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father (pËre)             
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{{Top}}père{{Bottom}}
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[[Image:Kida_f.gif|right|frame|[[Kid A In Alphabet Land]]]]
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==Jacques Lacan==
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===History===
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From very early on in his [[Works of Jacques Lacan|work]], [[Lacan]] lays great importance on the [[role]] of the [[father]] in [[psychic structure]]. In his 1938 [[article on the family]], he attributes the importance of the [[Oedipus complex]] to the fact that it combines in the [[figure]] of the [[father]] two almost conflicting functions: the ''protective function'' and the ''prohibitive function''.  He also points to the contemporary social decline in the [[paternal metaphor|paternal]] [[imago]] as the [[cause]] of current [[treatment|psychopathological]] peculiarities.<ref>{{1938}} p. 73</ref> The [[father]] continues to be a constant theme of [[Lacan]]'s [[work]] thereafter.
  
From very early on in his work, Lacan lays great importance on the role of the father in psychic structure. In his 1938 article on the family, he attributes the importance of the OEDIPUS COMPLEX to the fact that it combines in the figure of the father two almost conflicting functions: the protective function and the prohibitive function. He also points to the contemporary social decline in the paternal imago (clearly visible in the images of absent fathers and humiliated fathers) as the cause of current psychopathological peculiarities (Lacan, 1938: 73). The father continues to be a constant theme of Lacan's work thereafter.
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===Father as Third Term===
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[[Lacan]]'s emphasis on the importance of the [[father]] can be seen as a reaction against the tendency of [[Kleinian psychoanalysis]] and [[object-relations theory]] to [[place]] the [[mother]]-[[child]] [[dual relation|relation]] at the heart of [[psychoanalytic theory]].In opposition to this tendency, [[Lacan]] continually stresses the role of the [[father]] as a [[third]] term who, by mediating the [[imaginary]] [[dual relation]] between the [[mother]] and the [[child]], saves the [[child]] from [[psychosis]] and makes possible an entry into [[social]] [[existence]].  The [[father]] is thus more than a mere rival with whom the [[subject]] competes for for the  [[mother]]'s [[love]]; he is the [[representative]] of the social order as such, and only by [[identifying]] with the [[father]] in the [[Oedipus complex]] can the [[subject]] gain entry into this [[order]]. The [[absence]] of the [[father]] is therefore an important factor in the aetiology of all [[treatment|psychopathological]] [[structures]].
  
Lacan's emphasis on the importance of the father can be seen as a reaction against the tendency of Kleinian psychoanalysis and object-relations theory to place the mother-child relation at the heart of psychoanalytic theory. In opposition to this tendency, Lacan continually stresses the role of the father as a third term who, by mediating the imaginary DUAL RELATION between the MOTHER and the child, saves the child from psychosis and makes possible an entry into social existence. The father is thus more than a mere rival with whom the subject competes for the mother's love; he is the representative of the social order as such, and only by identifying with the father in the Oedipus complex can the subject gain entry into this order. The absence of the father is therefore an important factor in the aetiology of all psychopathological structures.
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===Symbolic, Imaginary and Real===
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However, the [[father]] is not a simple [[concept]] but a [[complex]] one, one which begs the question of what exactly is meant by the term "[[father]].
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It is in order to answer this question that, from 1953 on, [[Lacan]] stresses the importance of distinguishing between the [[symbolic]] [[father]], the [[imaginary]] [[father]] and the [[real]] [[father]].
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<!-- [[Lacan]] argues that the question "What is a father?" forms the central theme which runs throughout [[Freud]]'s entire work.<ref>{{S4}} p.204-5</ref> -->
  
However, the father is not a simple concept but a complex one, one which begs the question of what exactly is meant by the term 'father'. Lacan argues that the question 'What is a fatherT forms the central theme which runs throughout Freud's entire work (S4, 204-5). It is in order to                  answer this question that, from 1953 on, Lacan stresses the importance of distinguishing between the symbolic father, the imaginary father, and the real father:
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==The Symbolic Father==
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The [[symbolic]] [[father]] is not a [[real]] [[being]] but a [[position]], a function, and hence is synonymous with the term "[[Name-of-the-Father|paternal function]]." This function is none [[other]] than that of imposing the [[law]] and regulating [[desire]] in the [[Oedipus complex]], of intervening in the [[imaginary]] [[dual relation]]ship between [[mother]] and [[child]] to introduce a necessary "[[symbolic|symbolic distance]]" between [[them]].<ref>{{S4}} p.161</ref>
  
==  The symbolic father ==
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<blockquote>"The [[true]] function of the Father... is fundamentally to unite (and not to set in opposition) a desire and the Law."<ref>{{E}} p.321</ref></blockquote>
The symbolic father is not a real being but a position, a function, and hence is synonymous with the term 'paternal function'. This function is none other than that of imposing the LAW and regulating desire in the Oedipus complex, of intervening in the imaginary dual relationship between mother and child to introduce a necessary 'symbolic distance' between them (S4, 161). 'The true function of the Father   . . . is fundamentally to unite (and not to set in opposition) a desire and the Law' (E, 321). Although the symbolic father is not an actual subject but a position in the symbolic order, a subject may nevertheless come to occupy this position, by virtue of exercising the paternal function. Nobody can ever occupy this position completely (S4, 205, 210, 219). However, the symbolic father does not usually intervene by virtue of someone incarnating this function, but in a veiled fashion, for example by being mediated by the discourse of the mother (see  S4, 276).
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<!-- Although the [[symbolic]] [[father]] is not an actual [[subject]] but a position in the [[symbolic order]], a [[subject]] may nevertheless come to occupy this position, by virtue of exercising the [[paternal function]]. Nobody can ever occupy this position completely.<ref>{{S4}} p.205, 210, 219</ref> However, the [[symbolic]] [[father]] does not usually intervene by virtue of someone incarnating this function, but in a veiled fashion, for example by being mediated by the [[discourse]] of the [[mother]]. -->
  
The symbolic father is the fundamental element in the structure of the symbolic order; what distinguishes the symbolic order of culture from the imaginary order of nature is the inscription of a line of male descendence. By structuring descendence into a series of generations, patrilineality introduces an order 'whose structure is different from the natural order' (S3, 320). The symbolic father is also the dead father, the father of the primal horde who has been murdered by his own sons (see Freud, 1912-13). The symbolic father is also referred to as the NAME-OF-THE-FATHER (Sl, 259).
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The [[symbolic]] [[father]] is the fundamental element in the [[structure]] of the [[symbolic order]]; what distinguishes the [[symbolic order]] of [[culture]] from the [[imaginary order]] of [[nature]] is the inscription of a line of [[male]] descendence. The [[symbolic]] [[father]] is also referred to as the [[Name-of-the-Father]].  By [[structuring]] descendence into a series of generations, patrilineality introduces an [[order]] "whose structure is different from the [[natural]] order."<ref>{{S3}} p. 320</ref>  The [[symbolic]] [[father]] is also the [[dead]] [[father]], the [[father]] of the [[primal horde]] who has been murdered by his own sons.  It is the [[absence]] of the [[symbolic]] [[father]] which characterizes the [[essence]] of the [[psychotic]] [[structure]].
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<!-- The [[presence]] of the [[imaginary]] [[phallus]] as a third term in the [[preoedipal phase|preoedipal]] [[imaginary|imaginary triangle]] indicates that the [[symbolic]] [[father]] is already functioning at the [[preoedipal phase|preoedipal stage]]; behind the [[symbolic]] [[mother]], there is always the [[symbolic]] [[father]]. -->
  
The presence of the imaginary phallus as a third term in the preoedipal imaginary triangle indicates that the symbolic father is already functioning at the preoedipal stage; behind the symbolic mother, there is always the symbolic father. The psychotic, however, does not even get this far; indeed, it is the absence of the symbolic father which characterises the essence of the psychotic structure (see FORECLOSURE).
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==The Imaginary Father==
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The [[imaginary]] [[father]] is an [[imago]], the composite of all the [[imaginary]] constructs that the [[subject]] builds up in [[fantasy]] around the figure of the [[father]].  This [[imaginary]] [[construction]] often bears little [[relationship]] to the [[father]] as he is in [[reality]].<ref>{{S4}} p. 220</ref>  The [[imaginary]] [[father]] can be construed as an ideal [[father]],<ref>{{S1}} p.156</ref><ref>{{E}} p.321</ref> or the opposite, as "the father who has fucked the kid up."<ref>{{S7}} p.308</ref>
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<!-- In the former guise, the [[imaginary]] [[father]] is the prototype of [[God]]-[[figures]] in [[religion]]s, an all-powerful protector. In the latter role, the [[imaginary]] [[father]] is both the terrifying father of the [[primal horde]] who imposes the [[incest]] [[taboo]] on his sons,<ref>[[Freud]] 1912-3</ref> and the [[agent]] of [[privation]], the [[father]] whom the daughter blames for depriving her of the [[symbolic]] [[phallus]], or its equivalent, a [[child]].<ref>{{S4}} p. 98</ref>  In both guises, though, whether as the [[ideal]] [[father]] or as the [[father|cruel]] [[father|agent]] of [[privation]], the [[imaginary]] [[father]] is seen as omnipotent.<ref>{{S4}} pp. 275-6</ref> -->
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[[Psychosis]] and [[perversion]] both involve, in different ways, a reduction of the [[father|symbolic father]] to the [[father|imaginary father]].
  
The imaginary father     
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==[[The Real]] Father==   
The imaginary father is an imago, the composite of all the imaginary constructs that the subject builds up in fantasy around the figure of the father. This imaginary construction often bears little relationship to the father as he is in reality (S4, 220). The imaginary father can be construed as an ideal father (Sl, 156; E, 321), or the opposite, as 'the father who has fucked the kid up' (S7, 308). In the former guise, the imaginary father is the prototype of God-figures in religions, an all-powerful protector. In the latter role, the imaginary father is both the terrifying father of the primal horde who imposes the incest taboo on his sons (see Freud, 1912-13), and the agent of PRIVATION, the father whom the daughter blames for depriving her of the symbolic phallus, or its equivalent, a child (S4, 98; see Figure 7 and S7, 307). In both guises, though, whether as the ideal father or as the cruel agent of privation, the imaginary father is seen as omnipotent (S4, 275-6). Psychosis and perversion both involve, in different ways, a reduction of the symbolic father to the imaginary father.
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===Agent of Castration===
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While [[Lacan]] is quite clear in defining what he means by the [[father|imaginary father]] and the [[father|symbolic father]], his remarks on the [[father|real father]] are quite obscure.<ref>{{S4}} p. 220</ref>  [[Lacan]]'s only unequivocal formulation is that the [[father|real father]] is the agent of [[castration]], the one who performs the operation of [[symbolic]] [[castration]].<ref>{{S17}} p. 149</ref><ref> {{S7}} p. 307</ref>
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<!-- ===Biological Father=== Apart from this, [[Lacan]] gives few other clues [[about]] what he means by the phrase. In 1960, he describes the [[father|real father]] as the one who 'effectively occupies' the [[mother]], the "Great Fucker",<ref>{{S7}} p.307</ref> and even goes on to say, in 1970, that the [[father|real father]] is the spermatozoon, though he immediately qualifies this [[statement]] with the remark that nobody has ever [[thought]] of himself as the son of a spermatozoon.<ref>{{S17}} p.148</ref> On the basis of these comments, it seems possible to argue that the [[father|real father]] is the [[biological]] [[father]] of the [[subject]].  However, since a degree of uncertainty always surrounds the question of who the [[biological]] [[father]] really is ('"pater semper incertus est", while the [[mother]] is "certissima"'; <ref>{{F}} 1909c. [[SE]] IX, 239<ref> it would be more precise to say that the [[subject|real father]] is the man who is said to be the [[subject]]'s [[biological]] [[father]]. The [[father|real father]] is thus an effect of [[language]], and it is in this [[sense]] that the adjective [[real]] is to be [[understood]] here: the [[real]] of [[language]], rather than the [[real]] of [[biology]].<ref>{{S17}} p.147-8</ref> -->
  
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===Intervention in the Oedipus Complex===
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The [[father|real father]] plays a crucial role in the [[Oedipus complex]]; it is he who intervenes in the third '[[time]]' of the [[Oedipus complex]] as the one who [[castrate]]s the child (see [[castration complex]]).  This [[intervention]] saves the child from the preceding [[anxiety]]; without it, the child requires a [[phobia|phobic]] [[object]] as a [[symbolic]] [[substitute]] for the [[absent]] [[father|real father]].
  
e      The real father      While Lacan is quite clear in defining what he means by the imaginary father and the symbolic father, his remarks on the real father are quite obscure (see, for example, S4, 220). Lacan's only unequivocal formulation is that the real father is the agent of castration, the one who performs the operation of symbolic castration (Sl7, 149; see Figure 7 and S7, 307). Apart from this, Lacan gives few other clues about what he means by the phrase. In 1960, he describes the real father as the one who 'effectively occupies' the mother, the 'Great Fucker' (S7, 307), and even goes on to say, in 1970, that the real father is the spermatozoon, though he immediately qualifies this statement with the remark that nobody has ever thought of himself as the              son of a spermatozoon (Sl7, 148). On the basis of these comments, it seems possible to argue that the real father is the biological father of the subject. However, since    a degree of uncertainty always surrounds the question of who the biological father really is ('"pater semper incertus est", while the mother is "certissima"'; Freud, 1909c: SE IX, 239), it would be more precise to say that the real father is the man who is said to be the subject's biological father. The real father is thus an effect of language, and it is in this sense that the adjective real is to be understood here: the real of language, rather than the real of biology (Sl7, 147-8).
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<!-- The intervention of the [[father|real father]] as agent of [[castration]] is not simply equivalent to his [[physical]] presence in the [[family]]. As the [[case]] of [[Little Hans]] indicates,<ref>{{F}} 1909c. [[SE]] IX, 239<ref> the [[father|real father]] may be physically [[present]] and yet fail to intervene as agent of [[castration]].<ref>{{S4}} p. 212, 221</ref>  Conversely, the intervention of the [[father|real father]] may well be felt by the [[child]] even when the [[father]] is physically [[absent]]. -->
The real father plays a crucial role in the Oedipus complex; it is he who intervenes in the third 'time' of the Oedipus complex as the one who castrates the child (see CASTRATION COMPLEx). This intervention saves the child from the preceding anxiety; without it, the child requires a phobic object as a symbolic substitute for the absent real father. The intervention of the real father as agent of castration is not simply equivalent to his physical presence in the family. As the   case of Little Hans indicates (Freud, 1909b), the real father may be physically present and yet fail to intervene as agent of castration (S4, 212, 221). Conversely, the intervention of the real father may well be felt by the child even when the father is physically absent.
 
  
== [[Kid A In Alphabet Land]] ==
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==See Also==
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{{See}}
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* [[Castration complex]]
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* [[Dual relation]]
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||
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* [[Foreclosure]]
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* [[Name-of-the-Father]]
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||
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* [[Phallus]]
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* [[Superego]]
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{{Also}}
  
[[Image:Kida_f.gif |right|frame]]
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==References==
'''Kid A In Alphabet Land Fumigates Another Furious Foe - The Ferocious Father!'''
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<div style="font-size:11px" class="references-small">
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<references/>
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</div>
  
Is That Your Penis Or Your Anus? It's Your Phallus, 'Cause You're A Phallacy, You Philanderer! You Were Always Such A Mother-Fucker, But You Know That, Don't You? Dad, You're Dead!
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__NOTOC__
[[Category:Kid A In Alphabet Land]]
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{{OK}}
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[[Category:Development]]
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[[Category:Symbolic]]
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{{KIDA}}

Latest revision as of 02:12, 24 May 2019

French: père

Jacques Lacan

History

From very early on in his work, Lacan lays great importance on the role of the father in psychic structure. In his 1938 article on the family, he attributes the importance of the Oedipus complex to the fact that it combines in the figure of the father two almost conflicting functions: the protective function and the prohibitive function. He also points to the contemporary social decline in the paternal imago as the cause of current psychopathological peculiarities.[1] The father continues to be a constant theme of Lacan's work thereafter.

Father as Third Term

Lacan's emphasis on the importance of the father can be seen as a reaction against the tendency of Kleinian psychoanalysis and object-relations theory to place the mother-child relation at the heart of psychoanalytic theory.In opposition to this tendency, Lacan continually stresses the role of the father as a third term who, by mediating the imaginary dual relation between the mother and the child, saves the child from psychosis and makes possible an entry into social existence. The father is thus more than a mere rival with whom the subject competes for for the mother's love; he is the representative of the social order as such, and only by identifying with the father in the Oedipus complex can the subject gain entry into this order. The absence of the father is therefore an important factor in the aetiology of all psychopathological structures.

Symbolic, Imaginary and Real

However, the father is not a simple concept but a complex one, one which begs the question of what exactly is meant by the term "father." It is in order to answer this question that, from 1953 on, Lacan stresses the importance of distinguishing between the symbolic father, the imaginary father and the real father.

The Symbolic Father

The symbolic father is not a real being but a position, a function, and hence is synonymous with the term "paternal function." This function is none other than that of imposing the law and regulating desire in the Oedipus complex, of intervening in the imaginary dual relationship between mother and child to introduce a necessary "symbolic distance" between them.[2]

"The true function of the Father... is fundamentally to unite (and not to set in opposition) a desire and the Law."[3]

The symbolic father is the fundamental element in the structure of the symbolic order; what distinguishes the symbolic order of culture from the imaginary order of nature is the inscription of a line of male descendence. The symbolic father is also referred to as the Name-of-the-Father. By structuring descendence into a series of generations, patrilineality introduces an order "whose structure is different from the natural order."[4] The symbolic father is also the dead father, the father of the primal horde who has been murdered by his own sons. It is the absence of the symbolic father which characterizes the essence of the psychotic structure.

The Imaginary Father

The imaginary father is an imago, the composite of all the imaginary constructs that the subject builds up in fantasy around the figure of the father. This imaginary construction often bears little relationship to the father as he is in reality.[5] The imaginary father can be construed as an ideal father,[6][7] or the opposite, as "the father who has fucked the kid up."[8] Psychosis and perversion both involve, in different ways, a reduction of the symbolic father to the imaginary father.

The Real Father

Agent of Castration

While Lacan is quite clear in defining what he means by the imaginary father and the symbolic father, his remarks on the real father are quite obscure.[9] Lacan's only unequivocal formulation is that the real father is the agent of castration, the one who performs the operation of symbolic castration.[10][11]

Intervention in the Oedipus Complex

The real father plays a crucial role in the Oedipus complex; it is he who intervenes in the third 'time' of the Oedipus complex as the one who castrates the child (see castration complex). This intervention saves the child from the preceding anxiety; without it, the child requires a phobic object as a symbolic substitute for the absent real father.


See Also

References

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