Logic of Phantasy 97 Jacques Lacan

Logic of Phantasy 97
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 21

Seminar 21: Wednesday, May 31, 1967

For those who find themselves, for example, returning today after having followed my teaching for a while, I have to signal what I have been able, these most recent times, to introduce into it in terms of new articulations.


An important one, which dates from our antepenultimate meeting, is undoubtedly to have designated, expressly, I would say – since, in fact, it was not inaccessible to those who understand me – expressly, the locus of the Other – everything that I articulated as such up to now (I mean since the beginning of my teaching) – designated the locus of the Other in the body. (“Voila”, murmurs a feminine voice.)


The body itself is, from the origin, this locus of the Other, in so far as it is there that, from the origin, there is inscribed the mark qua signifier.


It was necessary for me to recall it today, at the moment that we are going to take the next step, in this logic of the phantasy, which is found – you will see it being confirmed in the measure that we advance – which is found to be able to accommodate itself to a certain logical laxity. Qua logic of phantasy it pre-supposes this dimension described as fantasy, in the sense that, at the beginning, exactness is not required of it.


Moreover, we find that what is most rigorous in the exercise of an articulation that deserves the title of logic includes in itself a growing approximation. I mean a mode of approximation which involves in itself not alone a growth, but a growth that as far as possible is the best, the most rapid there is, towards the calculation of an exact value.


And it is because of this that … in referring to an algorithm of very great generality, which is none other than the one most proper to guarantee the relation of an ideal incommensurable, the most simple there is, the most spaced out also, by circumscribing what it constitutes in terms of the irrational by its very progress.


I mean that the incommensurability of this o … that I only image as being the golden number for the legibility of my text. Because those who know, know that this sort of number constituted by the very progress of its approximation is a whole family of (2) numbers and, as one might say, can start from anywhere whatsoever, from any exercise whatsoever of relation, on the single condition, that the incommensurable requires that the approximation should have no term, while being, nevertheless, perfectly recognisable at each instant as rigorous.


This then is what is at stake: to grasp what we are confronted with in the form of the phantasy as reflection of a necessity. In other words, the problem, which for a Hegel could be contained in this simple limit constituted by the certainty included in self-consciousness… (at this point a loudspeaker starts up in the room: “OK then five … four … three …”) … this certainty about oneself, with which Hegel can allow himself, can allow himself, given certain conditions that I will evoke later which are the conditions of history, to put in question the relation with a truth – this certainty, in Hegel – and this is how he concludes a whole process through which philosophy is the exploration of knowledge. He can allow himself to introduce into it the telos, the end, the goal, of an absolute knowledge. It is in so far as at the level of certainty, he finds himself being able to indicate that it does not contain its truth in itself.


(Another loudspeaker starts up)


This is the way that we find ourselves being able not simply to take up again the Hegelian formula, but to
complicate it. The truth with which we have to deal depends on this act through which the foundation of self consciousness, through which subjective certainty is confronted with something which of it nature is radically foreign to it and which is properly the fact that …


(”Dr. Lacan is interrupted once again. “The minister has insisted …”, says another loudspeaker.


Dr. Lacan – “Can nothing be done to stop this interruption?”


Madame Aubry – “Unplug the microphone!”

Murmuring and interruptions. One of the audience climbs up onto a window to try to unhook the microphone, without success … (That’s dangerous, someone says, anticipating his gesture). A lot of whispering goes on in the room.


“If there is an examination of perspective, there is an entrance examination.” continues another loudspeaker


Dr. Lacan – “Which loudspeaker seems to be speaking, at the moment? Are all of them?”


Dr. Falade heads towards the tape-recorder


Dr. Lacan – “Can anything be done?”


One of the audience: “Switch off the mains”?


Dr. Lacan (pointing at the emergency exit) … “Yes but it is closed!”


Madame Aubry – “It must be in the projection room.


Dr. Lacan, (to the official, who arrives and who is heading towards the emergency exit) … “It’s closed. You weren’t told? But I have just told you”)


The official – “Is it open down there?” (He points at the little room on the left, gets into it and fixes the problem without delay)).”


What it’s a matter of introducing today, then, and all the more rapidly since our time has been shortened, is the following: psychoanalytic experience introduces the fact that the truth of the sexual act gives rise to questions in experience.


Naturally, the importance of this discovery only takes on its relief starting from a positioning of the term sexual act as such. I mean, for ears already sufficiently formed to the notion of the prevalence of the signifier in any subjective constitution, to notice the difference between a vague reference to sexuality that – one can scarcely say as a function – as a dimension proper to a certain form of life, the one specifically most profoundly linked to death. I mean, intermixed, interlaced with death.



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