Logic of phantasy 10 JACQUES LACAN

Logic of phantasy 10
雅克 拉岡

The Logic of Fantasy 4

The question of the way in which the field of interpretation is presumed, the mode in which Freud’s technique offers an opportunity for it, free association in other words, carries us to the heart of this formal orgnisation from which there are outlined the first paths of a mathematical logic, which has a name which, all the same, could not possibly have failed to tickle the ears of all of you, that is called network (reseau) – yes, and it is specified, but it is not my function today to specify and to remind you of what is called a trellis or lattice (an English transposition of the word treillis).


This is what is involved in what Freud, as much in his first outlines of the new psychology, as in the fashion in which, subsequently, he organises the handling of the analytic session as such, this is what he constructs in advance (avant la lettre), as I might say, And when the objection is put to him, at a precise point of the Traumdeutung (as it happens I did not bring today the copy in which I had picked out the page for you), he has to respond to the objection: “of course, with your way of proceeding, at every cross-roads you will indeed have the opportunity of finding a signified which will provide the bridge between two meanings and with this fashion of organising the bridges, you will always go from somewhere to somewhere else”. (It is not for nothing that I had put the little poster taken from Aurus Apollo, as it happens, namely, from an interpretation in the (5) XVIth century of Egyptian hieroglyphs, on a journal which has now disappeared which was called “La Psychanalyse”: the Ear and the Bridge.) This is what is involved in Freud, and every point of convergence of this network or lattice, in which he teaches us to ground the first questioning, is in effect a little bridge.


This is what is involved in Freud, and every point of convergence of this network or lattice, in which he teaches us to ground the first questioning, is in effect a little bridge. This is how it functions and the objection made to him is that in this way everything will explain everything else. In other words, what is fundamentally opposed to psychoanalytic interpretation, is not at all any kind of “scientific critique” (in quotes) – as is imagined from what is ordinarily the only piece of baggage that minds who enter the field of medicine shill have from their year of philosophy, namely, that the scientific is founded on experience!


Naturally, they have not opened Claude Bernard, but they still know the title. It is not a scientific objection, it is an objection which goes back to the medieval tradition, when people knew what logic was. It was much more widespread than in our time, despite the means of diffusion that we have.


Things have, in fact, got to the point that, having let slip recently in one of the interviews that I spoke to you about, that I had got my taste for commentary from an old practice of the scholastics, I asked them to take it out. God knows what people would have deduced from it! (laughter).


Anyway, in short, in the Middle Ages people knew that: Ex falso sequitur quod libet. In other words, that it is characteristic of the false to make everything true. The characteristic of the false, is that one deduces from it in the same step, on the same footing, the false and the true. It does not exclude the true. If it excluded the true, it would be too easy to recognise it! Only in order to see that, it is necessary precisely to have carried out a certain minimal number of exercises in logic, which up to now, as far as I know, do not form part of medical studies, and it is very regrettable! And it is clear that the fashion in which Freud responds, brings us immediately onto the terrain of the structure of the network. He does not express it, of course, in every detail, in the modern specifications that we could give it. It would be interesting moreover to know how he was able and how he was not able to profit from Brentano’s teaching, which he was certainly not unaware of – we have the proof in his university cursus.


The function of the structure of the network, the way in which the lines – of association, precisely – come to overlap one another, to cross-check with one another, to converge at elective points from which they depart again electively, this is what is indicated by Freud. We know enough by all his subsequent work, the unease, we would say, the veritable concern, to be more precise, that he had about this dimension which is indeed properly speaking that of the truth. Because from the point of view of reality, one (6) is at ease! Even to know that perhaps the trauma is only a phantasy. In a certain fashion, a phantasy is even more sure, as I am in the process of showing you; it is structural. But this does not leave Freud – who was just as capable of inventing this as I am, as you can imagine – this does not leave him any more at peace. Where is here, he asks, the criterion of truth? And he would not have written the Wolfman, if it were not on this track, on this particular requirement: is it true or not?


“Is it true?”

He supports this by what is discovered in questioning the fundamental figure manifesto in the repetition dream of the Wolfman. And “is it true?”, is not reduced to knowing whether yes or no and at what age he experienced something which had been reconstructed with the help of this figure of the dream. The essential – it is enough to read Freud in order to perceive it – is to know how the subject, the Wolfman, had been able to verify this scene – to verify it with his whole being. It is through his symptom. Which means – foes not doubt the reality of the original scene – which means: now had he been able to articulate it properly in terms of signifier?


You only have to remind yourselves of the figure of the Roman five, for example, in so far as it is involved and reappears everywhere in the outspread legs of a woman, or the beating of the wings of a butterfly, to know, to comprehend that what is involved is the handling of the signifier.


The relation of the truth to the signifier, the detour through which analytic experience rejoins the most modern process of logic, consists precisely in the fact that this relation of the signifier to the truth can short-circuit all the thinking which supports it. And just as a sort of aim is outlined at the horizon of modern logic – one which reduces logic to a correct handling of what is simply writing – in the same way for us, the question of verification, concerning what we have to deal with, passes along the direct line of the operation of the signifier, in so far as on it alone the question of the truth remains suspended.


It is not easy to put forward a term like that of the true, without making immediately resonate all the echoes in which there come to slip in the most suspect “intuitions” (in inverted commas) and without immediately producing objections, made up from the old experiences that those who engage themselves on this terrain know only too well, so that, like scalded cats, they fear cold water. But who says that because I make you say: “Me, the truth, I speak”, that through this I am allowing the re-entry off the theme of Being, for example? Let us look twice at it, at least in order to know. Let us be content with this very particular knot that I have just made between the truth -! and by this I have not indicated any person, except the one whom I made say these words: “Mek the truth, I speak”. No person, divine (7) or human is involved outside her, namely: the point of origin of the relations between the signifier and the truth.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: