# Talk:Matheme

The matheme is a concept introduced in the work of Jacques Lacan. The "matheme" is a neologism coined by Jacques Lacan in the early 1970s. Formed by derivation from "mathematics" and by analogy with phoneme and Lévi-Strauss's mytheme, the term is an equivalent to "mathematical sign". It is not used in conventional mathematics, but is part of Lacan's algebra.

## Schema L

Error creating thumbnail: File missing
Schema L

In 1955, Lacan introduced what could be called his first matheme, the relatively simple "schema L", illustrating the imaginary function of the ego.

Schema L identifies four points in the signifying chain:

1. , the unconscious or the "discourse of the Other]", and then .
2. , the subject, which in turn results from the relation between
3. , the ego and
4. , the other.

## Signifier

Perhaps the most familiar matheme is the "algorithm" which in 1957 replaces Saussure's simple diagram / arbor with the notion S/s. In 1957, Lacan replaces Saussure's diagram of the sign with what is now referred to as the "Saussurean algorithm". The matheme links the laws of the unconscious discovered by Freud to the laws of language (metaphor and metonymy).

This is to be understood as demonstrating that the signifier is above the signified , showing the primacy of the signifier (which is capitalized, whereas the signifier is reduced to mere lower-case italic), and that the two are separated by a bar that resists signification and forces the signifier to slide endlessly.