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{{Top}}exist|existence{{Bottom}}
  
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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.
  
The term '[[existence]]' is employed by [[Lacan]] in various ways:
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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>
  
==Existence in the symbolic==
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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.
  
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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===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>
  
[[Lacan]] argues that "there is no such thing as a prediscursive reality."<ref>{{S20}} p.33</ref>
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In other [[words]], everything that exists in the [[symbolic order]] only exists by virtue of its [[difference]] to everything else.  
  
Only what is integrated in the [[symbolic]] [[order]] fully '[[exist]]s'.
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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>
  
It is in this sense that [[Lacan]] argues that 'woman does not exist' (Lacan, 1973a: 60); the symbolic order contains no signifier for femininity, and hence the feminine position cannot be fully symbolised.
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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]].  
  
in the [[symbolic]] [[order]], 'nothing exists except on an assumed foundation of [[absence]].  
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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>
  
Nothing exists except insofar as it does not exist.'<ref>{{Ec}} p.392</ref>
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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>
  
In other words, everything that exists in the [[symbolic]] [[order]] only exists by virtue of its difference to everything else.  
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===Being===
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This second sense of the term [[existence]] is exactly the opposite of [[existence]] in the first sense.  
  
It was [[Saussure]] who first pointed this out when he argued that in [[language]] there are no positive terms, only differences.<ref>Saussure, 1916</ref>
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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]].
  
== Existence in the real ==
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===''Ex-sistence''===
In this sense, it is only that which is [[impossible]] to [[symbolise]] that exists: the [[impossible]] [[Thing]] at the heart of the [[subject]].  
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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]].
  
'There is in effect something radically unassimilable to the signifier.
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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.
 
 
It's quite simply the subject's singular existence.'<ref>{{S3}} p.179</ref>
 
 
 
This is the [[existence]] of the [[subject]] of the [[unconscious]], S, which [[Lacan]] describes as an 'ineffable, stupid [[existence]].'<ref>{{E}} p.194</ref>
 
 
 
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,'<ref>{{E}} p.264</ref> since the [[dream]] cannot represent [[desire]] except by distorting it.
 
  
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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}}
  
 
==References==
 
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[[Category:Symbolic]]
 
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__NOTOC__
{{Les termes}}
 

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