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Summary: This paper aims to discuss substance use and abuse as falling beyond the pleasure principal and the deficiencies of CBT in the treatment of substance use disorders. As we continue to ponder the beginning and ending of a pandemic, lurking close behind, is the epidemic of overdoses and substance abuse. This epidemic occurred prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only to be exacerbated by it. Rather than viewing substance use as mere mechanical activity of our bodies in functions, what we can aim to understand better is how our repetitions and behavior express some sort of desire, wish, or fantasy. In the movie Another Round (2020), it is presented that according to Norwegian psychiatrist, Finn Skårderud, human beings are born with a blood alcohol content that is 0.05% too low. This concept would add further nuance to the terms ‘substance use,’ ‘misuse,’ and ‘abuse.’ In the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant explains the thought experiment of the Gallows Man (1998, 5:30), to convey his understanding of people’s prioritization of life over lust. He also explains that a cost-benefit analysis is not enough to prioritize life. Yet, other therapeutic modalities for substance treatment encourage the use of decisional balance worksheets and cost/benefit analyses. A psychoanalytic understanding of substance use and abuse would help unveil the desire and meaning of this activity. It is not just about controlling our brain’s biochemistry or ‘self-medicating,’ but rather, an exploration of what the substance and its use really provides for the individual. In other words, substance use, misuse, or abuse, and the language used to describe the patterns and rituals of the individual are not simply cognitive and behavioral, but more so, fantastical, emotional, and dream-like.


Samenvatting: In dit artikel bespreken we Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker. We vertrekken van Žižeks The Thing from Inner Space, maar vullen aan met een interpretatie van de Kamer als het Ding. We spitsen ons toe op hoe we het Ding begrensd zien in Stalker. Na een overzicht van de film contrasteren we die, in navolging van Žižek, met Solaris. Uit dit contrast blijkt de noodzaak tot begrenzing van het Ding. Daarna bespreken we Žižeks begrip van de grens, zoals hij die in Stalker ontwaart tussen de buitenwereld en de Zone. In een derde deel schuiven we op in de diëgetische ruimte en behandelen we de grens met de Kamer. Deze grens vraagt om een andere karakterisering dan die aangereikt door Žižek. We beroepen ons op Kants notie van begrenzing en incorporeren enkele žižekiaanse en lacaniaanse interpretaties. In een laatste deel laten we de opdeling van de film in afzonderlijke ruimtes achterwege, wanneer blijkt dat ze met elkaar verknoopt zijn en de grens niet plaatsgebonden is.


In dit artikel willen we een alternatieve lezing voorstellen van KantsNaar de eeuwige vrede, waarin de nadruk wordt gelegd op het ideologische moment van zijn discours over kosmopolitisme en eeuwige vrede. Op basis van onze lezing concluderen we dat i) volgens Kant elk humanitair en/of kosmopolitisch discours een groot verhaal (ideologie) nodig heeft om mensen te overtuigen en te mobiliseren, en ii) hedendaagse kosmopolitische en humanitaire discoursen juist dit grootse verhaal ontberen en dus ook de overtuigingskracht die elk politiek project volgens Kant vereist.

Looking for Tracks in Lacan’s “Kant avec Sade”

In 2010 I was invited to take part in a cartel with Filip Geerardyn, Wim Matthys and Elisabeth Van Dam for a close reading of Lacan’s text “Kant with Sade”. In the aftermath of this I wrote this text, which is neither a record of the cartel, nor an attempt to interpret or to summarize Lacan’s text. It is the result of following the tracks that Lacan sets out, more a Deleuzian Rhizome than a logical or critical argument. Following these tracks leads to a dramatic discovery. Lacan’s act of writing is an invitation to work through some crucial questions on ethics (Kant and Freud) rather than to consume Sade’s literature or to consider the case of the French libertine.

Kant with Sade, Sade with Kant

During the 60s, at a time when many leading philosophers were showing an interest in Sade, the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan also wrote an essay on the literary works of the libertine aristocrat D.A.F. de Sade, often called “The Divine Marquis”. That essay, entitled “Kant avec Sade”, is regularly cited but rarely discussed in any depth by philosophers and psychoanalysts, partly as a result of Lacan’s baroque style of writing, his sloppy formulations, and his suggestive language. However, in spite of this, Lacan’s text is worthwhile reading. The central idea is that Sade’s oeuvre reveals the truth of Kant’s moral philosophy. In his article, the author shows that this remarkable thesis can be understood in at least two ways. Moreover, it is also argued that Lacan’s thesis can be read in a reverse direction, although Lacan himself never says that explicitly. It will be shown in the third section that according to Lacan, Kant is the truth of Sade.