Difference between revisions of "Optical model"

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{{Top}}modèle optique{{Bottom}}
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==Sigmund Freud==
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[[Freud]] compares the [[psyche]] with an [[optical model|optical apparatus]] such as a microscope or a camera in ''[[The Interpretation of Dreams]]''.<ref>{{F}} ''[[The Interpretation of Dreams]]'', 1900. [[SE]] IV-V: 536</ref>
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==Jacques Lacan==
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[[Image:Lacan-opticalmodel.jpg|thumb|right|[[The optical model]]]]
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[[Lacan]] also uses [[optical model|optical apparatuses]] at several points in his [[Work of Sigmund Freud|work]].
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For example, he uses the camera to provide a "materialist definition of the phenomenon of consciousness."<ref>{{S2}} Chapter 4.</ref>
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[[Lacan]] argues that [[optics]] is a useful way of approaching the [[structure]] of the [[psyche]] because [[images]] play an important role in [[psychic]] [[structure]] <ref>{{S1}} p.76</ref>.
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However, like [[Freud]], [[Lacan]] warns that such an approach can never provide more than rather crude analogies, since [[optical]] [[image]]s are not the same as the kind of [[image]]s which are the [[object]] of [[psychoanalytic]] research.
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For this reason, [[Lacan]] soon replaces [[optical]] [[image]]s with [[topological]] [[figures]] which are intended to prevent [[imaginary]] [[capture]].
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Nevertheless, as [[Freud]] said of his own [[optical model]]s, "we need the assistance of provisional ideas."<ref>{{F}} ''[[The Interpretation of Dreams]]'', 1900. [[SE]] IV-V: 536</ref>
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==The Optical Model==
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The [[optical model]] first appears in 1954 <ref>{{S1}} p. 124</ref>, and is reproduced in the [[seminar]] on the [[transference]] (1960-1), and elsewhere.
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It is basically an optical experiment which is constructed by means
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of a plane [[mirror]] and a concave [[mirror]].
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The concave [[mirror]] produces a real [[image]] of an inverted flower-pot, hidden from view by a box, which is then reflected in the plane [[mirror]] to produce a [[virtual]] [[image]].
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This [[virtual]] [[image]] is only [[visible]] to a [[subject]] who places himself within a particular area of [[vision]].
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==Examples==
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[[Lacan]] uses the [[optical model]] to illustrate various points.
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Two of the most important points are the [[structure|structuring]] role of the [[symbolic]] [[order]] and the function of the [[ego-ideal]].
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===Symbolic Structure===
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The [[optical model]] illustrates the way that the position of the [[subject]] in the [[symbolic]] [[order]] (represented by the angle of the plane mirror) determines the way in which the [[imaginary]] is articulated with the [[real]].
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<blockquote>"My position in the imaginary is only conceivable insofar as one finds a guide beyond the imaginary, on the level of the symbolic plane."<ref>{{S1}} p.141</ref></blockquote>
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The [[optical model]] thus illustrates the primary importance of the [[symbolic]] [[order]] in [[structuring]] the [[imaginary]].
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The action of [[psychoanalytic]] [[treatment]] can be compared to the
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rotation of the plane [[mirror]], which alters the position of the [[subject]] in the [[symbolic]].
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===Ego-Ideal===
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The [[optical model]] also illustrates the function of the [[ideal ego]], which is represented in the diagram as the [[real]] [[image]], in opposition to the [[ego-ideal]], which is the [[symbolic]] guide governing the angle of the [[mirror]] and hence the position of the [[subject]].<ref>{{S1}} p.141</ref>.
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==See Also==
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{{See}}
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* [[Ego-ideal]]
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* [[Ideal-ego]]
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* [[Image]]
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||
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* [[Gaze]]
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* [[Materialism]]
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* [[Subject]]
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{{Also}}
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==References==
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<references/>
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[[Category:Dictionary]]
 
[[Category:Dictionary]]
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{{Cat}}

Revision as of 23:28, 23 August 2006

French: modèle optique


Sigmund Freud

Freud compares the psyche with an optical apparatus such as a microscope or a camera in The Interpretation of Dreams.[1]

Jacques Lacan

Lacan also uses optical apparatuses at several points in his work.

For example, he uses the camera to provide a "materialist definition of the phenomenon of consciousness."[2]

Lacan argues that optics is a useful way of approaching the structure of the psyche because images play an important role in psychic structure [3].

However, like Freud, Lacan warns that such an approach can never provide more than rather crude analogies, since optical images are not the same as the kind of images which are the object of psychoanalytic research.

For this reason, Lacan soon replaces optical images with topological figures which are intended to prevent imaginary capture.

Nevertheless, as Freud said of his own optical models, "we need the assistance of provisional ideas."[4]


The Optical Model

The optical model first appears in 1954 [5], and is reproduced in the seminar on the transference (1960-1), and elsewhere.

It is basically an optical experiment which is constructed by means of a plane mirror and a concave mirror.

The concave mirror produces a real image of an inverted flower-pot, hidden from view by a box, which is then reflected in the plane mirror to produce a virtual image.

This virtual image is only visible to a subject who places himself within a particular area of vision.


Examples

Lacan uses the optical model to illustrate various points.

Two of the most important points are the structuring role of the symbolic order and the function of the ego-ideal.


Symbolic Structure

The optical model illustrates the way that the position of the subject in the symbolic order (represented by the angle of the plane mirror) determines the way in which the imaginary is articulated with the real.

"My position in the imaginary is only conceivable insofar as one finds a guide beyond the imaginary, on the level of the symbolic plane."[6]

The optical model thus illustrates the primary importance of the symbolic order in structuring the imaginary.

The action of psychoanalytic treatment can be compared to the rotation of the plane mirror, which alters the position of the subject in the symbolic.


Ego-Ideal

The optical model also illustrates the function of the ideal ego, which is represented in the diagram as the real image, in opposition to the ego-ideal, which is the symbolic guide governing the angle of the mirror and hence the position of the subject.[7].


See Also

References

  1. Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams, 1900. SE IV-V: 536
  2. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book II. The Ego in Freud's Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis, 1954-55. Trans. Sylvana Tomaselli. New York: Nortion; Cambridge: Cambridge Unviersity Press, 1988. Chapter 4.
  3. 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.76
  4. Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams, 1900. SE IV-V: 536
  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. 124
  6. 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.141
  7. 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.141