Difference between revisions of "Death"

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The term "[[death]]" occurs in various contexts in [[Lacan]]'s work.
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==Symbolic Death==
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1. [[Death]] is constitutive of the [[symbolic]] [[order]], because the [[symbol]], by standing in place of the [[thing]] which it [[symbolization|symbolizes]], is equivalent to the [[death]] of that [[thing]]:
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<blockquote>"The [[symbol]] is the murder of the [[thing]]."<ref>{{E}} p.104</ref></blockquote>
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===Death of the Subject===
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It is only by virtue of the [[signifier]] that the [[subject]] has access to and can conceive of his own [[death]]:
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<blockquote>"It is in the signifier and insofar as the subject articulates a signifying chain that he comes up against the fact that he may disappear from the chain of what he is."<ref>{{S7}} p.295</ref></blockquote>
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===Subject Beyond Death===
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The [[signifier]] also puts the [[subject]] beyond [[death]], because "the [[signifier]] already considers him [[dead]], by nature it [[immortalise]]s him."<ref>{{S3}} 180).
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===Dead Father===
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[[Death]] in the [[symbolic order]] is related to the [[death]] of the [[Father]] (i.e. the murder of the [[father]] of the [[horde]] in ''[[Totem and Taboo]]''<ref>{{F}} (1912-13) ''[[Totem and Taboo]]''; [[SE]] XIII, 1</ref>); the [[symbolic]] [[father]] is always a [[dead]] [[father]].
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==Second Death==
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===First - Material - Death===
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In the [[seminar]] of 1959-60, ''[[The Ethics of Psychoanalysis]]'',
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[[Lacan]] talks about the "[[second death]]."<ref>{{S7}} p.211</ref>
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The [[death|first death]] is the [[materialism|physical]] [[death]] of the [[body]].
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The [[death|first death]] ends one [[human|human life]] but which does not put an end to the cycles of corruption and regeneration.
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The [[death|second death]] is that which prevents the regeneration of the [[dead]] [[body]], "the point at which the very cycles of the transformations of nature are annihilated."<ref>{{S7}} p.248</ref>
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===Beauty, Being, Pain===
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The concept of the [[second death]] is used by [[Lacan]] to formulate ideas on various themes:
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* beauty - "It is the function of beauty to reveal man's relationship to his own death."<ref>{{S7}} p.260, 299</ref>
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* the direct relationship to [[being]];<ref>{{S7}} p.285</ref> and
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* the [[sadistic]] [[fantasy]] of inflicting perpetual [[pain]]<ref>{{S7}} p.295</ref>
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===Between the Two Deaths==
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The phrase "[[zone between-two-deaths]]" (''[[l'espace de l'entre-deux-morts]]'') designates "the zone in which tragedy is played out."<ref>{{S8}} p.120</ref>
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==Three==
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==Four==
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Revision as of 22:53, 23 August 2006

French: mort

The term "death" occurs in various contexts in Lacan's work.

Symbolic Death

1. Death is constitutive of the symbolic order, because the symbol, by standing in place of the thing which it symbolizes, is equivalent to the death of that thing:

"The symbol is the murder of the thing."[1]

Death of the Subject

It is only by virtue of the signifier that the subject has access to and can conceive of his own death:

"It is in the signifier and insofar as the subject articulates a signifying chain that he comes up against the fact that he may disappear from the chain of what he is."[2]

Subject Beyond Death

The signifier also puts the subject beyond death, because "the signifier already considers him dead, by nature it immortalises him."Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag); the symbolic father is always a dead father.

Second Death

First - Material - Death

In the seminar of 1959-60, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Lacan talks about the "second death."[3]

The first death is the physical death of the body.

The first death ends one human life but which does not put an end to the cycles of corruption and regeneration.

The second death is that which prevents the regeneration of the dead body, "the point at which the very cycles of the transformations of nature are annihilated."[4]

Beauty, Being, Pain

The concept of the second death is used by Lacan to formulate ideas on various themes:

  • beauty - "It is the function of beauty to reveal man's relationship to his own death."[5]
  • the direct relationship to being;[6] and
  • the sadistic fantasy of inflicting perpetual pain[7]

=Between the Two Deaths

The phrase "zone between-two-deaths" (l'espace de l'entre-deux-morts) designates "the zone in which tragedy is played out."[8]





Three

Four

  1. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.104
  2. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book VII. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, 1959-60. Trans. Dennis Porter. London: Routledge, 1992. p.295
  3. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book VII. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, 1959-60. Trans. Dennis Porter. London: Routledge, 1992. p.211
  4. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book VII. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, 1959-60. Trans. Dennis Porter. London: Routledge, 1992. p.248
  5. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book VII. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, 1959-60. Trans. Dennis Porter. London: Routledge, 1992. p.260, 299
  6. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book VII. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, 1959-60. Trans. Dennis Porter. London: Routledge, 1992. p.285
  7. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book VII. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, 1959-60. Trans. Dennis Porter. London: Routledge, 1992. p.295
  8. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre VIII. Le transfert, 1960-61. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p.120