'. This function is none other than that of imposing the LAW and regulating desire in the Oedipus complex, of intervening in the tendency imaginary dual relationship between mother and child to introduce a necessary 'symbolic distance' between them (S4, 161). 'The true function of Kleinian psychoanalysis the Father . . . is fundamentally to unite (and object-relations theory not toset in opposition) a desire and the Law' (E, 321). Although the symbolic father is not an actual subject but a position in the symbolic order, a subject may nevertheless come to occupy this position, by virtue of exercising the paternal function. Nobody can ever occupy this position completely (S4, 205, 210, 219). However, the symbolic father does not usually intervene by virtue of someone incarnating this function, but in a veiled fashion, for example by being mediated by the discourse of the mother (see S4, 276).
place The symbolic father is the motherfundamental element in the structure of the symbolic order; what distinguishes the symbolic order of culture from the imaginary order of nature is the inscription of a line of male descendence. By structuring descendence into a series of generations, patrilineality introduces an order 'whose structure is different from the natural order' (S3, 320). The symbolic father is also the dead father, the father of the primal horde who has been murdered by his own sons (see Freud, 1912-child relation at 13). The symbolic father is also referred to as the heart of psychoanalytic theoryNAME-OF-THE-FATHER (Sl, 259). In
opposition to this tendency, Lacan continually stresses the role of the father  as a third term who, by mediating the imaginary DUAL RELATION between the  MOTHER and the child, saves the child from psychosis and makes possible an entry into social existence. The father is thus more than a mere rival with whom the subject competes for the mother's love; he is the representative of the social order as such, and only by identifying with the father in the Oedipus complex can the subject gain entry into this order. The absence of the father is therefore an important factor in the aetiology of all psychopathological  structures.  However, the father is not a simple concept but a complex one, one which begs the question of what exactly is meant by the term 'father'. Lacan argues that the question 'What is a fatherT forms the central theme which runs throughout Freud's entire work (S4, 204-5). It is in order to answer this question that, from 1953 on, Lacan stresses the importance of distinguishing  between the symbolic father, the imaginary father, and the real father:        e The symbolic father The symbolic father is not a real being but a position, a function, and hence is synonymous with the term 'paternal func-  tion'. This function is none other than that of imposing the LAW and regulating  desire in the Oedipus complex, of intervening in the imaginary dual relation- ship between mother and child to introduce a necessary 'symbolic distance'  between them (S4, 161). 'The true function of the Father . . . is fundamentally  to unite (and not to set in opposition) a desire and the Law' (E, 321). Although  the symbolic father is not an actual subject but a position in the symbolic order, a subject may nevertheless come to occupy this position, by virtue of exercising the paternal function. Nobody can ever occupy this position com- pletely (S4, 205, 210, 219). However, the symbolic father does not usually  intervene by virtue of someone incarnating this function, but in a veiled fashion, for example by being mediated by the discourse of the mother (see  S4, 276).  The symbolic father is the fundamental element in the structure of the symbolic order; what distinguishes the symbolic order of culture from the imaginary order of nature is the inscription of a line of male descendence. By structuring descendence into a series of generations, patrilineality introduces  an order 'whose structure is different from the natural order' (S3, 320). The symbolic father is also the dead father, the father of the primal horde who has  been murdered by his own sons (see Freud, 1912-13). The symbolic father is  also referred to as the NAME-OF-THE-FATHER (Sl, 259).  The presence of the imaginary phallus as a third term in the preoedipal imaginary triangle indicates that the symbolic father is already functioning at  the preoedipal stage; behind the symbolic mother, there is always the symbolic  father. The psychotic, however, does not even get this far; indeed, it is the  absence of the symbolic father which characterises the essence of the psychotic  structure (see FORECLOSURE).
Anonymous user

Navigation menu