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=====Translator's Note=====This concept derives, in a sense, from the mythical, symbolic father of Freud's ''Totem and Taboo''. In terms of Lacan's three orders, it refers not to the real father, nor to the imaginary father (the paternal imago), but to the symbolic father. Freud, says Lacan, was led irresistibly "to link the appearance of the signifier of the Father, as the author of the Law, to death, even to the murder of the Father, thus showing that although this murder is the fruitful moment of the debt through which the [[subject]] binds himself for life to the [[law]], the [[symbolic]] [[Father]], in so far as he signifies this [[Law]], is certainly the [[dead]] [[Father]]."<ref>{{L}} "[[On a Question Preliminary to Any Possible Treatment of Psychosis|D'une question preliminaire a tout traitement possible de la psychose]]." ''[[Écrits]]''. Paris: Seuil, 1966: 531-83 ["[[On a Question Preliminary to Any Possible Treatment of Psychosis|On a question preliminary to any possible treatment of psychosis]]." Trans. [[Alan Sheridan]] ''[[Écrits: A Selection]]''. London: Tavistock, 1977; New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1977: 179-225].</ref>
==Jacques Lacan==
=====Symbolic Father=====When the expression "[[Name-of-the-Father|the name of the father]]" first appeared in [[Lacan]]’s work, in the early 1950s, it is without capital letters and refers generally to the '''legislative''' and '''prohibitive''' function of the "'''[[symbolic]] [[father]]'''" as the one who lays down the [[taboo]] on [[incest]] in the '''[[Oedipus complex]]'''.
<blockquote>"It is in the '[[Name-of-the-Father|name of the father]]' that we must recognize the support of the '''symbolic function''' which, from the dawn of history, has identified his person with '''the figure of the law'''."<ref>{{E}} p.67</ref></blockquote>
=====Legislative and Prohibitive Function===== The rexpression is at once a semi-humorous [[religion|religious]] allusion (''In nomine patris'') and a play on the near-homonyms '''''non''''' and '''''nom''''': the '''[[name-of-the-father]]''' ('''''le nom du père''''') is also the [[father]]'s "'''no'''" ('''''le "non" du père''''') to the [[child]]'s [[incest]]uous '''[[desire]]''' for its '''[[mother]]'''. to emphasize (the '''[[law|legislative and prohibitive function]]''' of the '''[[symbolic]] [[father]]'''.)
=====Fundamental Signifier=====
In [[Lacan]]'s 1955-6 [[seminar]], [[The Psychoses]], the expression becomes capitalized and hyphenated and takes on a more precise meaning; the [[Name-of-the-Father]] is described as the '''[[fundamental signifier]]''' which permits '''[[signification]]''' to proceed normally.
The [[Name-of-the-Father]] both confers [[identity]] on [[human]] [[subject]]s (by situating them in a lineage and the [[symbolic]] [[order]]), and [[signification|signifies]] the '''[[Oedipus complex|Oedipal]] [[law|prohibition]]''', the ''''no'''' of the [[incest]] [[taboo]].
The [[foreclosure]]] of this [[fundamental signifier]], or its expulsion from the [[subject]]'s [[symbolic|symbolic universe]], is said by [[Lacan]] to be the mechanism that triggers '''[[psychosis]]'''.
=====Paternal Metaphor=====
[[Image:NOTF.gif|thumb|404px|right|The paternal metaphor]]
In another work on [[psychosis]], [[Lacan]] represents the '''[[Oedipus complex]]''' as a '''[[metaphor]]''' ('''[[paternal metaphor]]'''), in which one [[signifier]] (the [[Name-of-the-Father]]) [[metaphor|substitutes]] another (the [[desire]] of the [[mother]]).

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