Seminar IX :Identification 02

Seminar IX :Identification 02
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

15.11.61 I 2
Seminar 1: Wednesday 15 November 1961

It is not however from this angle that I intend to begin. I will put the accent rather on that which, in identification, poses (5) itself immediately as identical, as founded on the notion of the same, and even of the same to the same, with all the difficulties that this gives rise to.


You surely know and can even rather quickly spot what difficulties have always been presented for thinking by the following: A = A. Why separate it from itself in order to
replace it there so quickly? What we have here is not purely and simply a jeu d’esprit.

你们确实知道,并且甚至很快就觉察出,对于思想会呈现怎样的困难,有关以下的:A等于A. 为什么要将它分开,为了要这么快就取代它?我们这里所拥有的,不单纯是一种「机智隽语」。

You can be sure, for example, that, along the line of a movement of conceptual elaboration, which is called logical-positivism, where one or other person strives to aim at a certain goal which would be, for example, that of not posing a logical problem unless it has a meaning that can be located as such in some crucial experiment, it would be decided to reject any logical problem whatsoever which could not in some way offer this final guarantee by saying that it is as such a meaningless problem.


It nevertheless remains that if Russell can give a value to these mathematical principles, to the equation, to the equivalence of A = A, someone else, Wittgenstein, opposes it because precisely of the impasses which seem to him to result from it in the name of the principles he starts with and that this refusal will even be set forth algebraically, such an equality requiring then a change of notation in order to find what can serve as an equivalent of the recognition of the identity A is A.


For our part, we are going, having posed the fact that it is not at all the path of logical-positivism which appears to us, in logical matters, to be in any way the one which is justified, to (6) question ourselves, I mean at the level of an experience of
words, the one in which we put our trust despite its equivocations, even its ambiguities, about what we can tackle under this term of identification.


You are not unaware of the fact that one observes, in all tongues, certain rather general, even universal historical turning points so that one can speak about modern syntaxes opposing to them in a global way syntaxes which are not archaic, but simply ancient, by which I mean the tongues of what one can call Antiquity.


These sorts of general turning points, as I told you, are those of syntax. It is not the same with the lexicon where things are much more changeable; in a way each tongue
contributes, as compared to the general history of language, vacillations which are proper to its own genius and which render one or other of them more propitious for highlighting the history of a meaning.


Thus it is that we can pause at what is the term, or the substantival notion of the term, of identity (in identity, identification, there is the Latin term idem), and this will go
to show you that some significant experience is supported in the common French term, which is the support of the same signifying function, that of the meme.


It seems, in effect, that it is the em, the suffix of i in idem, in which we find operating the function, I would say of the radical in the evolution of Indo- European at the level of a certain number of italic tongues; this em is here redoubled, an ancient consonant which is rediscovered then as the residue, the remainder, the return to a primitive
thematic, but not without having collected in passing the intermediate phase of etymology, positively of the birth of this theme which is a commonplace Latin met ipsum, and even a (7) metipsissimum from the expressive low Latin, pushes us then
to recognise in what direction here experience suggests we should search for the meaning of all identity, at the heart of what is designated by a sort of redoubling of moi-meme, this myself being, as you see, already this metipsissimum, a sort of au jour of aujourd’hui which we do not notice and which is indeed there in the moi-meme.

实际上,似乎就是这个「em」,认同这个词的字尾。在这个字尾,我们发现,在印欧语系的进化,除掉字首字尾的本体字根的功用的运作。在某些「斜体字语言」的层次,这个「em」在此被双重重复,一个古代的子音因此被重新发现作为残余物,剩余物,回转到一个原始的主题。但是并非每有偶尔收集的字源的中间部分,正面来说,就是这个主题的诞生的中间部分,这个主题数通用的拉丁字met ipsum, 甚至是一个从表态的通俗拉丁字metipsissimum 认同。这个字逼使我们去体认,精神分析经验跟我们暗示应该从怎样的方向寻找一切认同的意义,在「成为我自己」的一种双重重复所指明的核心。你们看出,这个「属于我的生命实存」已经就是这个metipsissimum认同, 这是一种 au jour of aujourd’hui 自动出现,确我们没有注意到,它确实就是在「成为我自己」那里。

It is then in an metipsissimum that there are afterwards engulfed the me, the thou, the he, the she, the them, the we, the you and even oneself, which happens then in French to be a soi-meme.


Thus we see there, in short in our tongue a sort of identification through the operation of a special significant tendency, that you will allow me to qualify as “mihilisme” in so
far as to this act, this experience of the ego is referred.


Naturally, this would only have an incidental interest if we were not to rediscover in it another feature in which there is revealed this fact, this difference which is clear and easy to locate if we think that in Greek, the auton of the self is the one which serves to designate also the same, just as in German and in English the selbst or the self will come into play to designate identity. Therefore I do not believe that it is for nothing that we pick up here and that we interrogate this kind of permanent metaphor in the French expression.


We will allow it to be glimpsed that it is perhaps not unrelated to what happened at
a quite different level: that it should have been in French, I mean in Descartes, that being was able to be thought of as inherent in the subject, in a mode in short which we will describe as captivating enough to ensure that ever since the formula was proposed to thought, one might say that a good share (8) of the efforts of philosophy consists in trying to extricate oneself from it, and in our own day in a more and more open fashion, there being, as I might say, no thematic of philosophy which does not begin, with some rare exceptions, by trying to master this famous: “I think therefore I am”.


I believe that for us it is not a bad point of entry for this “I think therefore I am” to mark the first step of our research. It is understood that this “I think therefore I am” is on the path taken by Descartes. I thought of indicating it to you in passing, but I will tell you right away: it is not a commentary on Descartes that I can try to tackle today in anyway whatsoever, and I have no intention of doing it.


The “I think therefore I am”, naturally if you referred to Descartes’ text is, both in the Discourse and in the Meditations, infinitely more fluid, more slippery, more vacillating than this kind of lapidary expression with which it is marked, both in your memory and in the passive or surely inadequate idea that you may have of the Cartesian process. (How would it not be inadequate because moreover there is not a single commentator who agrees with another one as regards its exact sinuosity).

当然,假如你们提的是笛卡尔的文本,在「真理论述方法论」及「沉思录」,这个「我思故我在」,比起它被用来标示这种珠光宝气的表达,会更加流动,更加闪烁,更加摇摆不定,无论是在你们的记忆,或在笛卡尔的思维过程,你们可能拥有的这个被动,或确定是不足够的观念里。( 这种观念怎么可能会足够呢?因为没有一位评论者会同意另外一位评论者,关于这个观念的曲折变化。)


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