From edible to oedipal: the case of jay

This is the case of a five-year-old child who presented to treatment on a path to a psychotic structure. Coming to treatment largely unable to talk or play, and fixated on his experiences of sexual assault, this case follows the child’s treatment as he ultimately adopts a neurotic stance. The case highlights both the role of the child and the role of the analyst in the treatment of children at risk for psychosis.

Ex-machina: sex, knowledge, and artificial intelligence

This paper investigates the relationship between sex and knowledge and its manifestation in the development of Artificial Intelligence. With the concept of the extimate uncanny I analyse the status of the robotic companion as emblematic of the Lacanian non- existent sexual relation. Through a commentary on the 2014 film Ex – Machina, I discuss the staging of symbolic castration, sexuation and the uncanny and suggest that this conceptual reading of the sex-bot is an essential starting point to a more complex understanding of the contemporary significance of Artificial Intelligence and sexualised automatons in the social bond. Via my reading, the figure of the sex-bot is understood to be the vanishing mediator which articulates the onto-epistemological nexus between psychoanalysis and philosophy.

The shine (éclat) of absences: lacan on the feminine in the fifties

Lacan’s text, “Guiding Remarks for a Congress on Female Sexuality” (1958), is an important text in exploring Lacan’s conceptualisation of female sexuality in the fifties. The text however goes much further than this and discusses castration and the phallic function as well as Freud’s three lines of feminine development: normative femininity, frigidity and female homosexuality. The richness and complexity of the text presents the sexuality of women as a vast field that has been misapprehended by the psychoanalytic establishment. Lacan indicates that women are not reducible to the phallic equivalency to men and in fact this misunderstanding has significantly undermined and devalued the analysis of women. With the aid of a clinical vignette, this paper explores two of the three lines of female development, normative femininity and frigidity, in light of Lacan’s substantial elaborations in the text.

Oedipus, Freud’s dream

It is argued that Freud’s analysis of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex should be read in the context of his Interpretation of Dreams. There it figures in the chapter on typical dreams of the death of beloved persons, dreams from which Freud infers a murderous desire directed to the father. Later, Freud admitted that this view involved his own reaction to the death of his father. For Freud, the latter constitutes the most importance experience in a man’s life. From then onwards however, the theme of the murder of the father is revealed as a fantasm that hides the castration of the father with which the son is confronted when his own father dies. With reference to the hellenistic commentaries on Oedipus Rex, a Lacanian interpretation of the tragedy is proposed. It is argued that Oedipus Rex is the tragedy of the subject and his responsibility when Mythical discourse was replaced by the Master discourse, in which the Master figures both as father of a castrated reality and as mythical father who escapes castration. Castration consists precisely of the loss of jouissance introduced by the Master discourse. Eventually it is argued that, for Lacan, the castration complex comes down to the truth of the Oedipus complex.

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