De grote ander in Žižeks christelijk atheïsme

Dit artikel onderzoekt wat Slavoj Žižek aanduidt met de notie christelijk atheïsme. Op basis van zijn vaststelling dat atheïsme niet alleen een deel is van het evangelie, maar er ook de kern van uitmaakt, stelt hij dat christelijk atheïsme de enige consequente geloofsvorm binnen het monotheïsme is. Daarbij wordt beargumenteerd dat zijn appreciatie voor de christelijke erfenis voornamelijk voortvloeit uit haar politiek- revolutionaire mogelijkheden. Het besef van Gods dood of het niet-bestaan van de grote Ander bewerkstelligt namelijk, ten gevolge van de vrijheid en liefde waarop christelijke atheïsten zijn teruggeworpen, een open horizon om subjectiviteit radicaal en emancipatief te herdenken.

Lacan’s object small a: an elephant in the room

This paper investigates the key question in Žižek’s article “The joke of psychoanalysis”, published in this edition of Psychoanalytische Perspectieven. This key question concerns what Lacan saw as the fundamental distinction between psychology and psychoanalysis, namely the affirmation of the scission between object small a and S(A).  

In the present article, this enigmatic claim of Lacan is examined in the light of the philosophical discussion concerning sense and reference as well as in what concerns the mechanism of a scission in repetition at the end of an analysis. It will be argued that a bidirectional interrogation between psychoanalysis and philosophy, that lies at the core of the work of Žižek and the Ljubljana Lacanian School, can be highly useful and relevant to frame the deadlocks of both clinical practice and philosophical thought.

Trauma beyond the Biomedical Paradigm: Avenues for a Subject-oriented and Contextual Trauma Approach

This article provides a succinct overview of the structure and key findings of a psychoanalytically inspired theoretical doctoral thesis on psychological trauma. Starting from four core criticisms directed at the hegemonic, biomedical PTSD-model of trauma, the author makes use of the works of Jacques Lacan, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek (amongst others) to develop a trauma framework that counters the current tendency to (1) conceptualise traumatic etiology in a mechanistic fashion, (2) to individualize, (3) decontextualize and (4) depoliticize trauma. One clear conclusion is that (the success of) the PTSD-model of trauma is dependent on an implicit yet well-defined ethical position, mirroring the prevailing ethical stance in the West – beyond any strictly scientific claims. The author argues that the pitfalls of this model can be avoided by acknowledging the dimension of the Real and incorporating the notion of the act in our understanding of trauma and its treatment.

Pasolini’s “Teorem”: Psychoanalysis of a “New” Subject

Pasolini describes himself as a “scandal of self-contradiction” (Pasolini, 1957). He brings a subject who assumes the radical split that runs through the subjective field. With his poetry of permanent dissidence he taunts power in which desire and her laws are inscribed. By postponing the exemplary symbolic suicide his subject manages to avoid the deadlock of turning a blind eye and alienation in the symbolic other. Terence Stamp embodies this subject in Teorem in the role of mysterious guest. Pasolini’s theorem seems to be that, via regression to pre-genital forms of sexuality (a pre-symbolic state), one not only escapes to a mythic (poetic) reality, but also takes possession of a weapon one can use against the oppressor. Desire emerges in disturbances that shred the symbolic order and release the Real. Filmic truth is exposed as a core of pure nonsense and sexuality appears as the root of a perverted society.

Subject in a state of disintegration: A Lacanian reading of Lasch’s “The Culture of Narcissism”

In “The Culture of Narcissism” (1979), American social critic Christopher Lasch shows how the disintegration of traditional patriarchal authority and the rise of neo-capitalism has spawned a new, narcissistic form of subjectivity. In the current article, the author tries to relate Lasch’s work to the postmodern problematic of the non-existence of the big Other, as described by a number of authors inspired by Lacan. It is argued that the demise of symbolic influence has given rise to a proliferation of narcissistic ideals and the emergence of a “permissive” but extremely cruel superego. The imaginary identity of the narcissistic individual is no longer fixed in the symbolic, but is permanently refashioned and restyled for commercial purposes. On the basis of an interpretation of Lacan’s discours du capitaliste, this thesis is further developed and applied to a number of contemporary pathologies. The author states that these pathologies can be listened to as a complaint directed against the capitalist Other. The response of psychoanalysis to the non-existence of the big Other consists therefore of an ethic of good listening, listening that invites speech that does not leave the subject undivided.