Difference between revisions of "Foreclosure"

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f0reclOSure (forelusion)                    From his doctoral dissertation in 1932 on,
+
From his doctoral dissertation in 1932 on, one of the central quests which animates Lacan's work is that of identifying a specific psychical cause for [[psychosis]].
  
  one of the central quests which animates Lacan's work is that of identifying
+
In the course of addressing this problem, two themes are constant.
  
  a specific psychical    cause for PSYCHOSIs. In the  course of addressing this
 
  
problem, two themes are constant.
+
==The Exclusion of the Father==
 +
As early as 1938 Lacan relates the origin of psychosis to an exclusion of the father from the family structure, with the consequent reduction of the latter to mother-child relations (Lacan, 1938: 49).
  
 +
Later on in his work, when Lacan distinguishes between the real, imaginary and symbolic father, he specifies that it is the absence of the symbolic father which is linked to psychosis.
  
 +
==The Freudian concept of ''Verwerfung''==
 +
Freud uses the term ''Verwerfung'' (translated as 'repudiation' in the Standard Edition) in a number of disparate ways (see Laplanche and Pontalis, 1967: 166), but Lacan focuses on one in particular: namely, the sense of a specific defence mechanism which is distinct from repression (Verdr‰ngung), in which 'the ego rejects the incompatible idea together with its affect and behaves as if the idea had never occurred to the ego at all' (Freud, 1894a: SE III, 58). In 1954, basing himself on a reading of the 'Wolf Man' case history (see Freud, 1918b: SE XVII, 79-80), Lacan identifies Verwerfung as the specific mechanism of psychosis, in which an element is rejected outside the symbolic order just as if it had never existed (Ec, 386-7; Sl, 57-9).
  
 +
At this time Lacan proposes various ways of translating the term Verwerfung into French, rendering it as rejet, refus (Sl, 43) and retranchement (Ec, 386). It is not until 1956 that Lacan proposes the term forclusion (a term in use in the French legal system; in English, 'foreclosure ) as the best way of translating Verwerfung into French (S3, 321). It is this term that Lacan continues to use for the rest of his work.
  
 +
In 1954, when Lacan first turns to the Freudian concept of Verwerfung in his search for a specific mechanism for psychosis, it is not clear exactly what is repudiated; it can be castration that is repudiated, or speech itself (Sl, 53), or 'the genital plane' (Sl, 58). Lacan finds a solution to the problem at the end of 1957, when he proposes the idea that it is the NAME-OF-THE-FATHER (a fundamental signifier) that is the object of foreclosure (E, 217). In this way Lacan is able to combine in      one formula both of the themes that had previously dominated his thinking on the causality of psychosis (the absence of the father and the concept of Verwerfung). This formula remains at the heart of Lacan's thinking on psychosis throughout the rest of his work.
  
  e    The exclusion of the FATHER  As early as 1938 Lacan relates the origin of
+
When the Name-of-the-Father is foreclosed for a particular subject, it leaves a hole in the symbolic order which can never be filled; the subject can then be said to have a psychotic structure, even if he shows none of the classical signs of psychosis. Sooner or later, when the foreclosed Name-of-the-Father reappears in the real, the subject is unable to assimilate it, and the result of this 'collision with the inassimilable signifier' (S3, 321) is the 'entry into psychosis' proper, characterised typically by the onset of HALLUCINATIONS and/or DELUSIONS.
 
 
psychosis to an exclusion of the father from the family structure, with the
 
 
 
consequent reduction of the latter to mother-child relations (Lacan, 1938: 49).
 
 
 
  Later on in his work, when Lacan distinguishes between the real, imaginary
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    and symbolic father, he specifies that it is the absence of the symbolic father
 
 
 
    which is linked to psychosis.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    .    The Freudian concept of Verwerfung          Freud uses the term Verwerfung
 
 
 
    (translated as 'repudiation' in the Standard Edition) in a number of disparate
 
 
 
    ways (see Laplanche and Pontalis, 1967: 166), but Lacan focuses on one in
 
 
 
    particular: namely, the sense of a specific defence mechanism which is distinct
 
 
 
    from repression (Verdr‰ngung), in which 'the ego rejects the incompatible
 
 
 
    idea together with its affect and behaves as if the idea had never occurred to
 
 
 
    the ego at all' (Freud, 1894a: SE III, 58). In 1954, basing himself on a reading
 
 
 
    of the 'Wolf Man' case history (see Freud, 1918b: SE XVII, 79-80), Lacan
 
 
 
    identifies Verwerfung as the specific mechanism of psychosis, in which an
 
 
 
    element is rejected outside the symbolic order just as if it had never existed
 
 
 
    (Ec, 386-7; Sl, 57-9). At this time Lacan proposes various ways of translating
 
 
 
    the term Verwerfung into French, rendering it as rejet, refus (Sl, 43) and
 
 
 
    retranchement (Ec, 386). It is not until 1956 that Lacan proposes the term
 
 
 
forclusion (a term in use in the French legal system; in English, 'foreclosure )
 
 
 
    as the best way of translating Verwerfung into French (S3, 321). It is this term
 
 
 
    that Lacan continues to use for the rest of his work.
 
 
 
        In 1954, when Lacan first turns to the Freudian concept of Verwerfung in his
 
 
 
    search for a specific mechanism for psychosis, it is not clear exactly what is
 
 
 
    repudiated; it can be castration that is repudiated, or speech itself (Sl, 53), or
 
 
 
    'the genital plane' (Sl, 58). Lacan finds a solution to the problem at the end of
 
 
 
    1957, when he proposes the idea that it is the NAME-OF-THE-FATHER (a funda-
 
 
 
    mental signifier) that is the object of foreclosure (E, 217). In this way Lacan is
 
 
 
    able to combine in      one formula both of the themes that had previously
 
 
 
    dominated his thinking on the causality of psychosis (the absence of the father
 
 
 
    and the concept of Verwerfung). This formula remains at the heart of Lacan's
 
 
 
    thinking on psychosis throughout the rest of his work.
 
 
 
        When the Name-of-the-Father is foreclosed for a particular subject, it leaves
 
 
 
    a hole in the symbolic order which can never be filled; the subject can then be
 
 
 
    said to have a psychotic structure, even if he shows none of the classical signs
 
 
 
    of psychosis. Sooner or later, when the foreclosed Name-of-the-Father re-
 
 
 
    appears in the real, the subject is unable to assimilate it, and the result of
 
 
 
    this 'collision with the inassimilable signifier' (S3, 321) is the 'entry into
 
 
 
    psychosis' proper, characterised typically by the onset of           HALLUCINATIONS
 
 
 
    and/or DELUSIONS.
 
 
 
        Foreclosure is to be distinguished from other operations such aS REPRESSION,
 
 
 
    NEGATION, and PROJECTION.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 +
Foreclosure is to be distinguished from other operations such as REPRESSION, NEGATION, and PROJECTION.
  
 
===Repression===     
 
===Repression===     
 +
Foreclosure differs from repression in that the foreclosed element is not buried in the unconscious but expelled from the unconscious.
  
Foreclosure differs from repression in that the foreclosed
+
Repression is the operation which constitutes neurosis, whereas foreclosure is the operation which constitutes psychosis.
 
 
    element is not buried in the unconscious but expelled from the unconscious.
 
 
 
    Repression is the operation which constitutes neurosis, whereas foreclosure is
 
 
 
    the operation which constitutes psychosis.
 
  
  

Revision as of 23:57, 23 August 2006

French: forclusion


From his doctoral dissertation in 1932 on, one of the central quests which animates Lacan's work is that of identifying a specific psychical cause for psychosis.

In the course of addressing this problem, two themes are constant.


The Exclusion of the Father

As early as 1938 Lacan relates the origin of psychosis to an exclusion of the father from the family structure, with the consequent reduction of the latter to mother-child relations (Lacan, 1938: 49).

Later on in his work, when Lacan distinguishes between the real, imaginary and symbolic father, he specifies that it is the absence of the symbolic father which is linked to psychosis.

The Freudian concept of Verwerfung

Freud uses the term Verwerfung (translated as 'repudiation' in the Standard Edition) in a number of disparate ways (see Laplanche and Pontalis, 1967: 166), but Lacan focuses on one in particular: namely, the sense of a specific defence mechanism which is distinct from repression (Verdr‰ngung), in which 'the ego rejects the incompatible idea together with its affect and behaves as if the idea had never occurred to the ego at all' (Freud, 1894a: SE III, 58). In 1954, basing himself on a reading of the 'Wolf Man' case history (see Freud, 1918b: SE XVII, 79-80), Lacan identifies Verwerfung as the specific mechanism of psychosis, in which an element is rejected outside the symbolic order just as if it had never existed (Ec, 386-7; Sl, 57-9).

At this time Lacan proposes various ways of translating the term Verwerfung into French, rendering it as rejet, refus (Sl, 43) and retranchement (Ec, 386). It is not until 1956 that Lacan proposes the term forclusion (a term in use in the French legal system; in English, 'foreclosure ) as the best way of translating Verwerfung into French (S3, 321). It is this term that Lacan continues to use for the rest of his work.

In 1954, when Lacan first turns to the Freudian concept of Verwerfung in his search for a specific mechanism for psychosis, it is not clear exactly what is repudiated; it can be castration that is repudiated, or speech itself (Sl, 53), or 'the genital plane' (Sl, 58). Lacan finds a solution to the problem at the end of 1957, when he proposes the idea that it is the NAME-OF-THE-FATHER (a fundamental signifier) that is the object of foreclosure (E, 217). In this way Lacan is able to combine in one formula both of the themes that had previously dominated his thinking on the causality of psychosis (the absence of the father and the concept of Verwerfung). This formula remains at the heart of Lacan's thinking on psychosis throughout the rest of his work.

When the Name-of-the-Father is foreclosed for a particular subject, it leaves a hole in the symbolic order which can never be filled; the subject can then be said to have a psychotic structure, even if he shows none of the classical signs of psychosis. Sooner or later, when the foreclosed Name-of-the-Father reappears in the real, the subject is unable to assimilate it, and the result of this 'collision with the inassimilable signifier' (S3, 321) is the 'entry into psychosis' proper, characterised typically by the onset of HALLUCINATIONS and/or DELUSIONS.

Foreclosure is to be distinguished from other operations such as REPRESSION, NEGATION, and PROJECTION.

Repression

Foreclosure differs from repression in that the foreclosed element is not buried in the unconscious but expelled from the unconscious.

Repression is the operation which constitutes neurosis, whereas foreclosure is the operation which constitutes psychosis.