Talk:Graph of desire

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French: graphe du désir


The "graph of desire" is a topographical representation - schema or model - of the structure of desire.

The graph of desire is a conceptual tool from the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan.

The graph of desire is a topological representation of the structure of desire.

The graph of desire is a topological schema of the structure of the constitution of the human subject and its desire.


Graph

It depends on ideas developed originally in Lacan's Schema R, a graph in which fundamental organizing sturctures of the human mind are shown in a schematic relationship to the registers which in turn structure human reality: the imaginary, the symbolic and the real.

The graph of desire is a 'flattened' representation of a signifying chain as it crosses a pathway Lacan called a vector of [[desire].

It appears as two curved lines which cross one another at two separate points.

Each line has a symbolic meaning.

Development

Lacan builds up the graph of desire in four stages.

Its four successive stages represent the constitution of the human subject and his desire.

The stages of the graph of desire are not meant to show any evolution or temporal development, since the graph always exists as a whole.

Nevertheless, Lacan never intended to describe the genetic stages of a biological development.

Rather, it represents the "logical moments" of the birth of a speaking subject.



Elementary Cell

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Elementary Cell

The first of these stages in the "elementary cell" of the graph.[1]

The horizontal line represents the diachronic signifying chain; the horseshoe-shaped line represents the vector of the subject's intentionality.

The double intersection of these two lines illustrates the nature of retroaction: the message, at the point marked s(A) in the elementary cell, is the point de capiton determined retroactively by the particular punctuation given to it by the Other, A.

The prelinguistic mythical subject of pure need, indicated by the triangle, must pass through the defiles of the signifier which produces the divided subject, $.

Intermediate Stages

The intermediate stages of the graph of desire are not meant to show any evolution or temporal development, since the graph always exists as a whole; they are simply pedagogical devices used by Lacan in order to illustrate the structure of the complete graph.[2]

Nevertheless, Lacan never intended to describe the genetic stages of a biological development.

Rather, it represents the "logical moments" of the birth of a speaking subject.

Complete Graph

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Complete Graph

In the complete graph there are not one but two signifying chains.

The lower chain (from the signifier to the voice) is the conscious signifying chain, the level of the statement.

The upper chain (from jouissance to castration) is the signifying chain in the unconscious, the level of the enunciation.

The structure is thus duplicated: the upper part of the graph is structured exactly like the lower part.


See Also

References

  1. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.303
  2. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.315


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