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(
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.
The joke of psychoanalysis
Lacan's notion of "objet a" designates the paradox of an object which gives body to a surplus over all determinate objects, an object which gives body to a lack constitutive of desire. What happens with this object at the end of the psychoanalytic treatment? The text proposes a parallel between the final moment of the treatment and the final reversal in telling a joke: in both cases, the sudden shift of perspective enacts what Lacan called the fall of the…
Anxiety is not without an object: a Lacanian speculation on the uncanny
Anxiety poses serious problems in regards to the phenomenological conception of perceptual awareness: what is the particular mode of "givenness" proper to the experience in anxiety? Is the existentialist tradition right to understand anxiety in relation to or in opposition with fear (i.e., as a sort of object-less fear)? The work of Lacan in his Anxiety Seminar (1962-1963) challenges the notion that anxiety can be understood in relation to fear, and it offers a novel way of addressing the troublesome…
Object and Symptom in Sergei Pankejev. Part 2: A Russian that had to give Money
In the first part of this contribution on Sergei Pankejev (Freud's Wolf Man), the author proposed the hypothesis that the Wolfman avoided a psychotic breakthrough via a series of (seemingly "neurotic") symptoms. This article investigates the nature and topological logic of these symptoms. Three distinct groups of symptoms are identified. Each group is situated on another cutting point in the knot that links the Real, the Symbolic and the Imaginary. A recurring element is the extraction of the anal object…