Archive for June, 2010

The Impotence of truth 7

June 30, 2010

The Impotence of truth 7
From The Other Side of Psychoanalysis
By Jacques Lacan

This, then, is the relationship between these terms that are four in number. The one I have not named is the unnamable one, because the entire structure is founded upon its prohibition—that is to say, jouissance.


This is where the little perspective, the little window, the way of looking that analysis has contributed introduces us to what may be a fertile step, not of thought, but of act. And it is in this that it appears to be revolutionary.


It is not situated around the subject. Whatever fertility the hysteric’s questioning has displayed, questioning which, as I have said, is the first to introduce the subject into history, and although the entry of the subject as agent of discourse has had very surprising results, the foremost of which is that of science, it is not here, for all that, that the key to all the mainsprings is to be found. The key lies in raising the question of what jouissance is.


It could be said that jouissance is limited by natural processes. But, actually, we have no idea whether they are natural processes. We simply know that we have ended up considering to be natural the mollycoddling that a society that is more or less orderly maintains us in, except that everyone is dying to know what would happen if things went really bad. Hence this sadomasochistic dread that characterize our nice sexual ambiance.


That is completely futile, even secondary. What is important is that, whether natural or not, it is well and truly as bound to the very origin of the signifier’s coming into play that it is possible to speak of jouissance. Nobody will ever know anything about what the oyster or the beaver enjoys, because, in the absence of the signifier, there is no distance between jouissance and the body. The oyster and the beaver are at the same level as the plant, which, after all, perhaps may have jouissance at this level.


Jouissance is very precisely correlated with the initial form of the entry into play of what I am calling the mark, the unary trait, which is a mark toward death, if you want to give it its meaning. Observe that nothing takes on any meaning except when death comes into play.


It is on the basis of the split, the separation, between jouissance and the henceforth mortified body, it is from the moment that there is a play of inscriptions, a mark of the unary trait, that the question arises. There is no need to wait until the subject has shown itself to have been well hidden, at the level of the master’s truth. The subject’s division is without doubt nothing other than the radical ambiguity that attaches itself to the very term, “ truth.”


It is insofar as language, everything that institutes the order of discourse, leaves things in a gap that, in sum, we can be confident that in following our thread we are always doing nothing other than following a contour. But it does bring us something extra, and it is the minimum that it would be really necessary for us to know for a reply to the question with which I began, namely, what is currently going on at the level of the university discourse.


We have to begin by seeing why it is that the master’s discourse is so solidly established, to the point where few of you, it seems, judge how stable it is. This stems from something Marx demonstrated—without, I have to say, emphasizing it—concerning production and which he calls surplus value, not surplus jouissance.


Something changed in the master’s discourse at a certain point in history. We are not going to break our backs finding out if it was because of Luther, or Calvin, or some unknown traffic of ships around Genoa, or in the Mediterranean Sea, or anywhere else, for the important point is that on a certain day surplus jouissance became calculable, could be counted, totalized. This is where what is called the accmuation of capital begins.


Don’t you feel, in relation to what I said before on the impotence of conjoining surplus value with the master’s truth, that ground is being won here? I am not saying that it is the most recent step that is the decisive one, but the impotence of this conjunction is all of a sudden emptied. Surplus value combines with capital—not a problem, they are homogeneous, we are in the field of values. Moreover, we are all up to our necks in it , in these blessed times in which we live.



The Impotence of truth 6

June 29, 2010

The Impotence of truth 6
From The Other Side of Psychoanalysis
By Jacques Lacan

I am persuaded that there are five or six people here who will be very well able to displace what I am saying in such a way that it will have a chance of reemerging.


I won’t say that this is Archimedes’ lever. I will not tell you that this makes the slightest claim to a renewal of the world system, or of thinking about history. I am only indicating how it is that analysis places us on a footing to accept, through chance encounters, a number of things that may appear to be illuminating.


Myself, for example, I might easily have never encountered Kojeve. If I had never encountered him, it is highly likely that, like all French people educated over a certain period, I would never have suspected that there was anything in The Phenomenology of Spirit.


It would not be a bad thing if analysis enabled you to realize what the impossibility is due to, that is to say, what it is that stands in the way of grasping, of seizing the only thing that could perhaps ultimately introduce a mutation, namely, the naked real, without truth.


But there’s the rub. Between us and the real, there is truth. Truth, as I once told you one day in a flight of lyricism, is the dear little sister of jouissance. I hope that this has come back to mind, at least for some of you, at the moment when I am stressing the contrast between the first line and the second in each of the four formulas that I have given you.


The first line comprises a relation, indicated here by an arrow, which is always defined as impossible. In the master’s discourse, for instance, it is effectively impossible that there be a master who makes the entire world function. Getting people to work is even more tiring, if one really has to do it, than working oneself. The master never does it. He gives a sign, the master signifier, everybody jumps. That’s where you have to start, which is, in effect, completely impossible. It’s tangle every day.


With impossibility written on the first line, it is now a matter of seeing, as is already indicated by the place given to the term “ truth,” whether it might be at the level of the second line that one would have the last word.


However, at the level of the second line there is no suggestion of an arrow. And not only is there no communication, but there is something that acts as a block.


What is it that is blocking? It is what results from the work. And what a certain Marx’s discovery accomplished was to give full weight to a term that was already known prior to him and that designates what work occupies itself with—it’s called production.


Whatever the signs, whatever the master signifiers that come to be inscribed in the place of the agent, under no circumstances will production have a relationship to truth. One can do all one wants, one can say all one wants, one can try to conjoin this production with needs, which are the needs one fashions—there is nothing doing.
Between the existence of master and a production’s relation with truth, there is no way of getting it work.


Each impossibility, whatever it may be, between the terms that we put in play here is always linked to this—if it leaves us in suspense over its truth, it is because something is protecting it, which we shall impotence.


Take, for instance, in the university discourse, the initial term, the one that is articulated here under the terms S2 and is in this position of unheard-of pretension of having a thinking being, a subject, as its production. As subject, in its production, there is no question of it being able to see itself for a single instant as the master of knowledge.


This can be detected here, tangibly, but it extends much further back, back to the level of the master’s discourse which, thanks to Hegel, I allow myself to presuppose since, as you will see, we no longer know it now except in a considerably modified form.


This surplus jouissance that I have articulated this year is a construction, even a reconstruction, and I am putting it at the start as a support. It is a truer support. Let’s be careful, this is indeed what is dangerous about it, but all the same it does have the strength to be articulated in this way, as one can see by reading people like Aristotle,, principally, who have not read Hegel.


When we read Aristotle we have the suspicion that the master’s relation to the slave really presented him with a problem. He was looking for the slave’s truth, and it is really magnificent to see the way in which he tries to extricate himself in the three or four passages in which he deals with it—he only goes in a single direction, that of an essential difference from which the slave’s good would emerge.


He is not an academic. He is not a clever little fellow like Hegel. He senses that when he utters this or that, it gets away from him, it slides all over the place. He is neither very sure nor very passionate. He does not impose his own opinion. But then, he feels that this is where there might well be something that motivates the relationship between master and slave. Ah! If they were not the same sex, if they were man and woman, this would be truly sublime, and he hints that there would some hope. Unfortunately, that’s not how is, they are not of different senses, and he shrugs his shoulders. We can see clearly what is going on, it’s what , in the name of surplus jouissance. The master receives from the slave’s work.


It would seem that this has to be self-evident. And what is unheard of is that nobody seems to notice that there is, precisely, a lesson to be learned from the fact that it is not self-evident. The problems of ethics here, suddenly, start to abound—the Nicomachean Ethics, the Eudemian Ethics, and several other works of moral reflection


It’s irresolvable. Nobody knows what to do with this surplus jouissance. In order to successfully place a sovereign good at the heart of the world, you need to be as embarrassed as a fish with an apple. And yet the surplus jouissance that the slave brings us lies within arm’s reach.


What is demonstrated, attested to, by all the thought of Antiquity that Hegel makes us revisit with his wonderful sleight of hand and other acts, including the politicized masochism of the Stoics, is that to calmly set one-self up as the master’s subject cannot be done qua surplus jouissance.


Let’s now take the hysteric’s discourse, as it is articulated—place the $ on the top left-hand corner, the S1 on the right, the S2 underneath, the small a in the place of truth. It cannot be the case, either, that the hysteric’s division, symptomatic tearing apart, is motivated as the production of knowledge. Her truth is that she has to be the object a in order to be desired. The object a is a bit thin, at the end of the day, although, of course, men go crazy about it and they are unable even to suspect that they could get by with anything else—another sign of the impotence that coverts the subtle of all impossibilities.


Let’s move on to the level of the analyst’s discourse. Naturally, nobody has made the observation that it is fairly curious that what he produces is nothing other than the master’s discourse since it’s S1 which comes to occupy the place of production. And, as I was saying last time when I was leaving Vincennes, perhaps it’s from the analyst’s discourse that there can emerge another style of master signifier.


In truth, whether it is another style or not, it is not in two days’ time that we will learn what it is, and at least for the moment we are completely impotent when it comes to referring it to what is at play in the analyst’s position, namely, this seduction of truth that he presents in the fact that he would know a bit about what, in principle, he represents.


Am I adequately stressing the features of the impossibility of his situation?–insofar as the analyst puts himself in the position of representing, through being the agent, the cause of desire?



The Impotence of truth 5

June 27, 2010

The Impotence of truth 5
From The Other Side of Psychoanalysis
By Jacques Lacan

Here in France, you won’t find the philosophers in the universities. We can claim this as an advantage. But in Germany they are in the university. And people are capable, as a certain level of university status, of thinking that these poor fellows, these dear little chaps, the ones who at that time were only just entering the industrial era, the great era of hard labor, of exploitation unto death, will be captivated by the revelation of this truth that they are the ones who make history, and that the master is only there to get the show on the road.


This is a valuable remark, and it is my intention to emphasize it forcefully, because of Freud’s phrase that the analytic relationship must be founded on the lover of truth.


He really was a charming character, this Freud. He really was all fire, all flame. He also had his weaknesses. His relationship with his wife, for example, is something unimaginable. To have tolerated such a trollop his entire existence is quite something.


Anyway, take note of the following—if there is something that truth must inspire you with, if you want to uphold Analysieren, it is certainly not love. For truth, as it happens, makes this signifier “ death” appear. And even, there is every appearance that if there is one thing that gives a completely different sense to what Hegel proposed, it is what Freud had nevertheless discovered at that time, which he characterizes the psychical reality, if there is such a thing, of this being inscribed in language.


It’s perhaps the case that truth has no other face. That’s no reason to go mad over it.


This isn’t exact either. Truth has more than one face. But that’s the point, what could be the first line of conduct to maintain as far as analysts are concerned is to be a little suspicious of it, and not to become all of a sudden mad about a truth, about the first pretty face encountered at the first turn in the road.


This is precisely where we encounter this remark of Freud’s in which we find ‘ reality” accompanied by this Analysieren. It is indeed the sort of remark to make us say that, in effect, there is perhaps, just like that, a completely naïve real—this is how people generally speak—that passes itself off as the truth. Truth is experienced this does not at all mean that it thereby knows any more about the real, especially if one speaks about knowing, and if one bears in mind the features of the real that I point out.


If the real is defined as the impossible the real is placed at the stage at which the register of symbolic articulation was found to be defined as the impossible to demonstrate to be true. This may help us take the measure of our love for truth—and it may also enable us to put our finger on why governing, educating, analyzing also, and why not, causing desire, so as to complete the series with a definition of what the hysteric’s discourse might be, are operations that, strictly speaking, are impossible.


These operations exist, they are robust, very much so, in so far as they raise for us the question of what their truth is—that is to say, how they are produced—these mad things which are defined in the real as only being to be articulated, when one nears them, as impossible. It is clear that their full articulation as impossible is precisely what gives us the risk, the barely glimpsed opportunity, that their real, if I can put it like this, breaks out.


If we are obliged to swan around at such length in the corridors, the labyrinths of truth, it’s because there is precisely something that prevents us from concluding. And why be astonished by his when it concerns those discourses that for us are brand new? It is not as if one has not yet had a good three-quarters of a century to envisage things from this angle, but then, being seated in an armchair is perhaps not the best position from which to come to grips with the impossible.


Be that as it may, we are forever wandering about in the dimension of the lover of truth, and everything indicates that this dimension makes the impossibility of that which maintains itself as real slide between our fingers, at the level, quite precisely, of the master’s discourse, as Hegel has said. This fact necessitates the reference to what analytic discourse, fortunately, enables us to glimpse and articulate exactly. And this is why it is important that I articulate it.



The Impotence of truth 4

June 26, 2010

The Impotence of truth 4
From The Other Side of Psychoanalysis
By Jacques Lacan

It is truly the most extraordinary thing there. It is also a cold, I won’t say black, humor. There is one thing you can be absolutely convinced of, which is that he knows perfectly well what he is doing. What he is doing is sleight of hand and he takes the whole world in. And this, on the basis of the fact that what he says is true.


There is obviously no better way to pin down the master signifier S1, which is up there on the board, than by identifying it with death. And so, what is involved? It involves showing in a dialectic, as Hegel puts it, what it is that is the zenith, the highest point, the thought of this term’s function.


What, in sum, is the point of entry of this brute, the master, into the phenomenology of mind, as Hegel put it? The truth of what he articulates is absolutely seductive and sensational. We can actually read it there, opposite us, provided we allow ourselves to be taken in by it, since I assert, precisely, that it cannot be read off directly. The truth of what he articulates is this—the relationship to this real insofar as it is, properly speaking, impossible.


It’s not at all clear why there should be a master who emerges from the struggle to death of pure prestige. And this is despite the fact that Hegel himself says that it would result in this strange outcome at the start.


To cap it off, Hegel finds a way—it is true, in a conception of history that touches on what emerges from it, namely the succession of phases of dominance, of composition of the play of the mind, which runs the length of this thread that is not for nothing, which up until his day was called philosophical thought—Hegel finds a way to show that what results from this is that in the end it is the slave who, through his work,, produces the master’s truth, by pushing him down underneath. By virtue of this forced labor, as you can see from the outset, the slave ends up, at the end of history, at this point called absolute knowledge.


Nothing is said about what happens next, because in truth, in the Hegelian proposition, there were not four terms, but initially the master and the slave. I call this slave S2, but you can also identify him here by way of the term jouissance, which, first, he did not want to renounce and which, secondly, he did indeed want to, since he substitutes work for it, which is not at all its equivalent.


Owing to what? Owing to the series of dialectical mutations, to the ballet, the minuet that is established on the basis of this initial moment and that traverses the entire development of culture from start to finish, thread by thread, history finally compensates us with this knowledge that is not described as completed—there are good reaons for this—but as absolute, as indisputable. And the master subsequently appears only aas the instrument, the magnificent Cuckold of history.


It is sublime that this quite remarkable dialectical deduction was undertaken, and that it should have succeeded, if one can say this. All the way through—take as an example what Hegel is able to say about Culture—the most pertinent remarks concerning the play of events and exercises of wit abound. I repeat, there is nothing more amusing.


The cunning of reason is, he tells us, what directed the entire game.


This is a very fine term which has a lot of value for us, analysts, and we can follow it at the level of our ABC, whether reasonable or not, for we are dealing with something very cunning in speech where the unconscious is concerned. However, the high point of this cunning is not where one thinks it is. It is the cunning of reason, no doubt, but one has to recognize the cunning of the reasoner, and take one’s hat off to him.


Had it been possible that at the beginning of the last century, at the time of the battle of Tena, this extraordinary dirty trick called The Phenomenology of Spirit should have subjugated anyone, the trick would have succeeded.


It is in effect quite evident that not for a single instant can one hold that we are in any way approaching the ascendancy of the slave. This unbelievable way of giving him the credit—giving his work the credit—for any kind of progress, as we say, of knowledge is, truly extraordinary futile.


But what I am calling the cunning of the reasoner is there to make us aware of an essential dimension, which one has to be careful about. If we designate the agent’s place—whoever it is, this place is not always that of the master signifier, since all the other signifiers are going to pass through there in truth—the question is as follows. What makes this agent act? How is it possible to produce this extraordinary circuit around which what deserves, strictly speaking, to be designated by the term “ revolution” revolves?


Here, at a certain level, we rediscover Hegel’s expression, “ putting work back into the world.”


Which is truth? It is located there, with a question mark. What inaugurates this agent, what brings him into play? For, in the end, it has not been there forever, it has been there ever since historical time.


A good thing to appreciate concerning such a brilliant case, so dazzling that precisely for that reason it doesn’t occur to one, one is unable to see it, is this. Hegel is the sublime representative of the discourse of knowledge and of university knowledge.


We others in France only ever have as philosophers people who travel the highways and byways, little members of provincial societies, such as Maine de Biran, or else characters like Descartes, who wander all over Europe. You nevertheless have to know how to read him, too, and listen to his tone-he speaks of what he can expect from his birth. One sees what sort of a fellow he was. This doesn’t mean he was an idiot, far from it.



The Impotence of truth 3

June 25, 2010

The Impotence of truth 3
From The Other Side of Psychoanalysis
By Jacques Lacan

Work has never given such credit ever since humanity has existed. It is even out of the question that one should not work.


This is surely an accomplishment of what I am calling the master’s discourse.


For this to be the case it needed to go beyond certain limits. In a word, it comes down to something whose mutation I have tried to point out for you. I hope you remember it, and in case you can’t –which is quite possible—I am going to go back over it straight away. I am speaking of this capital mutation, also, which gives the master’s discourse its capitalist style.


Why, good heavens, is this taking place, and why is it not taking place by chance?


You would be wrong to think that there are knowledgeable politicians somewhere who are calculating exactly how everything has to be done. You would be equally wrong to think that there are none—there are some. It is not clear that they are always in a place where one can engage in suitable action. But, ultimately, it is perhaps not this that is so important. That they exist, even if in another place,, suffices for what is of the order of the displacement of discourse to be transmitted nevertheless.


Let’s now ask how this society called capitalist society can afford to allow itself a relaxation of the university discourse.


This discourse is nevertheless merely one of these transformations that I have been expounding all along. It’s the quarter turn in relation to the master’s discourse. Hence a question which it is worth making the effort to envisage—if we embrace this relaxation which, it has to be said, has been offered, aren’t we falling into a trap? The idea is not new.


As it happens, I have written a short article on university reform, which I had been invited to write for a newspaper, the only one to have a reputation for balance and honesty, by the name of Le Monde. They had insisted that I write this little page concerning the reorganization of psychiatry, concerning reform. Now, it is quite striking that despite this insistence this little article, which I will publish some day, did not get through.

恰巧地,我曾经应邀替报纸写了一篇讨论大学改革的短文。那是仅有的一家具有平衡及诚实报導的报纸,报纸名叫Le Monde。他们坚持我应该写这一篇短论,关於精神分析学系的重新规劃,以及关於大学的改革。现在,耐人寻味的是,儘管他们一再地坚持,这篇短论论当时並没有刊登。将来有一天,我会让它出版出来。

In it I speak of “ a reform in its hole.” Precisely, it was obviously a matter of using this whirlwind of a hole to take a number of measures concerning the university. And good heavens, by correctly referring to the terms of certain fundamental discourses one might have certain scruples, let’s say, about acting, one might look twice before jumping in to profit from the lines that have opened up. It is quite some responsibility to transport carrion down these corridors.


That is what our remarks today, which are not usually, not commonly said, must be linked up with.


This is like an apparatus. You should, at least, get the idea that it could be used as a lever, as a pair of pliers, that it can be screwed down, assembled in one way or another.


There are several terms. It’s no accident if I have given only these little letters here. It’s because I do not want to put things up that might give the appearance of signifying. I do not at all want to signify them, but to authorize them. Writing them is already to authorize them a bit more.


I have already discussed what constitutes the places in which these non-signifying things are inscribed, and I have already spelt out what it is that is the agent.


This term carries a connotation as if it were a sort of enigma of the French language—the agent is not at all necessarily someone who does but someone who is caused to act.


As a consequence, and as you may already suspect, it is not at all clear that the master functions. This, in all probability, defines the place of the master. This is the best thing one can ask oneself concerning him, and naturally people didn’t wait for me to do it. A certain Hegel had a go at it, though you have to take a closer look.


It is very irritating to think that there are perhaps not five people here who have fully read The Phenomenology of Spirit since I have been talking about. I won’t ask them to raise their hand.


It pisses me off that I have until now only come across two people who have read it completely, since I too, I have confess, have not peered into every corner. I have in mind my master, Alexandre Kojieve, who has demonstrated this a thousand times over, and one other person, of a kind that you won’t believe. The latter has truly read The Phenomenology of Spirit in an illuminating manner, to the extent that everything that might be in Kojeve’s notes, which I had and which I passed onto him, was truly superfluous.


What is unheard of is that, even though at one stage I wore myself out making people aware of the fact that The Critique of Practical Reason is manifestly a book of eroticism that is extraordinary more amusing than what Eric Losfeld has published, it has no kind of effect, and that, if I say to you that The phenomenology of Spirit is hysterically funny, well then, this won’t fare any better. And yet, that is what it is.



The Impotence of truth 1

June 24, 2010

The Impotence of truth 1
From The Other Side of Psychoanalysis
By Jacques Lacan

We are at that time of the year when final examinations happen. I am going to try to lighten things up a bit.


Fortunately, it’s drawing to a close, ca se tire , as we say, I would even be inclined to leave it at that, if I didn’t have to give you, all the same, two little complements that are intended to bring out the essential of what I hope to have got across this year—two little points for the future, which may give you a glimpse, by drawing you a bit closer to it, of the way in which there are perhaps notions that are fairly new, and that have, in every case, this mark that I am always emphasizing, which those who find themselves working with me at a more practical level can confirm, of operating on a level with an experience.


It is not impossible that this will be of use elsewhere, at the level of something that is taking place now, without, for the moment, our knowing quite what. Naturally, when things happen, one never quite knows at the time they are happening what they are, especially when one covers them over with the news. But ultimately something is happening in the university.


In various places people are surprised. What’s eating them, these students, the little dears, our favorites, the darlings of civilization? What’s up with them? Those who are saying this are playing the fool, this is what they are paid to do.


It should nevertheless be possible that something of what I am elaborating about the relationship between the analyst’s discourse and the master’s discourse should show people a way to enable them, in some way, to explain themselves to one another and to understand one another.


What is happening at the moment is that everyone is competing with everyone else in an attempt to minimize the seriousness of failed, suppressed little demonstrations, increasingly confining them to a street, a corner. To explain it, to make it understood at the very moment at which I say I could do it, I would like you to understand this, which is that to the extent to which I managed to do this, to the extent to which I succeeded in getting you to understand something, you could be certain that to that extent I would have made a big mistake. For it is ultimately limited to this.


Today I would like to spell out, as simply as I can, the relationship between what is happening and the things I have been daring to manipulate for a while, which, by virtue of this fact, gives a kind of guarantee that this discourse hangs together. I have dared manipulate them in a way which is, ultimately, completely wild.


I have not hesitated to speak about the real, and not for some time, since it is even where I took the first step in this teaching. Then, years later, this little formula emerged, the impossible is the real. Heavens knows that no one abused it at first. Then I happened to trot out some reference to truth, which is more common. There are nevertheless some very important observations to make, and I think I am under an obligation to make a number of them today, before leaving all that within the reach of innocents to use without rhyme or reason, which is really par for the course, sometimes, in my entourage.



Furrows in the alethosphere 7

June 23, 2010

Furrows in the alethosphere 7
From The Other Side of Psychoanalysis
By Jacques Lacan

We shall name that with the help of the aorist of the same verb that, as a famous philosopher pointed out, aletheia came from. Only philosophers would ever notice such things, and perhaps the odd linguist. I’m going to call that the “ lathouses.”


The world is increasingly populated by lathouses. Since you seem to find that amusing, I am going to show you how it is spelled.


You will notice that I could have called that “ lathousies” That would have gone better with ousia, this participle with all its ambiguity. Ousia is not the Other, it’s not a being, it’s between the two. It is not altogether Being either, but, ultimately, it’s pretty close.

你們將注意到,我本來大可將它稱呼為逼真小客體的複數形lathusies。字尾假如再加個模稜兩可的分詞變化ousia ,本來還會更貼切些。生命的本質Ousia 並不是大它者,它並不是一個存在生命。它處於兩者之間。它也並不完全是一個獨特的存在主體,但是總結來說,它算是相當靠近。

As far as the feminine unsubstance is concerned, I would go as far as “ parousia.” And these tiny objects little a that you will encounter when you leave, there on the footpath at the corner of every street, behind every window, in this abundance of these objects designed to the cause of your desire, insofar as it is now science that governs it—think of them as lathouses.


I notice a bit late, since it’s not long since I invented it, that it rhymes with ventouses. There is vent, “ wind” inside, lots of wind, the wind of the human voice. It is quite comical to find that at the end of our gathering.

我後來才又注意,自從我杜撰這個詞語以來,不久就有人將它就跟「吸塵器」ventouses的詞語押韻配對。Vent 的意思是通風,裡面有許多風,人類聲音的風。每次我們在這裡聚集之後,就會聽到一些風言風語,那不是挺可笑的嗎?

If man had less often played the spokesman of God in order to believe that he forms a union with a woman, this word “ lathouse” would have perhaps been found a long time ago.


Be that as it may, this little emergence is designed to make you ill at ease in your relation with the lathouse.


It is quite certain that everyone has to deal with two or three of this species. The lathouse has absolutely no reason to limit its multiplication. What is important is to know what happens when one really enters into relationship with the lathouse.


The ideal psychoanalyst would be one who commits this absolutely radical act, and the least that one can say is that seeing it done causes anxiety.


One day, at a time when it was a question of my being traded, I tried, because it was part of the ritual, to advance a few little things on this subject. In effect, while I was being traded, people were very keen to pretend to be interested in what I have have to say about the training of analysts, and I put forward, in a spirit of absolute indifference, since everyone was only interested in what was happening in the corridors, that there was no reason why a psychoanalysis should cause anxiety. It is certain if the lathouse exists, anxiety—since that is what we are dealing with—is not without an object. That is what I started with. A better approach to lathouse must calm us a little bit.


The question is to put oneself in a position where there is someone whom you have taken charge of with respect to his anxiety, who wishes to come and hold the same position that you occupy, or that you do not occupy, or that you barely occupy, who wishes to come to know how you occupy it, and how you do not occupy it, and why you occupy it, and why you do not occupy it.


This will be the object of our next seminar, whose title I can already give you—it will be on the relations, still supported by our little schemas, between impotence and impossibility.


It is clear that it is completely impossible to hold the position of the lathouse. However, that’s not all that is impossible, there are many other things as well, provided one gives this word “ impossible” a strict meaning—that is to say, provided one determines them only at the level of our formalized truth—namely, that in every formalized field of truth there are truths that one can never demonstrate.


It’s at the level of the impossible, as you know, that I define what is real. If it is real that there are analysts, it’s precisely because this is impossible. This forms part of the position of the lathouse.


What’s annoying is that, in order to be in the position of the lathouse, it is really necessary to have established that it is impossible. It is for this reason that one loves to emphasize impotence so much more, which also exists, but which is, as I will show you, in another place than strict impossibility.


I know that there are some people here who are distressed from time to time by seeing me, as one says—how does one say? Abuse, interpellate, vociferate against analysts. These are young people who are not analysts. They do not realize that I am doing something nice, that these are little signs of acknowledgment that I am giving them.


I do not want to put them through too difficult a trial. And when I allude to their impotence, which is therefore my own, it means that at that level we are all brothers and sisters, and that one has to extricate oneself as best one can.


I hope this will calm them down before I talk to them about the impossibility of the analyst’s position.



Furrows in the alethosphere 6

June 22, 2010

Furrows in the alethosphere 6
From The Other Side of Psychoanalysis
By Jacques Lacan

This doesn’t make sense, in fact, because it is precisely in the light of the apparatus of science, to the extent that we can grasp it, that it is possible to found the nature of the errors, the obstacles , the confusions that in effect didn’t fail to be present in what was being articulated as knowledge, with this undercurrent that there were two principles to cleave apart—one that forms and one that is formed. This is what science makes quite clear for us, and this is confirmed by the fact that we find an echo of it in analytic experience.


To express myself in these large-scale, approximate terms, take the male principle for example—what effect does the incidence of discourse have on it? It is that, as a speaking being, he is summoned to give an explanation of his “ essence”—irony, inverted commas. It is very precisely and solely because of the affect that this discourse effect subjects him to—that is, insofar as he receives this feminizing effect of the small a –that he recognizes what makes him, that he recognizes the cause of his desire.


Conversely, at the level of the so-called natural principle, where it is not for nothing that it has always been symbolized, in the bad sense of the word, by a female reference, it is, on the contrary, from out of the in-substance, as I was saying just before, that this void appears. Void of what? Let’s say that the something in question, if we want, very much from a distance, from a long way away, to give it the horizon of woman, is in what is in question as unformed jouissance, precisely without any form, that we can find the place, in the “ operceive” in which science comes to be constructed. What I perceive, which is claimed to be original, must, in effect, be replaced by an operceive.


Insofar as science only refers to an articulation that only takes form in the signifying order, it is constructed out of something where there was nothing beforehand.


This is what it is important to grasp if we wish to understand something that has to do with—what? With the forgetting of this very effect. Being what we are, all of us, to the extent that the field increases by virtue of the fact that science perhaps functions as the master’s discourse, we do not know how far—for the reason that we have never known at any point—each one of us is initially determined as object small a.


I was speaking before of these spheres with which the extension of science—which, curiously, is found to be very effective at determining what a being is—encircles the earth, a series of zones that science describes as being what it finds. Why not also take account of the place in which these fabrications of science are located, if they are nothing more than the effect of formalized truth? What are we going to call this place?


Here again I am overly emphasizing what I want to say, and I am not necessarily very proud of what I am putting forward on this occasion, but I think that it is useful, you will see why, to raise this question which is not a question of nomenclature.


It is a question about a place that is well and truly occupied—by what? I was speaking just before about waves. This is what is at issue. Hertzian waves or other waves—no phenomenology of perception has ever given us the slightest idea of them and it would certainly never have led us to them.


We certainly won’t be calling this place the noosphere, which we ourselves supposedly populate. If indeed there is anything that as it happens is in the background, twenty-five rows back, of everything that may be of interest to us, it is this. But in using aletheria in a way which, I agree, has nothing emotionally philosophical about it you could, unless you find something better, call it the alethosphere.


Don’t get too excited. The alethosphere gets recorded. If you have a little microphone here, you are plugged into the alethosphere. What is really something is is that if you are in a little vehicle that is transporting you toward Mars you can still plug into the alethosphere. And, even, this surprising effect of structure which meant that two or three people have gone wandering around on the moon, you must think that, concerning their exploit, it was certainly not for reason that they always stayed within the alethosphere.


These astronauts, as they are called, who had some minor problems at the last minute, would probably not have overcome them so well—I am not even talking about their relations with their little machine, for they would perhaps have overcome that on their own—if they had not been accompanied the entire time by this little a that is the human voice. By virtue of this they could allow themselves to say nothing but bullshit, such as for example that everything was going well when everything was going poorly. But that’s beside the point. The point is that they stayed within the alethosphere.


It takes time to observe all the things that populate it, and this is going to oblige us to introduce another word.


The alethosphere—it sounds good. That’s because we suppose that what I have been calling formalized truth already has, sufficiently, the status of truth at the level at which it operceives. But at the level of the operated-on, of what moves around, the truth is not at all unveiled. The proof of this is that the human voice with its effect of grabbing you by the perineum, as it were, does not unveil its truth at all.



Furrows in the alethosphere 5

June 21, 2010

Furrows in the alethosphere 5
From The Other Side of Psychoanalysis
By Jacques Lacan

In a certain sense, this is only a local articulation. It certainly does not pretend to solve, with a fixed and guaranteed proportion, the question of the effectiveness of the most primary manifestation of number, namely the unary trait. I only did it to remind you what science is such as we have it now, if I can put it like this, on our hands—I mean, present in our world in a manner that goes well beyond anything that an effect of knowledge may lead us to speculate about.


In effect, it is, all the same, necessary not to forget that it is characteristic of our science not to have introduced a better and more extensive knowledge of the world but to have brought into existence, in the world, things that did not in any way exist at the level of our perception.


Attempts have been made to organize science according to some mythical genesis that begins with perception, under the pretext that such and such a philosophical meditation had supposedly come to a standstill for a long time over the question of knowing what guarantees that perception is not illusory. This is not where science emerged from. Science emerged from what was embryonic in the Euclidean demonstrations. Nevertheless, these still remain very suspect because they still contain that attachment to the figure, the self-evidence of which serves as a pretext. The entire evolution of Greek mathematics proves to us that what rises to the highest point is the manipulation of numbers as such.


Consider the method of exhaustion which, already in Archimedes, prefigures what leads to what is essential, to what for us is, as it happens, structure, namely the calculus, the infinitesimal calculus. There is no need to wait until Leibziz, who, moreover, at his first attempt shows himself to have been a little awkward. It had already been started by Cavalieri, simply by reproducing Archimedes’ exploit on the parabola, in the seventeenth century, but well before Leibniz.


What is the result of this? No doubt you can say of science that nihil fuerit in intellectu quod non prius fuit in sensu, what does that prove? The sensus has nothing to do, as people nevertheless know, with perception. The sensus is only there in the manner of what can be counted, and the actual counting rapidly dissolves. Taking what is in our sensus at the level of the ear or eye, for example, leads to counting vibrations. And it was owing to this play of numbers that we in fact set about producing vibrations that had nothing to do either with our senses or with our perception.

這樣的結果是什麼呢?毫無疑問,對於科學,你們可以這樣說:nihil fuerit in intellectu quod non prius fuit in sensu, 那證明了什麼?如同我們所知道的,統計sensu 跟感官沒有絲毫關係。這個統計在那裡,只是為了能夠計算,而實際的計算馬上一清二楚。以耳朵跟眼睛層次的統計當例子,它們可以導致聲波跟光波的計算。事實上,由於數字的運算,我們開始產生聲波跟光波,這些跟我們的感覺或感官沒有絲毫關係。

As I was saying the other day on the steps of the pantheon, the world that is assumed to have always ours is now populated, in the very place where we are, without your having the slightest suspicion of it, by a considerable and intersecting number of what are called waves. “ This is not to be neglected as the manifestation, presence, existence, of science, and to describe what is around our Earth would require that one not be satisfied with speaking of atmosphere, of stratosphere, of whatever you would like to spherize, however distant the particles we can apprehend. It would be necessary to account also of what in our day goes well beyond, and which is the effect of what? Of a knowledge that has progressed less through its own filtering, through its own critique as we say, than through an audacious leap from an artifice, no doubt that of Descartes—others will choose different ones—the artifice of giving the guarantee of truth back to God. If truth there be, that he take responsibility for it. We take it at face value.


Solely by means of the play of a truth that is not abstract but purely logical, solely by the play of a strict combinatory that is subject only to the requirement that rules, under the name of axioms, must always be given—this is where a science is constructed, one that no longer has anything to do with the presuppositions that the idea of knowledge has always implied—namely, the mute polarization, the imagined ideal unification of that is knowledge, where one can always find, whatever the name one dresses them up, in “ endosunia,’ for instance, the reflection, the image, which is moreover always ambiguous, of two principles, the male principle and the female principle.


The space in which the creations of science are deployed can only be qualified henceforth as the in-substance, as the a-thing, with an apostrophe—a fact that entirely changes the meaning of our materialism.


It is the oldest figure of the master’s infatuation—write “ master” as you will—for man to image that he shapes woman, I think you all have experienced enough to have encountered this comical story at one stage of your life or another. Form, substance, content, call it what you will—this is the myth scientific thought must detach itself from.


I figure that I am allowed to plow on fairly crudely in order to express my thought well. I am failing to act as if I had had a thought, whereas, precisely, this is not the case, but, as everyone knows, it’s thought that communicates itself, by means of misunderstanding, of course. Well, let’s communicate and say what this conversion consists in, the conversion by which science is shown to be distinct from any theory of knowledge.



Furrows in the alethosphere 4

June 18, 2010

Furrows in the alethosphere 4

From The Other Side of Psychoanalysis

By Jacques Lacan

Our first rule is never to seek the origins of language, if only because they are demonstrated well enough through their effects.


The further back we push their effects, the more these origins emerge. The effects of language are retroactive, precisely in that it is as language develops that it manifests what it is qua want-to-be.


Moreover, I will indicate—in passing, for today we have to move on—that we can write it like this, and that we can bring into play here, in its strictest form, something that right from the origins of a rigorous use of the symbolic appeared in the Greek tradition, namely at the level of mathematics.


Euclid is the fundamental reference here, and the definition he gives us of proportion is primary, it had never been given before him, I mean before what remains as having been written in his name—of course, who knows from where he might have borrowed this strict definition? The one that gives the only true foundation of geometrical demonstration can be found, if I remember correctly, in book five.


The term “ demonstration” is ambiguous here. By constantly highlighting the intuitive elements that are here in the figure, he makes it possible for you to miss the fact that, very formally, the requirement in Euclid is one of symbolic demonstration, of an order that is grouped into equalities and inequalities, which alone enable proportion to be assured in a way that is not an approximation but is properly demonstrable, in this term “ logos,” in the sense of proportion.


It is curious and indicative that we had to wait for the Fibonacci series to see what is given in the apprehension of this proportion which is called the proportion mean. I will write it out here—you will be aware that I made use of it when I discussed From an Other to the other.


A romanticism still continues to call this the golden number and goes astray in finding it on the surface of everything that has been possible to paint or draw over the ages, as if it were not certain that this is only about being able to visualize it. One only has to open a work of aesthetics that makes a case for this reference in order to realize that, while it may be possible to superimpose it, it is certainly not because the painter had drawn the diagonals in advance, but because there is in effect a kind of intuitive harmony, which means that it is always this that sings most sweetly.


Except that there is also something else, which it will not be easy for you to grasp. By taking catch of these terms and starting to calculate from the bottom up, you will quickly see that you are dealing first with 1/2, then with 2/3, next with 3/5. You will thus find the numbers the sequence of which constitutes the Fibonacci series, 1,2,3,5,8,…, each being the sum of the two preceding numbers, as I pointed out to you at the time. This relation of two terms we can write for instance as u (n-1)+un-. The result of the division u n+1/ un will be equal , if the series is continued long enough, to the effectively ideal proportion that is called the proportional mean, or again, the golden number.

除外,另有某件其它東西,你們不容易瞭解。假如你們將這些項目,開始從底端往上計算,你們很快會發現到,你們的答案是1/2 ,然後是2/3,其次是3/5。你們然後會發現到這些數字的系數組成費波那契系列1,2,3,5,8,,、、、,每一個數字都是前面兩個數字的總合,如我剛才我跟你們指出來的。這兩個項目的關係,我們能夠寫成公式:u (n+1) = u( n-1) + u n。相除的結果u n+1/ un 是相等,即使系列一直延續下去,我們會得到極端完美的所謂平均比例,又叫黃金率的比例。

If we now take this proportion as an image of what affect is, insofar as there is repetition of this ‘ I am one’ on the next line, this retroactively results in what causes it—the affect.


We can momentarily write this affect as ‘ equal to a,’ and we can see that we rediscover the same a at the level of the effect.


This a, the effect of repeating the 1, is at the level of what is designated here by a bar. The bar is precisely only this, that there is something to get past in order for the 1 to affect. In sort, it is his bar that is equal to a. And there’s nothing astonishing in the fact that we can legitimately write the affect below the bar, as that which is the effect that is here thought, overturned, when the cause is made to emerge. It is in the initial effect that the cause, as thought cause, emerges.


This is what is motivating me to find a more certain articulation of what the effect of discourse is in this initial tentative use of mathematics. It’s at the level of the cause, insofar as it emerges as thought, the reflection of the effect, that we attain the initial order of what the want-to-be is. Initially Being only affirms itself with the mark of the 1, and everything that follows is a dream—notably, the mark of the 1 insofar as it supposedly encompasses, could supposedly combine, anything at all. It can emobine nothing at all, unless it is,, precisely, the confrontation, the addition of the thought of the cause with the initial repetition of the 1.


This repetition already costs and institutes, at the level of the a, the debt of language. Something has to be paid to the one who introduces its sign. This year I have designated this something, using a nomenclature that tries to give it its historical weight—strictly speaking it was not this year, but let’s say that for you it was this year—with the term Mehrlust.


What does this infinite articulation reproduce? As the little a is the same here as it is there, it is self-evident that repetition of the formula cannot be the infinite repetition of the ‘ I am thinking” within the “ I am thinking,’ which is the mistake the phenomenologists never fail to make, but only the following; “ I am thinking,’ were it to be done, is only able to be replaced by ‘ I am, ‘I am thinking, therefore I am.’ ” I am he who is thinking,, “ Therefore I am,’ and so on indefinitely. You will observe that the small a always gets farther and farther away in a series that reproduces exactly the same order of Is, such as they are here deployed on the right, with the sole difference that the final term will be a small a,


Notice that it’s a remarkable thing, this small a. it is sufficient that it subsist, however, far down you take it, for equality to be the same as in the formula I first wrote up, namely that the multiple and repeated proportion equals, in total, the result of the small a.


In what way is this series marked off? In sum, it does nothing other, if I am not mistaken, than mark the order of the converging series which has the largest intervals while remaining constant. Namely, still the object a.