Difference between revisions of "Name-of-the-Father"

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==Dictionary==
 
  
Originally used by [[Lacan]] to describe the [[castration|castrating]] [[father]] of the [[Oedipus complex]] who personifies the [[taboo]] on [[incest]], the expression is at once a semi-humorous religious allusion (''In nomine patris'') and a play on the near-homonyms ''non'' and ''nom'': the name-of-the-father (''nom-du-père'') is also the [[father]]'s 'no' (''non-du-père'') to the [[child]]'s [[incest]]uous [[desire]] for the [[mother]].
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==Jacques Lacan==
In [[Lacan]]'s 1955-6 [[seminar]], [[The Psychoses]], the [[name-of-the-father]] is described as the fundamental [[signifier]] that both confers [[identity]] on [[human]] [[subject]]s by situating them in a lineage and the [[symbolic]] [[order]], and reiterates the [[prohibition]] on [[incest]].
+
[[Jacques Lacan]] developed the concept of the [[Name-of-the-Father]] (''le nom du père'').
The [[foreclosure]] of the [[name-of-the-father]], or its expulsion from the [[subject]]'s [[symbolic]] universe, is said by [[Lacan]] to be the mechanism that triggers [[psychosis]].
 
  
 +
The expression is capitalized and hyphenated in the [[seminar]] on [[The Psychoses]].
  
==Definition==
 
Jacques Lacan introduced the notion of the "Name-of-the-Father." By it he meant that every signifier, by its connection, not to an object, but rather to another signifier (Ferdinand de Saussure), symbolizes the lack that it introduces into being. As the particular symbolizer produces this effect while at the same time transforming it, the Name-of-the-Father enables human beings to tolerate and maintain desire. Without it, lack is experienced as a devouring force (cf. the case of Little Hans, Freud, 1909b) or a sucking force, the representation of a wound in the maternal body that is the source of a debt that can never be repaid.
 
  
The child discovers this name as a metaphor for the enigmatic object desired by the mother in the body of the child's father. Thus, the child can find his way to one of two ways of assuming for this phallus; he can either have it like the father, or be it, in order to be desired.
 
  
The Oedipus complex makes the father the agent of the prohibition that makes it the impossible to access the object-cause-of-desire. Lacan's structural analysis shows that the father is not himself the guarantor of the symbolic law, but is the one who authorizes desire. "[T]he true function of the Father . . . is fundamentally to unite (and not to oppose) a desire to the Law," he wrote in "Subversion of the Subject and Dialectic of Desire" (Lacan, p. 309).
 
  
In the Other, the phallus thus no longer symbolizes a devouring agency, but instead one that rejoices if the subject experiences sexual enjoyment (jouissance) and procreates. Only one father can take on such a function, to the point of identifying with the phallus as symbolized by the dead Father.
 
  
It is understandable that some religions hold non-procreative sexual enjoyment (jouissance) to be sacrilegious, thus defrauding the phallic symbol by defying or abusing the dead Father. Religion's traditional function is to affirm the primacy of sexual enjoyment against the destructive, abnormal forms of enjoyment that are in fashion.
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The Oedipus complex makes the father the agent of the prohibition that makes it the impossible to access the object-cause-of-desire.
  
CHARLES MELMAN
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French [[psychoanalyst]] [[Jacques Lacan]] revised the [[oedipus complex]] in line with his [[structuralism|structuralist]] attempt to combine [[psychoanalysis]] and [[linguistics]].  
 
 
See also: Fatherhood; Foreclosure; Imaginary identification/symbolic identification; Infantile psychosis; Metaphor; Metonymy; Myth of origins; Parade of signifiers; Phobias in children; Psychoses, chronic and delusional; Real, the (Lacan); Real, Symbolic, and Imaginary father; Repudiation; Schizophrenia; Seminar, Lacan's; Signifier; Signifier/signified; Signifying chain; Superego; Symptom/sinthome.
 
Bibliography
 
 
 
    * Lacan, Jacques. (2002). The subversion of the subject and the dialectic of desire in the Freudian subconscious. In Écrits: A selection (Bruce Fink, Trans.). New York: Norton.
 
  
 +
The [[father]] is no longer a [[biology|biological]] father, but a function of a father: the [[Name-of-the-Father]].
  
  
== def==
 
  
The '''Name of the Father''' refers to the [[Law|laws]] and restrictions that control both [[desire]] and the rules of [[communication]], according to [[Lacan]].
 
  
The Name-of-the-Father is closely bound up with the [[superego]], the [[phallus]], the [[symbolic]] [[order]], and the [[oedipus complex]].
 
  
The [[Name-of-the-Father]] has a [[shadow double]] in the [[Father-of-Enjoyment]].  
+
The '[[Name of the Father]]' refers to the [[law]]s and restrictions that control both [[desire]] and the rules of [[communication]].  
  
  
The [[Name of the Father]]' (Fr. ‘’Nom du père’’) , is the [[signifier]] associated with the [[signified]] [[concept]] of the [[father]].
 
The name of the Father is a [[symbolic]] formation.
 
  
  
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<blockquote>“It is in the ‘name of the father’ that we must recognize the support of the symbolic function which, from the dawn of history, has identified his person with the figure of the law.”<ref>Lacan, Jacques. Écrits. p.67</ref></blockquote>  
 
<blockquote>“It is in the ‘name of the father’ that we must recognize the support of the symbolic function which, from the dawn of history, has identified his person with the figure of the law.”<ref>Lacan, Jacques. Écrits. p.67</ref></blockquote>  
 +
 +
 +
In [[Lacan]]'s 1955-6 [[seminar]], [[The Psychoses]], the [[name-of-the-father]] is described as the fundamental [[signifier]] that both confers [[identity]] on [[human]] [[subject]]s by situating them in a lineage and the [[symbolic]] [[order]], and reiterates the [[prohibition]] on [[incest]].
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 +
 +
 +
 +
  
 
===The “No” of the Father===
 
===The “No” of the Father===
In the French language, the expression “the name of the father” (“’’le nom du père’’”) is phonetically similar to the expression “the ‘no’ of the father” (“’’le ‘non’ du père’’”).
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In the French language, the expression “the name of the father” (''le nom du père'') is phonetically similar to the expression “the ‘no’ of the father” (''le ‘non’ du père'').
 
Lacan plays on this similarity to emphasize the prohibitive function of the symbolic father (the ‘no’ of the [[incest]] [[taboo]]).
 
Lacan plays on this similarity to emphasize the prohibitive function of the symbolic father (the ‘no’ of the [[incest]] [[taboo]]).
  
==The Psychoses==
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In ‘’[[The_psychoses|The Seminar, Book III: The Psychoses]]’’ the expression becomes capitalized and hyphenated.
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The term is a play on the near-homonyms ''non'' and ''nom''.
The [[Name-of-the-Father]] is now the [[fundamental signifier]] which permtis [[signification]] to proceed normally.
+
 
 +
The "[[Name-of-the-Father]]" (''[[nom-du-père]]'') can be read the "'No' of the [[Father]]" (''non-du-père'').
 +
 
 +
The 'No' refers to the [[symbolic]] [[prohibition]]
 +
The 'No' of the [[Father]] to the [[desire]] of the [[child]] for [[incest]]uous relations with the [[mother]].
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The 'No' of the [[Father]] to the [[child]]'s [[incest]]uous [[desire]] for the [[mother]].
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 +
 
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==Language==
 +
 
 +
 
 +
The [[Name of the Father]]' (Fr. ‘’Nom du père’’) , is the [[signifier]] associated with the [[signified]] [[concept]] of the [[father]].
 +
The name of the Father is a [[symbolic]] formation.  
 +
 
 +
 
 +
The [[Name-of-the-Father]] is the [[fundamental signifier]] which permits [[signification]] to proceed normally.
 +
 
 +
 
 
This fundamental signifier both confers [[identity]] on the [[subject]] (insofar as it names him, positions him within the symbolic order, etc.) and signifies the [[oedipus complex|oedipal]] [[prohibition]], the ‘no’ of the [[incest]] [[taboo]].   
 
This fundamental signifier both confers [[identity]] on the [[subject]] (insofar as it names him, positions him within the symbolic order, etc.) and signifies the [[oedipus complex|oedipal]] [[prohibition]], the ‘no’ of the [[incest]] [[taboo]].   
 +
 +
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==Psychosis==
 +
The [[foreclosure]] of the [[name-of-the-father]], or its expulsion from the [[subject]]'s [[symbolic]] universe, is said by [[Lacan]] to be the mechanism that triggers [[psychosis]].
 +
 
If this signifier is foreclosed (not included in the symbolic order), the result is [[psychosis]].
 
If this signifier is foreclosed (not included in the symbolic order), the result is [[psychosis]].
 
Nevertheless, [[Jacques Lacan]] developed this concept with the ultimately unsuccessful aim of curing psychosis.  
 
Nevertheless, [[Jacques Lacan]] developed this concept with the ultimately unsuccessful aim of curing psychosis.  
  
== Linguistics ==
 
French [[psychoanalyst]] [[Jacques Lacan]] revised the [[oedipus complex]] in line with his [[structuralism|structuralist]] attempt to combine [[psychoanalysis]] and [[linguistics]].
 
  
Lacan claimed that, although the [[infant]] must come to [[identification|identify]] with the [[father]] (in order to participate in [[sexual relations]]), the infant could never ‘become’ the father (as this would imply sexual relations with the [[mother]]).
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==Outside Language==
The position of the [[father]] could never be held by the [[infant]].
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Thus, through the dictates on the one hand to be the father and on the other not to, the father is elevated to an [[ideal]].
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The [[father]] is no longer a [[biology|biological]] father, but a function of a father: the [[Name-of-the-Father]].
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The [[phallus]], as a [[representation]] of [[mastery]], can never be reached.
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 +
 
  
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The [[father]] is above or [[outside]] the [[structure]] of [[language]].
  
  
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[[Language]] relies on the [[absence]] of the [[phallus]] from the [[structure]] of [[signification]].
  
The same goes for the mother &mdash; Lacan no longer talks of a real mother, but simply of [[desire (Lacanian)|desire]], which is a desire to return to the undifferentiated state of ''being'' together with the mother, before the interference through the Name-of-the-Father. This desire necessarily lacks something, i.e. it is a desire of lack.  
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[[Language]] would not make sense, or produce [[meaning]], if the [[phallus]] were not '[[outside]]'.
  
  
The father and accordingly the phallus (not a ''real'' penis, but a representation of [[master]]y) can never be reached, thus he is above or outside the language system and cannot be spoken about.
 
All language relies on this absence of the phallus from the system of [[signification]].
 
According to this theory, without a phallus ''outside'' of language, nothing ''in'' language would make sense or could be differentiated.
 
Thus Lacan remodels the linguistic theory of Swiss linguist [[Ferdinand de Saussure]].
 
It is this idea that forms the basis of much contemporary thought, especially [[poststructuralism]].
 
 
Nothing can be thought that is ''outside'' of language, but the phallus ''is'' there and therefore structures the whole system of thought accordingly.  
 
Nothing can be thought that is ''outside'' of language, but the phallus ''is'' there and therefore structures the whole system of thought accordingly.  
Oedipus could also be thought of the theme of the story.
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 +
 
  
  
 
==Freud vs Lacan==  
 
==Freud vs Lacan==  
In ''[[Totem and Taboo]]'', [[Sigmund Freud]] uses a theory of the history, based on Darwin's [[theory of evolution]], in which there was first a terrible father that the brothers had to kill.
 
Feeling guilty about it, the brothers began to pay homage to the father and founded [[monotheism]].
 
In Lacan's theory, the learning of [[language]] leads the child to kill his father as a [[symbol]].
 
Lacan does not use any historical theory. 
 
This concept allows a new understanding of [[neurosis]].
 
  
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In ''[[Totem and Taboo]]'', [[Sigmund Freud]]
 +
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There was a [[father]] which the brothers killed.
 +
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The brothers felt guilty about killing their [[father]].
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 +
 +
 +
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==Associations==
 +
The Name-of-the-Father is closely bound up with the [[superego]], the [[phallus]], the [[symbolic]] [[order]], and the [[oedipus complex]].
 +
 +
 +
The [[Name-of-the-Father]] has a [[shadow double]] in the [[Father-of-Enjoyment]].
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 +
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* [[Fatherhood]]
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* [[Foreclosure]]
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* [[Identification
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* [[Metaphor]]
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* [[Metonymy]]
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* [[Myth of origins]]
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* [[Phobia]]
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* [[Psychosis]]
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* [[Real,
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* [[Schizophrenia]]
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* [[Seminar]]
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* [[Signifier]]
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* [[Signified]]
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* [[Signifying chain]]
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* [[Superego]]
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* [[Symptom]]
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* [[Sinthome]]
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==References==
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<references/>
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* Lacan, Jacques. (2002). The subversion of the subject and the dialectic of desire in the Freudian subconscious. In Écrits: A selection (Bruce Fink, Trans.). New York: Norton.
  
 
[[category:Freudian psychology]]
 
[[category:Freudian psychology]]
 
[[Category:Psychoanalytic theory]]
 
[[Category:Psychoanalytic theory]]
[[Category:Lacan]]
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[[Category:Jacques Lacan]]
 
[[Category:Terms]]
 
[[Category:Terms]]
 
[[Category:Concepts]]
 
[[Category:Concepts]]
 
[[Category:Psychoanalysis]]
 
[[Category:Psychoanalysis]]

Revision as of 23:27, 28 June 2006

Jacques Lacan

Jacques Lacan developed the concept of the Name-of-the-Father (le nom du père).

The expression is capitalized and hyphenated in the seminar on The Psychoses.



The Oedipus complex makes the father the agent of the prohibition that makes it the impossible to access the object-cause-of-desire.

French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan revised the oedipus complex in line with his structuralist attempt to combine psychoanalysis and linguistics.

The father is no longer a biological father, but a function of a father: the Name-of-the-Father.



The 'Name of the Father' refers to the laws and restrictions that control both desire and the rules of communication.



Prohibitive Function of the Symbolic Father

The expression “the name of the father,” when it first appeared in Lacan’s work, in the early 1950s, referred generally to the “prohibitive role” of the “symbolic father” as the one who lays down the incest taboo in the oedipus complex.

“It is in the ‘name of the father’ that we must recognize the support of the symbolic function which, from the dawn of history, has identified his person with the figure of the law.”[1]


In Lacan's 1955-6 seminar, The Psychoses, the name-of-the-father is described as the fundamental signifier that both confers identity on human subjects by situating them in a lineage and the symbolic order, and reiterates the prohibition on incest.




The “No” of the Father

In the French language, the expression “the name of the father” (le nom du père) is phonetically similar to the expression “the ‘no’ of the father” (le ‘non’ du père). Lacan plays on this similarity to emphasize the prohibitive function of the symbolic father (the ‘no’ of the incest taboo).


The term is a play on the near-homonyms non and nom.

The "Name-of-the-Father" (nom-du-père) can be read the "'No' of the Father" (non-du-père).

The 'No' refers to the symbolic prohibition The 'No' of the Father to the desire of the child for incestuous relations with the mother. The 'No' of the Father to the child's incestuous desire for the mother.



Language

The Name of the Father' (Fr. ‘’Nom du père’’) , is the signifier associated with the signified concept of the father. The name of the Father is a symbolic formation.


The Name-of-the-Father is the fundamental signifier which permits signification to proceed normally.


This fundamental signifier both confers identity on the subject (insofar as it names him, positions him within the symbolic order, etc.) and signifies the oedipal prohibition, the ‘no’ of the incest taboo.


Psychosis

The foreclosure of the name-of-the-father, or its expulsion from the subject's symbolic universe, is said by Lacan to be the mechanism that triggers psychosis.

If this signifier is foreclosed (not included in the symbolic order), the result is psychosis. Nevertheless, Jacques Lacan developed this concept with the ultimately unsuccessful aim of curing psychosis.


Outside Language

The phallus, as a representation of mastery, can never be reached.


The father is above or outside the structure of language.


Language relies on the absence of the phallus from the structure of signification.

Language would not make sense, or produce meaning, if the phallus were not 'outside'.


Nothing can be thought that is outside of language, but the phallus is there and therefore structures the whole system of thought accordingly.



Freud vs Lacan

In Totem and Taboo, Sigmund Freud

There was a father which the brothers killed.

The brothers felt guilty about killing their father.



Associations

The Name-of-the-Father is closely bound up with the superego, the phallus, the symbolic order, and the oedipus complex.


The Name-of-the-Father has a shadow double in the Father-of-Enjoyment.


References

  1. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits. p.67
  • Lacan, Jacques. (2002). The subversion of the subject and the dialectic of desire in the Freudian subconscious. In Écrits: A selection (Bruce Fink, Trans.). New York: Norton.