Progress

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progress (progrËs) Lacan claims that the idea of progress, like other humanist concepts, is alien to his teaching: 'There is not the slightest idea of progress in anything I articulate, in the sense that this term would imply a happy solution' (Sl7, 122). In this respect, Lacan is a basically pessimistic thinker, and he finds support for such pessimism in the gloomier works of Freud such as Civilization and its Discontents (Freud, 1930a). These texts allow Lacan to argue that 'Freud was in no way a progressive' (S7, 183).

    Lacan rejects the idea of progress because it is based on a linear unidirectional concept of TIME, and also because it implies the possibility of synthesis (see DIALECTIc). Along with the idea of progress, Lacan rejects other related concepts such     as that of a unilinear sequence of phases of psychosexual development.
    There is one sense, however, in which Lacan does speak of progress: the  progress in psychoanalytic TREATMENT. IDSOfaT RS treatment is a process which has a beginning and an end, when this treatment is moving and not 'stuck', we may speak of progress. The treatment is progressing as long as new material is emerging. Indeed, psychoanalytic treatment may be described as 'a progress towards truth' (E, 253).




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