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=====Sigmund Freud=====
In [[Freud]]'s [[work]], [[sublimation]] is a [[process ]] in which the [[libido]] is channelled into apparently non-[[sexual ]] activities such as artistic creation and [[intellectual ]] work. [[Sublimation]] thus functions as a socially acceptable escape valve for [[excess ]] sexual [[energy ]] which would otherwise have to be [[discharged ]] in socially unacceptable forms ([[perverse ]] [[behavior]]) or in [[neurotic]] [[symptom]]s. The [[logical ]] conclusion of such a view is that [[complete ]] [[sublimation]] would mean the end of all [[perversion]] and all [[neurosis]]. However, many points remain unclear in [[Freud]]'s account of [[sublimation]].
=====Jacques Lacan=====
[[Lacan]]s takes up the [[concept ]] of [[sublimation]] in his [[seminar]] of 1959-60. He follows [[Freud]] in emphasizing the fact that the element of [[social ]] [[recognition ]] is central to the concept, since it is only insofar as the [[drive]]s are diverted towards this [[dimension ]] of shared social values that they can be said to be sublimated.<ref>{{S7}} p. 144</ref> It is this dimension of shared social values which allows [[Lacan]] to tie in the concept of [[sublimation]] with his [[discussion ]] of [[ethics]].<ref>{{S7}} p. 144</ref>
=====Differences - Freud and Lacan=====
However, [[Lacan]]'s account of [[sublimation]] also differs from [[Freud]]'s on a [[number ]] of points.
[[Freud]]'s account implies that [[perversion|perverse sexuality]] as a [[form ]] of direct [[satisfaction ]] of the [[drive]] is possible, and that [[sublimation]] is only necessary because this direct form in prohibited by [[society]].
[[Lacan]] however rejects the cocnept of a zero degree of satisfaction, arguing that [[perversion]] is not simply a brute [[natural ]] means of discharging the [[libido]], but a highly [[structure]]d relation to the [[drive]]s which are already, in themselves, [[linguistic]] rather than [[biological]] forces.
Whereas [[Freud]] believed that complete [[sublimation]] might be possible for some particularly refined or cultured [[people]], [[Lacan]] argues that "complete sublimation is not possible for the [[individual]]."<ref>{{S7}} p.91</ref>
In [[Freud]]'s account, [[sublimation]] involves the redirection of the [[drive]] to a different (non-sexual) object. In [[Lacan]]'s account, however, what changes is not the object but its [[position ]] in the [[structure]] of [[fantasy]].
In [[other ]] [[words]], [[sublimation]] does not involve directing the [[drive]] to a different [[object]], but rather changing the [[nature ]] of the [[object]] to which the [[drive]] was already directed, a "[[change ]] of object in itself," something which is made possible because the [[drive]] is "already deeply marked by the articulation of the [[signifier]]."<ref>{{S7}} p. 293</ref>
The [[sublime ]] quality of an [[object]] is thus not due to any intrinsic property of the [[object]] itself, but simply an effect of the [[object]]'s position in the [[symbolic]] [[structure]] of [[fantasy]].
=====Death Drive=====
While [[Lacan]] follows [[Freud]] in linking [[sublimation]] with [[creativity ]] and [[art]], he complicates this by also linking it with the [[death drive]].<ref>{{S4}} p.431</ref>
Several reasons can be adduced to explain this.
# Firstly, the concept of the [[death drive]] is itself seen as a product of [[Freud]]'s own [[sublimation."<ref>{{S7}} p.212</ref>
# Secondly, the [[death drive]] is not only a "[[destruction ]] drive," but also "a will to crate from zero."<ref>{{S7}} p.212-3</ref># Thirdly, the [[sublime object]], through [[being ]] elevated to the dignity of the [[Thing]], exerts a [[power ]] of [[fascination ]] which leads ultimately to [[death]] and destruction.
==See Also==
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