Name-of-the-Father

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Prohibitive Role

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]

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’’”).

  1. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits. p.67