Descartes’ desire
Do I need to stress that we must understand Representanz here in the sense in which things happens at the real level, where communication takes place in every human domain.


We mean by representatives what we understand when we use the phrase, for example, the representative of France. What do diplomats do when they address one another? They simply exercise, in relation to one another, that function of being pure representatives and, above all, their own signification must not intervene. When diplomats are addressing one another, they are supposed to represent something whose signification, while constantly changing, is, beyond their own persons, France, Britain, etc. In the very exchange of views, each must record only what the other transmits in his pure function as signifier, he must not take into account what the other is, qua presence, as a man who is likable to a greater or lesser degree. Interpsychology is an impurity in this exchange.


The term Repro.sentanz is to be taken in this sense. The signifier has to be understood in this way, it is at the opposite pole from signification. Signification, on the other hand, comes into play in the Vorstellung.


It is with the Vorstellung that we are dealing in psychology, when the objects of the world are taken in charge, in some way, under the parenthesis of a subject in which a whole series of a, a’, a’, etc., unfolds.


Here is situated the subjectivity on which the theory of knowledge is suspended. Of course, every representation requires a subject, but this subject is never a pure subject. If one believes that each subject is sustained in the world with his original—in both senses of the word (originale ou originelle ) — Weltanschauung, then the path of truth passes—as a backward psychology or psycho-sociology is still showing us —through the inquiry, the totalization, the statistics of different
Weltanschauung. And things might be thus, were there in the world subjects, each entrusted with the task of representing certain conceptions of the world.


Indeed, this is the essential flaw in philosophical idealism which, in any case, cannot be sustained and has never been radically sustained. There is no subject without, somewhere, aphanisis of the subject, and it is in this alienation, in this fundamental division, that the dialectic of the subject is established.


In order to answer the question I was asked last time concerning my adhesion to the Hegeian dialectic, is it not enough that I should answer that, because of the vel, the sensitive point, point of balance, there is an emergence of the subject at the level of meaning only from its aphanisis in the Other locus, which is that of the unconscious?


Furthermore, this involves no mediation, and I promise, if I am provoked into doing so, to show that
the effective experience that has been established in the perspective of an absolute knowledge never leads us to anything that may, in any way, illustrate the Hegeian vision of successive syntheses, nothing that provides even so much as a hint of the moment that Hegel in some obscure way links to this stage,
and which someone has been pleased to illustrate by the title of Dimanche de la vie—when no opening remains in the heart of the subject.


I should indicate here where the Hegeian lure proceeds from. It is included in the approach of the Cartesian I think, in which I designated the inaugural point that introduces, in history, in our experience, in our necessity, the vel of alienation, which prevents us for ever from misunderstanding it. It is in
the Cartesian approach that the vel was taken for the first time as the constituent of the dialectic of the subject, which now cannot be eliminated in his radical foundation.


This reference will be useful to me in characterizing the experience of the transference, so I shall be returning to it later in order to articulate certain of its features.



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