Logic of Phantasy 78 Jacques Lacan

Logic of Phantasy 78
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 18

Seminar 18: Wednesday, April 26, 1967

While what was on the board was being cleaned off. I made this drawing for you. This drawing is incomplete. But let us not lose time. It is incomplete in the sense that it is not finished. The same length One that defines the field of small o ought to be reproduced here, but I began it too far out. I already sufficiently indicated to you that these two segments, namely, this one aid the one that is not finished, are, if you wish qualified as One and the Other – the Other in the sense that I ordinarily understand it, the locus of the Other, capital O -the locus where there is articulated the signifying chain and the truth that it supports.


These are the terms of the essential dyad in which the drama of the subjectification of sex has to be forged.


Namely, what we have been in the process of speaking about for a month and a half Essential, for those who have their ears formed to Heideggerian terms – which, as you will see, are not my privileged references – nevertheless, for those, I mean, not an essential dyad in the sense of what is, but in the sense of what -it has to be said in German – of what west, as Heidegger expresses it, in a fashion, moreover, that is already forced with respect of the German tongue. Let us say, of what operates as sprache, the connotation left to Heidegger, of the term language.


What is at stake is nothing other than the economy of the unconscious, or indeed what is commonly called primary process.


Let us not forget that for these terms – those that I have just put forward like those of the dyad, of the dyad from which we start, of the One and the Other; the One as I specifically articulated it the last time and that I am going, moreover, to take up again, the Other, in the use that I have always made of it – let us not forget, I am saying, that we have to start from their effect. Their effect has this derisory aspect that it lends itself to the crude metaphor that it is the child itself. The subjectification of sex gives birth to nothing, except misfortune.


But what it has already produced, what is given to us in a univocal fashion in psychoanalytic experience, is the waste product from which we start as a necessary supporting point to reconstruct the whole logic of this dyad.


This, in allowing (2) ourselves to be guided by what this object is the cause of – you know it, properly speaking – is the cause of, namely, the phantasy.


Logic – if it is true that I can pose as its initial thesis, as I do, that there is no metalanguage – this is what logic means: that one can extract from language, specifically, the loci and the points where, as one might say, language speaks of itself. And this indeed is the way that it is expanding in our day. When I say “expanding in our day” it is because it is obvious. You have only to open a book of logic to see that it has no pretension to be any thing else – nothing ontic, in any case, scarcely ontological. On this point, all the same, betake yourself, since I am going to give you a two week break, to a reading of the Sophist – I mean Plato’s dialogue – to know the degree to which this formula is correct I am saying, as regards logic, and that its start does not date, therefore, from today or yesterday.


You will understand that it is, in fact, from this dialogue, the Sophist, that Martin starts – I mean, Martin Heidegger- in his restoration of the question of being. And, after all, it would be a no less salubrious discipline for you, to read, since my lack of information has meant that, having only recently received it through a press service, it is only today that I can advise you to read the Introduction to metaphysics, in the excellent translation that Gilbert Kahn has made of it. I say “excellent”, because in truth he did not try to do the impossible and, for all the words for which it is impossible to give an equivalent, except an equivocal one, he has calmly forged or reforged French words as he could, even if it entails a lexicon at the end to give us the exact German reference. But all of this is only a parenthesis.


This early read – which perhaps could be contested about Hiedegger’s other texts, but I assure you that this one is extraordinarily easy, and it even has a very clear cutting note of facility – it is impossible to render more transparent the way in which he intends that there should be re-posed at our historical turning point, the question of Being.


It is certainly not that I think that what is at stake here is anything other than an exercise in reading, and I have just said that it is very salubrious. It cleans up many things, but it nonetheless goes astray by giving the simple instruction of a return to Parmenides and Heraclitus -however brilliantly he situates them – at the level precisely of this meta-discourse that I am speaking about as immanent to language. It is not a metalanguage. The meta-discourse immanent to language that I call logic, is of course something that deserves to be refreshed at such a reading.


Certainly, I do not use – as you notice – in any way the etymological procedure, by which Heidegger makes admirably relive the formulae described as pre-Socratic. It is because, as a matter of fact, the direction that I intend to indicate differs, differs (3) from his, precisely in something which is irreversible, and which the Sophist indicates – it also is an extraordinarily easy read and which does not fail also to make its reference to Parmenides – precisely to mark how far and how alive it was against this defence that Parmenides expresses in these two verses:


“No, you will never bend by force non-beings to being; From this path of research set aside your


It is precisely the route opened, opened by the Sophist that is imposed on us, properly speaking, on us analysts, in order for us simply to know what we are dealing with.


If I had succeeded in making a psychoanalyst literate, I would have won the game. Namely, that from then on, the person who is not a psychoanalyst would become, by that very fact, an illiterate. Let the numerous literati who people this room reassure themselves, they still have their little remainder!



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