Difference between revisions of "Love"

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From a psychoanalytic point of view, love is the investment in, and ability to be loved by, another without experiencing this love as a subjective threat, such as that represented by the Thing (<i>das Ding</i>) which Freud described in the Project of 1895. For psychoanalysis the genesis of the love investment must be taken into consideration and the very different modalities through which it manifests itself must be identified.
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{{Top}}[[amour]]{{Bottom}}
It is important to differentiate love from infatuation or being in love (<i>Verliebtheit</i>), which is associated with a pathological feeling (<i>Leidenschaft</i>): "That the state of being in love (Verliebtheit) manifests itself abnormally can be explained by the fact that other amorous states outside the analytic cure resemble abnormal rather than normal psychic phenomena" (1915a). Being in love is essentially marked by an overestimation of the love object and a devaluation of the self that resembles the condition of melancholia (1921c).
 
The genesis of love begins with the oral relation of the infant's mouth and the mother's breast: "The picture of the child at the mother's breast has become the model of all sexual relations" (1905d). Also, in choosing an object later in life, the child will attempt "to reestablish this lost happiness" (1905d). But this happiness, even if it is marked by this choice of a primary infantile object, must later reunite and conjoin two libidinal currents, the tender current arising from infantile cathexis and the sensual current that appears during puberty, "The man will leave his mother and father—as the Bible indicates—and will follow his wife—tenderness and sensuality are therefore reunited" (1912d). This can only occur through the loss of the infantile object choice: "The individual human must devote himself to the difficult task of separating from his parents," as Freud indicated in the twenty-first of the <i>Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis</i> (1916-1917a [1915-16]). Yet, in "On the Universal Tendency to Debasement in the Sphere of Love" (1912d), Freud recalls the difficulty of loving and the numerous splits that remain: "When they love, they do not desire, and when they desire, they cannot love."
 
In "Instincts and their Vicissitudes" (1915c), he examines the different splits and oppositions in which love plays a role; these are: loving/hating, loving/being loved, and loving and hating together in opposition to the state of indifference. The pair loving/hating is related to the pleasure/unpleasure polarity; the ego interjects pleasure and expels unpleasure, which is transformed into the opposition ego-pleasure/exterior world-unpleasure. Thus, hatred and the rejection of the exterior world emanate from the narcissistic ego. The pair loving/being loved originates in the reversal of an impulse into its opposite, of activity into passivity, and corresponds to the narcissism of self-love. The pair love/indifference is associated with the polarity ego/exterior world. We love the "object that dispenses pleasure" and we repeat "the original flight before the exterior world" (1926d) in the face of an object that does not dispense pleasure. In this way the intellectual economy of love is profoundly affected by these different forms of ambivalence.
 
  
==Definition==
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==Jacques Lacan==
LOVE (see also EXCEPTION NOT-ALL JEW CHRISTIAN)
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===Symbolic===
Love in the sense Žižek understands it was first developed by Lucan in his Seminar XX. It is thus from the beginning associated with a certain 'feminine' logic of the not-all and implies a way of thinking beyond the master-signifier and its universality guaranteed by exception: 'Lacan's extensive discussion of love in Seminar XX is thus to be read in the Paulinian sense, as opposed to the dialectic of the Law and its transgression. This latter dialectic is clearly "masculine" or phallic ... Love, on the other hand, is "feminine": it involves the paradoxes of the not-All' (p. 335). Žižek associates love with St Paul, and it is a way for him to think the difference between Judaism, whose libidinal economy is still fundamentally that of the law and its transgression, and Christianity, which through forgiveness and the possibility of being born again seeks to overcome this dialectic: 'It is here that one should insist on how Lacan accomplishes the passage from Law to Love, in short. from Judaism to Christianity" (p.345). In other words, this love might be seen to testify - as we also find with drive and enunciation - to a moment that precedes and makes possible the symbolic order and its social mediation, the way in which things are never directly what they are but only stand in for something else: 'Love bears witness to the abyss of a self-relating gesture by means of which, due to the lack of an independent guarantee of the social pact. the ruler himself has to guarantee the Truth of his word" (p. 267 n. 5).
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[[Lacan]] argues that it is [[impossible]] to [[speech|say]] anything [[meaning]]ful or [[meaning|sensible]] [[about]] [[love]].<ref>{{S8}} p. 57</ref>  Indeed, the [[moment]] one starts to [[speech|speak]] about [[love]], one descends into imbecility.<ref>{{S20}} p. 17</ref>  Given these views, it might seem surprising that [[Lacan]] himself dedicates a great deal of his [[seminar]] precisely to [[speech|speaking]] about [[love]]. However, in doing so, [[Lacan]] is merely demonstrating what the [[analysand]] does in [[psychoanalytic treatment]], for "the only [[thing]] that we do in the [[analytic discourse]] is [[speech|speak]] about [[love]]."<ref>{{S20}} p. 77</ref>
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===Imaginary===
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[[Love]] is located by [[Lacan]] as a purely [[imaginary]] phenomenon, although it has effects in the [[symbolic]] [[order]].<ref>(one of those effects [[being]] to produce "a veritable subduction of [[the symbolic]]") {{S1}} p. 142</ref>  [[Love]] is [[autoeroticism|autoerotic]], and has a fundamentally [[narcissism|narcissistic]] [[structure]] since "it's one's own ego that one loves in love, one's own ego made [[real]] on [[the imaginary]] level."<ref>{{S1}} p. 142</ref>  The [[imaginary]] [[nature]] of [[love]] leads [[Lacan]] to oppose all those [[analyst]]s who posit [[love]] as an [[ideal]] in [[psychoanalytic treatment]].<ref>{{S7}} p. 8</ref>
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[[Love]] involves an [[imaginary]] reciprocity, since "to love is, essentially, to [[wish]] to be loved."<ref>{{S11}} p. 253</ref>  It is this reciprocity between "loving" and "being loved" that constitutes the [[illusion]] of [[love]], and this is what distinguishes it from the [[order]] of the [[drive]]s, in which there is no reciprocity, only pure [[activity]].<ref>{{S11}} p. 200</ref>  [[Love]] is an [[illusory]] [[fantasy]] of fusion with the [[beloved]] which makes up for the [[absence]] of any [[sexual relationship]].<ref>{{S20}} p. 44</ref>  This is especially clear in the asexual [[concept]] of [[courtly love]].<ref>{{S20}} p. 65</ref>
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[[Love]] is [[truth|deceptive]]. "As a [[specular]] mirage, love is essentially [[deception]]."<ref>{{S11}} p. 268</ref>  It is [[lure|deceptive]] because it involves giving what one does not have (i.e. the [[phallus]]); to [[love]] is "to give what one does not have."<ref>{{S8}} p. 147</ref>  [[Love]] is directed not at what the [[object|love-object]] has, but at what he [[lack]]s, at the [[nothing]] beyond him. The [[object]] is valued insofar as it comes in the [[place]] of that [[lack]].
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<!-- Lacan suggests that when one is in love one is really saying: "I am what is [[lacking]] in you, with my devotion to you, with my sacrifice for you, I will fill you out, I will [[complete]] you."  The operation of love is therefore [[double]]: the [[subject]] fills in his own [[lack]] by offering himself to the [[other]] as the [[object]] filling out the [[lack]] in the [[Other]]. -->
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===Love and Desire===
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One of the most [[complex]] areas of [[Lacan]]'s [[Jacques Lacan:Bibliography|work]] concerns the [[relationship]] between [[love]] and [[desire]].  On the one hand, the two [[terms]] are diametrically opposed.  On the other hand, this opposition is problematized by certain similarities between the two:
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====Opposition====
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As an [[imaginary]] phenomenon which belongs to the [[order|field]] of the [[ego]], [[love]] is clearly opposed to [[desire]], which is inscribed in the [[symbolic]] [[order]], the [[order|field]] of the [[Other]].<ref>{{S11}} pp. 189-91</ref> [[Love]] is a [[metaphor]], whereas [[desire]] is [[metonymy]].<ref>{{S8}} p. 53</ref> It can even be said that [[love]] kills [[desire]], since [[love]] is based on a [[fantasy]] of oneness with the beloved and this abolishes the [[difference]] which gives rise to [[desire]].<ref>{{S20}} p. 46</ref>
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====Similarity====
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On the other hand, there are elements in [[Lacan]]'s [[work]] which destabilize the neat opposition between [[love]] and [[desire]].
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# Firstly, they are both similar in that neither can ever be [[satisfied]].
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# Secondly, the [[structure]] of [[love]] as "the wish to be loved" is identical to the [[structure]] of [[desire]], in which the [[subject]] [[desire]]s to become the [[object]] of the [[Other]]'s [[desire]].
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# Thirdly, in the [[dialectic]] of [[need]]/[[demand]]/[[desire]], [[desire]] is [[born]] precisely from the [[unsatisfied]] part of [[demand]], which is the [[demand]] for [[love]].
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[[Lacan]]'s own [[discourse]] on [[love]] is thus often complicated by the same [[substitution]] of "[[desire]]" for "[[love]]" which he himself highlights in the [[text]] of [[Plato]]'s ''[[Plato|Symposium]]''.<ref>{{S8}} p. 141</ref>
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===Courtly Love===
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Courtly love "is an altogether refined way of making up for the absence of [[sexual]] relation by pretending that it is we who put an obstacle to it." Courtly love is a love of the impossible, a love for the obstacle which forever thwarts love - an elegant way of coming to terms with the [[absence]] of [[sexual relationship|sexual relations]].
  
 
==See Also==
 
==See Also==
* [[Ambivalence]]
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{{See}}
* [[Conflict]]
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* [[Analysand]]
* [[Counter-transference]]
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* [[Analyst]]
 
* [[Demand]]
 
* [[Demand]]
* [[Direct analysis]]
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||
* [[Ego-libido/object-libido]]
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* [[Desire]]
* [[Eros]]
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* [[Dialectic]]
* [[Erotomania]]
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* [[Discourse]]
* [[Friendship]]
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||
* [[Genital love]]
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* [[Lack]]
* [[Gift]]
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* [[Lure]]
* [[Hatred]]
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* [[Metaphor]]
* [[Homosexuality]]
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||
* [[Jalousie amoureuse, La]]
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* [[Metonymy]]
* [[Love-Hate-Knowledge (L/H/K bonds)]]
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* [[Need]]
* [[Maternal]]
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* [[Signification]]
* [[Narcissism]]
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||
* [[Object]]
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* [[Speech]]
* [[Object, change of/choice of]]
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* [[Structure]]
* [[Oedipus complex]]
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* [[Treatment]]
* [[Passion]]
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{{Also}}
* [[Primary love]]
 
* [[Rivalry]]
 
* [[Sexuality]]
 
* [[Tenderness]]
 
* [[Therapeutic alliance]]
 
* [[Transferencelove]]
 
* [[Turning around]]
 
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
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<div style="font-size:11px" class="references-small">
 
<references/>
 
<references/>
# Freud, Sigmund. (1905d). Three essays on the theory of sexuality. SE, 7: 123-243.
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</div>
# ——. (1912d). On the universal tendency to debasement in the sphere of love. SE, 11: 177-190.
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{{OK}}
# ——. (1915a). Observations on transference-love: technique of psycho-analysis. SE, 12: 157-171.
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[[Category:Imaginary]]
# ——. (1921c). Group psychology and the analysis of the ego. SE, 18: 65-143.
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__NOTOC__
# ——. (1926d). Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety. SE, 20: 75-172.
 
 
 
[[Category:New]]
 

Latest revision as of 21:18, 25 May 2019

French: [[amour]]

Jacques Lacan

Symbolic

Lacan argues that it is impossible to say anything meaningful or sensible about love.[1] Indeed, the moment one starts to speak about love, one descends into imbecility.[2] Given these views, it might seem surprising that Lacan himself dedicates a great deal of his seminar precisely to speaking about love. However, in doing so, Lacan is merely demonstrating what the analysand does in psychoanalytic treatment, for "the only thing that we do in the analytic discourse is speak about love."[3]

Imaginary

Love is located by Lacan as a purely imaginary phenomenon, although it has effects in the symbolic order.[4] Love is autoerotic, and has a fundamentally narcissistic structure since "it's one's own ego that one loves in love, one's own ego made real on the imaginary level."[5] The imaginary nature of love leads Lacan to oppose all those analysts who posit love as an ideal in psychoanalytic treatment.[6]

Love involves an imaginary reciprocity, since "to love is, essentially, to wish to be loved."[7] It is this reciprocity between "loving" and "being loved" that constitutes the illusion of love, and this is what distinguishes it from the order of the drives, in which there is no reciprocity, only pure activity.[8] Love is an illusory fantasy of fusion with the beloved which makes up for the absence of any sexual relationship.[9] This is especially clear in the asexual concept of courtly love.[10]

Love is deceptive. "As a specular mirage, love is essentially deception."[11] It is deceptive because it involves giving what one does not have (i.e. the phallus); to love is "to give what one does not have."[12] Love is directed not at what the love-object has, but at what he lacks, at the nothing beyond him. The object is valued insofar as it comes in the place of that lack.

Love and Desire

One of the most complex areas of Lacan's work concerns the relationship between love and desire. On the one hand, the two terms are diametrically opposed. On the other hand, this opposition is problematized by certain similarities between the two:

Opposition

As an imaginary phenomenon which belongs to the field of the ego, love is clearly opposed to desire, which is inscribed in the symbolic order, the field of the Other.[13] Love is a metaphor, whereas desire is metonymy.[14] It can even be said that love kills desire, since love is based on a fantasy of oneness with the beloved and this abolishes the difference which gives rise to desire.[15]

Similarity

On the other hand, there are elements in Lacan's work which destabilize the neat opposition between love and desire.

  1. Firstly, they are both similar in that neither can ever be satisfied.
  2. Secondly, the structure of love as "the wish to be loved" is identical to the structure of desire, in which the subject desires to become the object of the Other's desire.
  3. Thirdly, in the dialectic of need/demand/desire, desire is born precisely from the unsatisfied part of demand, which is the demand for love.

Lacan's own discourse on love is thus often complicated by the same substitution of "desire" for "love" which he himself highlights in the text of Plato's Symposium.[16]

Courtly Love

Courtly love "is an altogether refined way of making up for the absence of sexual relation by pretending that it is we who put an obstacle to it." Courtly love is a love of the impossible, a love for the obstacle which forever thwarts love - an elegant way of coming to terms with the absence of sexual relations.

See Also

References

  1. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre VIII. Le transfert, 1960-61. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p. 57
  2. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre XX. Encore, 1972-73. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1975. p. 17
  3. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre XX. Encore, 1972-73. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1975. p. 77
  4. (one of those effects being to produce "a veritable subduction of the symbolic") Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book I. Freud's Papers on Technique, 1953-54. Trans. John Forrester. New York: Nortion; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. p. 142
  5. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book I. Freud's Papers on Technique, 1953-54. Trans. John Forrester. New York: Nortion; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. p. 142
  6. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book VII. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, 1959-60. Trans. Dennis Porter. London: Routledge, 1992. p. 8
  7. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book XI. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 1964. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1977. p. 253
  8. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book XI. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 1964. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1977. p. 200
  9. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre XX. Encore, 1972-73. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1975. p. 44
  10. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre XX. Encore, 1972-73. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1975. p. 65
  11. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book XI. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 1964. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1977. p. 268
  12. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre VIII. Le transfert, 1960-61. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p. 147
  13. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book XI. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 1964. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1977. pp. 189-91
  14. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre VIII. Le transfert, 1960-61. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p. 53
  15. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre XX. Encore, 1972-73. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1975. p. 46
  16. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre VIII. Le transfert, 1960-61. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p. 141