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Seminar XI

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I have significantly restructured this page, to make it more comprehensible and to provide space for others to flesh out the discussion of the four concepts. I have also fixed or added minor details
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| style="width:100px;text-align:left; line-height:2.0em; padding-left:10px;"| 1963 - 1964| style="width:100px;text-align:left; line-height:2.0em; padding-left:10px;"| [[Seminar XI]]| style="width:300px;text-align:left; line-height:2.0em; padding-left:10px;"| ''[[Seminar XI|Les quatre concepts fondamentaux de la psychanalyse]]''<BR><big>[[Seminar XI|The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis]]</big>
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January 15 1964, marks the opening [[session]] of the [[seminars]] at the École Nationale Supérieure where, in the [[presence]] of celebrities (Lévi-[[Strauss]], [[Althusser]], Fernand [[Braudel]]) and a new younger audience, [[Lacan]] talks [[about]] the [[censorship]] of his [[teachings]] and his [[excommunication]] from [[official]] [[psychoanalytical]] circles. These political problems in Lacan's own life naturally raise theoretical problems around psychoanalytic legitimacy as such. He wants to train [[analysts]] and, at the same [[time]], address the non-[[analyst]] by raising the following questions: Is psychoanalysis a [[science]]? If so, under what [[conditions]]? If it is - the "science of the [[unconscious]]" or a "conjectural science of the [[subject]]" - what can it teach us about science?<br>Praxis, which "places [[The Subject|the subject]] in a [[position]] of dealing with the [[real]] through the [[symbolic]]," produces concepts; four are offered here: the unconscious, [[repetition]], [[transference]] and the [[drive]]. The 1973 title has often been contested in favor of the 1964's: <i>Les fondements de [[La Psychanalyse|la psychanalyse]]</i>, which implies neither that it is a matter of concepts, nor that there are only four of [[them]]. Lacan is suspicious of the rapport between psychoanalysis, [[religion]] and science. Did they not have a founding [[father]] and quasi-[[secret]] [[texts]]? [[Freud]] was "legitimately the subject presumed to [[know]]," at least as to the unconscious: "He was not only the subject who was presumed to know, he knew." "He gave us this [[knowledge]] in [[terms]] that may be said to be indestructible." "No [[progress]] has been made that has not deviated whenever one of the terms has been neglected around which Freud ordered the ways that he traced and the paths of the unconscious." This declaration of allegiance contrasts with the study of Freud's [[dream]] about the [[dead]] son screaming "[[Father, can't you see I'm burning?]]" The main problem remains that of transference: the [[Name]]-of-the-Father is a foundation, but the legacy of the Father is sin, and the original sin of psychoanalysis is Freud's [[desire]] that was not [[analyzed]]. In "The [[Freudian]] [[thing]]" (<i>[[Écrits]]: A Selection</i>), Lacan presents the [[Name-of-the-Father]] as a treasure to be found, provided it implies [[self]]-immolation as a sacrificial [[victim]] to [[truth]].<br>
=== Analysis, Science and Religion ===Lacan is suspicious of the rapport between psychoanalysis, [[religion]] and science. Did they not have a founding father and quasi-secret texts? Throughout his career, Lacan is adamant as to his fidelity to [[Sigmund Freud]], the founder of the discipline of psychoanalysis. Freud was "legitimately [[Subject supposed to know|the subject presumed to know]]," at least as to the unconscious: "He was not only the subject who was presumed to know, he knew." "He gave us this knowledge in terms that may be said to be indestructible." "No progress has been made that has not deviated whenever one of the terms has been neglected around which Freud ordered the ways that he traced and the paths of the unconscious." This declaration of allegiance contrasts with Lacan's critical study of Freud's [[dream]] about the dead son screaming "[[Father, can't you see I'm burning?]]" The main problem remains that of transference: the [[Name-of-the-Father]] is a foundation, but the legacy of the Father is sin, and the original sin of psychoanalysis is Freud's [[desire]] that was not [[analyzed]]. === The Concepts ===<br>What can be said for certain is that psychoanalysis constitutes a [[discourse]] - although Lacan will only take this concept on fully in [[Seminar XVII]] and later [[Seminar XX]] – and a praxis, which is in some sense therapeutic. Praxis, which "places [[The Subject|the subject]] in a [[position]] of dealing with the [[real]] through the [[symbolic]]," produces concepts; four are offered here, in the case of analytic praxis: [[Unconscious|the unconscious]], [[repetition]], [[transference]] and the [[drive]]. Of the four concepts mentioned, [[three]] were developed in Lacan's usage between 1953 and 1963, although all four find their roots in Freud. As to [[drives]], whose their importance for Lacan has increased since the study of <i>[[Objet (petit) a|objeta]] a</i> in <i>[[Seminar X|L'angoisse]]</i>, as Lacan has increasingly distinguished between the concepts of drive and desire. ==== Unconscious ====In "La [[Lettre]] volée" (<i>Écrits</i>) Lacan states that "the unconscious is the [[angoissediscourse]] of the [[Other]]," [[meaning]] that "one should see in the unconscious the effects of [[speech]] on the subject." The unconscious is the effect of the [[signifier]] on the subject - the signifier is what gets [[repressed]] and what returns in the [[formations]] of the unconscious. How then is it possible to reconcile desire linked to the signifier and to the Other with the [[libido]], now an organ under the shape of the "[[lamella]]," the placenta, the part of the [[body]] from which the subject must [[separate]] in order to [[exist]]? ==== Repetition ====A new conception of repetition comes into play, whose functioning stems from two forces: automatism on the side of the signifier and the missed yet desired [[encounter]] on the side of the drive, where <i>objet a</i> refers to the "[[impossible]]" [[Real]] (that which as such cannot be assimilated). ==== Transference ====If transference is the enactment (<i>la mise en [[acte]]</i>) of the reality of the unconscious - what Lacan's [[deconstruction]] of the drive wants to bring to light - if desire is the nodal point where the motion of the unconscious, an untenable sexual reality, is also at [[work]], what is to be done? The analyst's [[role]] is to allow the drive "to be made [[present]]in the reality of the unconscious": he must fall from the idealized position so as to become the upholder of <i>objet a</i>, the separating object. ==== Drive ====Lacan considers them the drives as different from [[biological]] [[needs]] in that they can never be [[satisfied]]and in that they are fundamentally irreducible to any 'natural' function. The [[purpose]] of the drive is not to reach a [[goal]] (a final destination) but to follow its aim (the way itself), which is to circle round its object, the mysterious [[objectObjet (petit) a|objet a]]. [[The Real|The real]] source of <i>[[jouissance]]</i> is not the attainment of any satisfying goal but the [[repetitive]] movement of this closed circuit, as explicated through the [[Graph of desire|graphs of desire]]. In one of his key essays, "The Drives and their Vicissitudes" (1915, S. E XIV), Freud defined <i>[[Trieb]]</i> as a montage of four discontinuous elements: "Drive is not thrust (<i>Drang</i>); in <i>Triebe und Triebschicksale</i> (1915, S.E. XIV) Freud distinguishes four terms in the drive: <i>Drang</i>, thrust; <i>Quelle</i>, the source; <i>Objekt</i>, the object; <i>Ziel</i>, the aim. Such In all its components, the drive is thoroughly symbolically mediated, a product of the child's introduction to and [[listcastration]] by [[language]] and the [[Symbolic|symbolic order]] , rather than of innate biological 'instincts'. Lacan says of these components: "Such a list may seem quite [[natural]]; my purpose is to prove that the [[text]] was written to show that it is not as natural as that." The drive is a thoroughly [[cultural]] and symbolic [[construct]]. Lacan integrates the aforementioned elements into the drive's circuit, which originates in an [[erogenous zone]], circles the object and returns to the erogenous zone. This circuit is [[structured]] by the three [[grammatical]] voices:<br>1. the [[active]] (to see)<br>2. the reflexive (to see oneself)<br>3. the [[passive]] (to make oneself be seen).<br>The first two are autoerotic; only in the passive [[voice]] a new subject appears, "this subject, the [[other]], appears in so far as the drive has been able to show its circular course." The drive is always active, which is why he writes the [[third]] [[instance]] as "to make oneself be seen" instead of "to be seen."<br>
Lacan rejects the [[notion]] that [[partial]] drives can attain any [[complete]] organization since the primacy of the [[genital]] zone is always precarious. The drives are partial, not in the [[sense]] that they are a part of a [[whole]] (a [[genital drive]]), but in that they only [[represent]] [[sexuality]] partially: they convey the [[dimension]] of <i>jouissance</i>. "The [[reality]] of the unconscious is [[sexual]] reality - an untenable truth," much as it cannot be separated from [[death]]. "<i>[[Objet a]]</i> is something from which the subject, in [[order]] to constitute itself, has separated itself off as [[organ]]. This serves as [[symbol]] of the [[lack]], of the [[phallus]], not as such, but in so far as it is [[lacking]]. It must be an object that is separable and that has some rapport to the lack. At the [[oral]] level, it is the [[nothing]]; at the [[anal]] level, it is the locus of the [[metaphor]] - one object for [[another]], give the [[feces]] in [[place]] of the phallus - the anal drive is the [[domain]] of the [[gift]]; at the [[scopic]] level, we are no longer at the level of [[demand]], but of [[desire,]] of the desire of the Other; it is the same at the level of the [[invocatory]] drive, which is the closest to the [[experience]] of the unconscious." The first two relate to demand, the second pair to desire. Under the [[form]] of <i>objet a</i>, Lacan groups all the partial drives linked to part [[objects]]: the [[breast]], feces, the [[penis]], and he adds the [[gaze]] and the voice. Here, he asserts the [[split]] between the eye and [[The Gaze|the gaze]] when he analyzes [[Holbein]]'s <i>[[The Ambassadors]]</i> as a "trap for the gaze" (<i>piège à regards</i>), but also as a <i>dompte-[[regard]]</i> (the gaze is tamed by an object) and a <i>trompe-l'oeil</i>. In the foreground, a [[floating]] object, a [[phallic]] [[ghost]] object gives presence to the - <font face="Symbol" size="3">F</font> of [[castration]]. This object is the heart of the organization of desire through the framework of the drives.<br>
 
In "La [[Lettre]] volée" (<i>Écrits</i>) Lacan states that "the unconscious is the [[discourse]] of the Other," [[meaning]] that "one should see in the unconscious the effects of [[speech]] on the subject." The unconscious is the effect of the [[signifier]] on the subject - the signifier is what gets [[repressed]] and what returns in the [[formations]] of the unconscious. How then is it possible to reconcile desire linked to the signifier and to the Other with the [[libido]], now an organ under the shape of the "[[lamella]]," the placenta, the part of the [[body]] from which the subject must [[separate]] in order to [[exist]]? A new conception of repetition comes into play, whose functionning stems from two forces: automatism on the side of the signifier and the missed yet desired [[encounter]] on the side of the drive, where <i>objet a</i> refers to the "[[impossible]]" Real (that as such cannot be assimilated). If transference is the enactment (<i>la mise en [[acte]]</i>) of the reality of the unconscious - what Lacan's [[deconstruction]] of the drive wants to bring to light - if desire is the nodal point where the motion of the unconscious, an untenable sexual reality, is also at [[work]], what is to be done? The analyst's [[role]] is to allow the drive "to be made [[present]] in the reality of the unconscious": he must fall from the idealized position so as to become the upholder of <i>objet a</i>, the separating object.
==English==
[[Category:Seminars]]
[[Category:Jacques Lacan]]
 
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<b>Le séminaire, Livre XI: Les quatre [[concepts]] fondamentaux de la [[psychanalyse]].</b><br>

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