Difference between revisions of "Existence"

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    existence (existence)              The term 'existence' is employed by Lacan in
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{{Top}}exist|existence{{Bottom}}
  
    various ways (see éiûek, 1991: 136-7):
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==Jacques Lacan==
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The term "[[existence]]" is employed by [[Lacan]] in various ways:
  
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==Symbolic==
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This [[sense]] of [[existence]] is to be [[understood]] in the context of [[Freud]]'s [[discussion]] of the "judgement of existence," by which the [[existence]] of an entity is affirmed prior to attributing any quality to it.
  
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Only what is integrated in the [[symbolic]] [[order]] fully "[[exist]]s", since "there is no such thing as a prediscursive [[reality]]."<ref>{{S20}} p. 33</ref>
  
    e    Existence in the symbolic     This sense of existence is to be understood in
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==="Woman Does Not Exist"===
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It is in this sense that [[Lacan]] argues that "[[woman|woman does not exist]];"<ref>{{TV}} p. 60</ref> the [[symbolic order]] contains no [[signifier]] for [[femininity]], and hence the [[feminine position]] cannot be fully [[symbolize]]d.
  
    the context of Freud's discussion of the 'judgement of existence', by which the
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===Non-Existence===
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It is important to note that, in the [[symbolic order]], "[[nothing]] exists except on an assumed foundation of [[absence]]. Nothing exists except insofar as it does not exist."<ref>{{Ec}} p.392</ref>
  
    existence of an entity is affirmed prior to attributing any quality to it (see
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In other [[words]], everything that exists in the [[symbolic order]] only exists by virtue of its [[difference]] to everything else.
  
    Freud, 1925h; see BEJAHUNG). Only what is integrated in the symbolic order
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It was [[Saussure]] who first pointed this out when he argued that in [[language]] there are no positive [[terms]], only differences.<ref>[[Saussure|Saussure, Ferdinand de]]. (1916) ''[[Saussure|Course in General Linguistics]]'', ed. Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye, trans. Wade Baskin, Glasgow: Collins Fontana.</ref>
  
    fully 'exists' in this sense, since 'there is no such thing as a prediscursive
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==Real==
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In this sense, it is only that which is [[impossible]] to [[symbolize]] that [[exists]]: the [[impossible]] [[Thing]] at the heart of the [[subject]].
  
    reality' (S20, 33). It is in this sense that Lacan argues that 'woman does not
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<blockquote>"There is in effect something radically unassimilable to the signifier. It's quite simply the subject's [[singular]] existence."<ref>{{S3}} p.179</ref></blockquote>
  
    exist' (Lacan, 1973a: 60); the symbolic order contains no signifier for femi-
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===Subject of the Unconscious===
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This is the [[existence]] of the [[subject]] of the [[unconscious]], '''S''', which [[Lacan]] describes as an "ineffable, stupid [[existence]]."<ref>{{E}} p.194</ref>
  
    ninity, and hence the feminine position cannot be fully symbolised.
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===Being===
 +
This second sense of the term [[existence]] is exactly the opposite of [[existence]] in the first sense.  
  
        It is important to note that, in the symbolic order, 'nothing exists except on
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Whereas [[existence]] in the first sense is synonymous with [[Lacan]]'s use of the term [[being]], [[existence]] in the second sense is opposed to [[being]].
  
    an assumed foundation of absence. Nothing exists except insofar as it does not
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===''Ex-sistence''===
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[[Lacan]] coins the neologism ''[[existence|ex-sistence]]'' to express the [[idea]] that the heart of our [[being]] (''Kern unseres Wesen'') is also radically [[Other]], strange, [[outside]];<ref>{{Ec}} p.11</ref> the [[subject]] is decentered, his center is [[outside]] of himself, he is [[extimacy|ex-centric]].
  
    exist' (Ec, 392). In other words, everything that exists in the symbolic order
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[[Lacan]] also speaks of the "[[existence|ex-sistence]] (''[[existence|Entstellung]]'') of desire in the dream,"<ref>{{E}} p.264</ref> since the [[dream]] cannot [[represent]] [[desire]] except by distorting it.
  
    only exists by virtue of its difference to everything else. It was Saussure who
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==See Also==
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{{See}}
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* [[Absence]]
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* [[Being]]
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* ''[[Extimacy]]''
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* [[Language]]
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* [[Real]]
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* [[Signifier]]
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* [[Subject]]
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* [[Symbolic]]
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* [[Unconscious]]
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* [[Woman]]
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{{Also}}
  
    first pointed this out when he argued that in language there are no positive
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==References==
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<div style="font-size:11px" class="references-small">
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<references/>
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</div>
  
    terms, only differences (Saussure, 1916).
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[[Category:Psychoanalysis]]
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[[Category:Jacques Lacan]]
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[[Category:Linguistics]]
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[[Category:Dictionary]]
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[[Category:Language]]
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[[Category:Symbolic]]
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[[Category:Concepts]]
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[[Category:Terms]]
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[[Category:OK]]
  
 
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__NOTOC__
 
 
    e    Existence in the real      In this sense, it is only that which is impossible to
 
 
 
    symbolise that exists: the impossible Thing at the heart of the subject. 'There is
 
 
 
    in effect something radically unassimilable to the signifier. It's quite simply
 
 
 
    the subject's singular existence' (S3, 179). This is the existence of the subject
 
 
 
    of the unconscious, S, which Lacan describes as an 'ineffable, stupid exis-
 
 
 
    tence' (E, 194).
 
 
 
        This second sense of the term existence is exactly the opposite of existence
 
 
 
    in the first sense. Whereas existence in the first sense is synonymous with
 
 
 
    Lacan's use of the term BEING, existence in the second sense is opposed to
 
 
 
    being.
 
 
 
        Lacan coins the neologism ex-sistence to express the idea that the heart of
 
 
 
    our being (Kern unseres Wesen) is also radically Other, strange, outside (Ec,
 
 
 
    l1); the subject is decentred, his centre is outside of himself, he is ex-centric.
 
 
 
    Lacan also speaks of the 'ex-sistence (Entstellung) of desire in the dream' (E,
 
 
 
    264), since the dream cannot represent desire except by distorting it.
 

Latest revision as of 02:59, 24 May 2019

French: existence

Jacques Lacan

The term "existence" is employed by Lacan in various ways:

Symbolic

This sense of existence is to be understood in the context of Freud's discussion of the "judgement of existence," by which the existence of an entity is affirmed prior to attributing any quality to it.

Only what is integrated in the symbolic order fully "exists", since "there is no such thing as a prediscursive reality."[1]

"Woman Does Not Exist"

It is in this sense that Lacan argues that "woman does not exist;"[2] the symbolic order contains no signifier for femininity, and hence the feminine position cannot be fully symbolized.

Non-Existence

It is important to note that, in the symbolic order, "nothing exists except on an assumed foundation of absence. Nothing exists except insofar as it does not exist."[3]

In other words, everything that exists in the symbolic order only exists by virtue of its difference to everything else.

It was Saussure who first pointed this out when he argued that in language there are no positive terms, only differences.[4]

Real

In this sense, it is only that which is impossible to symbolize that exists: the impossible Thing at the heart of the subject.

"There is in effect something radically unassimilable to the signifier. It's quite simply the subject's singular existence."[5]

Subject of the Unconscious

This is the existence of the subject of the unconscious, S, which Lacan describes as an "ineffable, stupid existence."[6]

Being

This second sense of the term existence is exactly the opposite of existence in the first sense.

Whereas existence in the first sense is synonymous with Lacan's use of the term being, existence in the second sense is opposed to being.

Ex-sistence

Lacan coins the neologism ex-sistence to express the idea that the heart of our being (Kern unseres Wesen) is also radically Other, strange, outside;[7] the subject is decentered, his center is outside of himself, he is ex-centric.

Lacan also speaks of the "ex-sistence (Entstellung) of desire in the dream,"[8] since the dream cannot represent desire except by distorting it.

See Also

References

  1. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre XX. Encore, 1972-73. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1975. p. 33
  2. Lacan, Jacques. Télévision, Paris: Seuil, 1973. Television: A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment, ed. Joan Copjec, trans. Denis Hollier, Rosalind Krauss and Annette Michelson, New York: Norton, 1990]. p. 60
  3. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits. Paris: Seuil, 1966. p.392
  4. Saussure, Ferdinand de. (1916) Course in General Linguistics, ed. Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye, trans. Wade Baskin, Glasgow: Collins Fontana.
  5. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book III. The Psychoses, 1955-56. Trans. Russell Grigg. London: Routledge, 1993. p.179
  6. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.194
  7. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits. Paris: Seuil, 1966. p.11
  8. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.264