Archive for June, 2015

Identification 218

June 24, 2015

Identification 218

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

9.5.62 XIX 11
The next time I will not only have to return to it, but to show
you something which I have no reason to make a mystery of
beforehand, because after all if some of you want to prepare
yourselves for it, I am indicating to them that I will speak
about another type of surface defined as such and purely in terms
of surface, whose name I already pronounced and which will be
very useful for us. This is called in English, where the works
are the most numerous, a cross-cap, something which means
something like a bonnet croise. It has been translated into
French on certain occasions by the term mitre, with which
effectively it may have a rough resemblance.


This form of topologically defined surface involves in itself
certainly a purely speculative and mental attraction which, I
hope will not be lost on you. I will take care to give you
figurative representations of it which I have done in great
quantity, and especially from the angles which are not the ones
of course from which it interests mathematicians or in which you
will find them represented in some works about topology. My
(13) figures will preserve all their original function, while
accepting that I do not give them the same usage and that it is
not the same things that I was looking for.


You should know however that what it is a matter of forming in a
tangible, sensitive fashion, is designed to involve as a support
a certain number of reflections and others which are subsequently
expected, your own on this occasion, to involve what I might call
a mutative value, which will allow you to think out the logical
things with which I began in a different fashion which does not
keep them moored for you to the famous Eulerian circles.


Far from this interior field of the eight being obligatorily and
forever an excluded field, at least in a topological shape, a
very tangible fact and one of the most representable and the most
amusing of cross-caps in question, in so far as far from this
field being a field to exclude, it is on the contrary to be
completely kept.


Of course we should not allow this to go to our heads. There
would be a quite simple way of imagining it in a way that should
be held onto. It is not very difficult. You only have to take
something which has a more or less appropriate shape: a slack
circle and, twisting it in a certain fashion and folding it, to
have in front a little tongue whose bottom would be in continuity
with the rest of the edges. Only there is all the same the
following: namely that this is never anything but an artifice,
namely that this edge is effectively always the same edge.


This indeed is what is in question: it is a question of knowing
very differently whether this surface makes a case for us which
finds itself intuitively, aesthetically symbolised. Another
possible import of the signifying limit of the field marked out
is realisable in a way that is different and in a way immediately
obtainable through the simple application of the properties of a
surface which you are not used to up to the present. This is
what we will see the next time.



Ethics 66

June 24, 2015

Ethics 66
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Das Ding (II)


The whole function of that which Freud articulates in the term superego,
Uberick, is tied to the reality principle. And this would be no more than a
banal play of words, if it were merely an alternative way of designating what
has been called the moral conscience or something similar.


Freud gives us a completely new theory by showing us the root or psychological
operation of something that in the human constitution weighs so heavily
on all those forms of which there is no reason why we should misunderstand
any, including the simplest, namely, that of the commandments and, I would
even say, the ten commandments.


I will not avoid discussing these ten commandments that we might assume
we know all about. It is clear that we see them functioning, if not in ourselves,
at least in things in a singularly lively way. It will, therefore, perhaps
be appropriate to look again at what Freud articulates here.


What that is, I will put in the following terms, terms that all the commentaries
seem designed merely to make us forget. As far as the formation of
morality is concerned, Freud contributes what some call the discovery and
others the affirmation, and I believe is the affirmation of the discovery, that
the fundamental or primordial law, the one where culture begins in opposi
tion to nature, is the law of the prohibition of incest – nature and culture
being precisely distinguished in Freud in a modern sense, that is to say, in
the way in which Levi-Strauss might articulate them today.

我将会用以下的术语表达,那是什么?所有的评论似乎被设计,仅是为了让我们忘记的这些术语?就道德的形成而言,弗洛依德贡献有些人所谓的发现与还有些人们所谓的肯定。我相信,那是对于发现的肯定。基本的原始的法则,在这个法则那里,文化开始,处于跟自然对立。那就是乱伦的禁忌的法则。自然与文化—在弗洛依德那里,用现代的意义区别出来。换句话说,用列文 李维斯陀今天可能表达的方式。

The whole development of psychoanalysis confirms it in an increasingly
weighty manner, while at the same time it emphasizes it less and less. I mean
that the whole development at the level of the mother/child interpsychology
– and that is badly expressed in the so-called categories of frustration, satisfaction,
and dependence – is nothing more than an immense development of
the essential character of the maternal thing, of the mother, insofar as she
occupies the place of that thing, of das Ding.

精神分析的整个发展肯定它,用越来越沉重的方式。同时,它越来越不强调它。我指的是,母亲-小孩的互相心理学的层次的整个的发展—在所谓的挫折,满足,与依赖的范畴,那种发展表达得很糟糕。那仅仅就是母亲的物,母亲的基本特性的巨大的发展,因为她佔据那个物象das Ding的位置。

Everyone knows that its correlative is the desire for incest, which is Freud’s
discovery. There is no point in affirming that it is to be found somewhere in
Plato, or that Diderot spoke of it in Rameau’s Nephew or The Supplement to
Bougainville’s Voyage. That is of no interest to me. What is important is that
there was a man who at a given historical moment stood up to affirm: “That’s
the fundamental desire.”


And we must grasp this thought firmly in our hand. Freud designates the
prohibition of incest as the underlying principle of the primordial law, the
law of which all other cultural developments are no more than the consequences
and ramifications. And at the same time he identifies incest as the
fundamental desire.


Claude Levi-Strauss in his magisterial work no doubt confirms the primordial
character of the Law as such, namely, the introduction of the signifer
and its combinatoire into human nature through the intermediary of the marriage
laws, which are regulated by a system of exchanges that he defines as
elementary structures – this is the case to the extent that guidance is given
concerning the choice of a proper partner or, in other words, order is introduced
into marriage, which produces a new dimension alongside that of
heredity. But even when LeVi-Strauss explains all that, and spends a lot of
time discussing incest in order to show what makes its prohibition necessary,
he does not go beyond suggesting why the father does not marry a daughter
– because the daughters must be exchanged. But why doesn’t a son sleep
with his mother? There is something mysterious there.

列文 李维斯陀在他的堂皇的钜作,无可置疑地证实法则本身具有这个原始的特性。换句话说,能指的介绍与其组合,进入人类的天性,通过婚姻法则的中介。婚姻法则受到交换系统的规范,他定义为元素的结构。就是这个情况,甚至引导被给予,关于合适的伴侣的选择。换句话说,秩序被介绍进入婚姻。婚姻创造新的维度,,沿着遗传的维度。但是甚至当列文 李维斯陀解释所有这一切,并且花费许多时间讨论乱伦,为了显示是什么让乱伦的禁忌成为必要。他并没有过分到建议,为什么父亲不跟女儿结婚。因为女儿必须被交换。但是为什么儿子跟母亲睡觉?那里有某件神秘的东西。

He, of course, dismisses justifications based on the supposedly dangerous
biological effects of inbreeding. He proves that, far from producing results
involving the resurgence of a recessive gene that risks introducing degenerative
effects, a form of endogamy is commonly used in all fields of breeding of
domestic animals, so as to improve a strain, whether animal or vegetable.
The law only operates in the realm of culture. And the result of the law is
always to exclude incest in its fundamental form, son / mother incest, which
is the kind Freud emphasizes.


If everything else around it may find a justification, this central point
nevertheless remains. If one reads LeVi-Strauss’s text closely, one can see that
it is the most enigmatic and the most stubborn point separating nature from

假如环绕它的每件其他东西都找到理由,这个中心的要点仍然存在。假如我们仔细地阅读列文 李维斯陀的文本,我们能够看见,这是最谜团,最固执的要点,将自然与文化分开。

And I want to make you stop there. What we find in the incest law is
located as such at the level of the unconscious in relation to das Ding, the
Thing. The desire for the mother cannot be satisfied because it is the end,
the terminal point, the abolition of the whole world of demand, which is the
one that at its deepest level structures man’s unconscious. It is to the extent
that the function of the pleasure principle is to make man always search for
what he has to find again, but which he never will attain, that one reaches
the essence, namely, that sphere or relationship which is known as the law of
the prohibition of incest.

我想要让你们在那里停顿一下。我们在乱伦所发现的东西,本身被定位在无意识的层层,相关于物象,这个das Ding。对于母亲的欲望无法被满足,因为它是这个结束,终结的点,废除要求的整个的世界。那个要求的世界在它的最深层,架构人的无意识。甚至,快乐原则的功能就是要人总是寻求他必须再次找到的东西,但是他将永远不会获得的东西。我们到达这个本质,换句话说,那个领域或关系,众所周知是乱伦的禁忌。

This metaphysical analysis is not worthy of our interest, however, if it
cannot be confirmed at the level of the effective discourse which manages to
put itself at the disposition of man’s knowledge, that preconscious or unconscious
discourse or, in other words, the effective law, or, in other words
again, the famous ten commandments I was speaking about just now.


But are there ten commandments? My goodness, perhaps there are. I tried
to add them up by going back to the source. I took down my copy of Silvestre
de Sacy’s Bible. It is the closest thing we have in French to those versions
of the Bible that have exercised such a decisive influence on the thought
and history of other peoples – in one case, inaugurating Slav culture with
Saint Cyril and, in another, that of the authorized version of the English; one
can say that, if one does not know it by heart, one finds oneself an outsider
among them. We do not have the equivalent of that. But I nevertheless advise
you to take a look at the seventeenth-century version, in spite of its inaccuracies
and mistakes, since it was the version people read, and on the basis of
which generations of clergymen have written and fought over the interpretation
of a given prohibition, both past and present, that is inscribed in its


I thus took down the text of that Decalogue that God dictated before Moses
on the third day of the third month after the flight from Egypt, in the dark
cloud on Mount Sinai, accompanied by flashes of lightning and the command
to the people not to come near. I must say I would like one day to have
someone more qualified than I to analyze for us the diverse forms that tie
interpretation of these ten commandments have undergone – from the Hebrew
texts to the one in which it appears as the quiet droning of the rhythmic lines
of the catechism.



Ethics 65

June 23, 2015

Ethics 65
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Das Ding (II)


You can see that in this game of Chutes and Ladders, from a certain point
of view Verneinung represents the inverse of Verdrangung, and that there is a
difference of organization between them with relation to the function of avowal.
Let me point out to those for whom this still constitutes a problem that there
is a correspondence between that which is fully articulated at the level of the
unconscious, VerurteUung, and that which takes place at the level pointed to
by Freud in letter 52, in the first signifying signification of Verneinung, that
of Verwerfung.


One of you who shall remain nameless, Laplanche, in a dissertation on
Holderlin that we will, I hope, have the opportunity to discuss here some time, asked himself and asked me, what Verwerfung might be. He wanted to
know if it was the paternal No / Name (Nom-de-pere), as is the case in paranoia,
or the No/Name of the Father (Non-du-pere).3 If that’s what it is,
there are few pathological examples that put us in the presence of its absence,
of its effective refusal. If it is the No / Name of the Father, are we not entering
into a series of difficulties concerning the fact that something is always
signified for the subject who is attached to experience, whether present or
absent, something which for one reason or another and to a variety of degrees
has come to occupy that place for him?



Of course, the notion of signifying substance cannot fail to create a problem
for an alert mind. But don’t forget that we are dealing with the system
of the Wahrnehmnungszeichen, signs of perception, or, in other words, the
first system of signifers, the original synchrony of the signifying system.
Everything begins when several signifers can present themselves to the subject
at the same time, in a Gleichzeitigkeit. It is at this level that Fort is the
correlative of Da. Fort can only be expressed as an alternative derived from
a basic synchrony. It is on the basis of this synchrony that something comes
to be organized, something that the mere play of Fort and Da could not
produce by itself.

当然,成为能指的物质的观念必然会引起难题,对于一个警觉的心灵。但是不要忘记,我们正在处理“感知符号”的这个系统,或者换句话说,能指的最初的系统,成为能指的系统的原初的共时性。每样东西开始,当好几个能指能够呈现它们自己,同时针对这个主体,处于Gleichzeitigkeit.(虚拟)。在这个层次,Fort就是 Da 的相关。Fort仅能够被表达,作为一个替代物,从基本的共时性。根据这个共时性的基础,某件东西逐渐被组织,这个东西。,光是Fort and Da 的遊戏本身并无法产生。

I have already asked the question here as to what the critical conceivable
minimum is for a signifying scale, if the register of the signifier is to begin to
organize itself. There cannot be a two without a three, and that, I think,
must certainly include a four, the quadripartite, the Geviert, to which Hei-
degger refers somewhere.


Note that Heidegger’s Fourfold is a perfect schema for the Tower of Babel: while mortals strive to join the earth and sky, the gods undo their efforts by turning their unity into multiplicity.
Graham Harman / Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects

As we will see, the whole psychology of the psychotic
develops insofar as a term may be refused, a term that maintains the
basic system of words at a certain distance or relational dimension. Something
is missing and his real effort at substitution and “significization” is
directed in desperation at that. Let us hope that we will have the opportunity
to return to the problem, along with the remarkable analysis that Laplanche
has given of a poetic experience which displays and which unveils it, and
makes it apparent in a way that is especially revealing, namely, the case of


The function of this place is to contain words, in the sense in which contain
means to keep – as a result of which an original distance and articulation are
possible, through which synchrony is introduced, and it is on the foundation
of synchrony that the essential dialect is then erected, that in which the Other
may discover itself as the Other of the Other.


The Other of the Other only exists as a place. It finds its place even if we
cannot find it anywhere in the real, even if all we can find to occupy this place
in the real is simply valid insofar as it occupies this place, but cannot give it
any other guarantee than that it is in its place.


It is in this way that another typology is established, the typology which
institutes the relation to the real. And now we can define this relation to the
real, and realize what the reality principle means.



Heidegger’s Fourfold (das Geviert)
We are too late for the gods and too early for Being. Being’s poem, just begun, is man.
— From Thinker as Poet by Martin Heidegger
–马丁 海德格 (作为诗人的思想家)
“Every man makes a god of his own desire.”
— Virgil

Ethics 63

June 23, 2015

Ethics 63
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Das Ding (II)


We have now reached the point where we must distinguish the effective articulation
of a discourse, of the gravitation of the Vorstellungen, in the form of
Vorstellungsreprasentanzen of these unconscious articulations. We must examine
what in such circumstances we mean by Sachvorstellungen.


The latter are
to be set in polar opposition to word play, to Wortvorstellungen, but at this
level they go together. As far as das Ding is concerned, that is something else.
Das Ding is a primordial function which is located at the level of the initial
establishment of the gravitation of the unconscious Vorstellungen.
I did not have time last week to make you appreciate how in ordinary
German usage there is a linguistic difference between Ding and Sache.

后者应该被放置于跟文字遊戏的两极对立,跟词表象 Wortvorstellungen 。但是在这个层次,它们一块前进。就物象而言,那是某件其他东西。物象是一个原始的功能,被定位在无意识的表象的引力的最初的建立的层面。上个星期,我没有时间让你们欣赏,在日常的德文的用法,有一个语言的差异,在物象与物之间。

It is clear that in every case they cannot be used interchangeably. And that
even if there are cases where one can use either one, to choose one or the
other in German gives a particular emphasis to the discourse. I ask those who
know German to refer to the examples in the dictionary. One does not use
Sache for religious matters, but one nevertheless says that faith is not jederDas
man Ding – it is not for everybody. Master Eckhart uses Ding to refer to the
soul, and heaven knows that for Master Eckhart the soul was a Grossding, the
biggest of things. He certainly would not use the term Sache.

显而易见地,在每个情况,它们无法交换地被使用。即使是我们能够使用任何一个的情况,选择一个或另外一个,在德文里,给予特殊的强调给辞说。我要求那些懂德语的人们,查证一下字典里的例子。我们并没有使用sache 物,作为宗教的事物。但是我们仍然说,父亲并不是jederDas
man Ding—父亲并不是给每个人。欧哈特大师使用物象Ding,提到灵魂。天晓得,对于欧哈特大师,灵魂是最大的物。他确实不会用Sache 物这个字。

If I wanted to
make you sense the differences by giving you a general measure of the way
in which the use of the signifier breaks down differently in German relative
to French, I would cite this sentence that I was on the point of citing last
time, but that I held back because I am not after all a Germanist, and I
wanted to make use of the interval to test it on the ears of some people whose
mother tongue is German. One could say that “the Sache ist das Wort des
Dinges.” Or, in French, “L’affaire est le mot de la chose (“The affair is the
word of the thing.”)•”

假如我想要让你们理解这个差异,凭借给予你们一般的衡量,能指的使用在德文与法文彼此不同的方式。我想要引述这个句子,我上次即将引用的句子。但是我抑制下来,毕竟我并不是德国人。我想要使用这个休息时间,让某些人们的耳朵测试一下,他们的母语是德语。我们能够说,”the Sache ist das Wort des Dinges.” 或是用法语说,”L’affaire est le mot de la chose (这件事情上物的词。)

It is precisely as we shift into discourse that das Ding, the Thing, is resolved
into a series of effects – in the sense that one can say meine Sache. That
suggests all my kit and caboodle, and is something very different from das
Ding – that thing to which we must now return.

确实是正当我们转换成为辞说时,das ding,这个物象被解决成为一系统的效应。我们能够说,meine Sache。 那暗示我所有的东西,那是某件不同于物象的东西。我们现在必须回到那个物。

You will not be surprised if I tell you that at the level of the Vorstellungen,
the Thing is not nothing, but literally is not. It is characterized by its absence,
its strangeness.


Everything about it that is articulated as good or bad divides the subject in
connection with it, and it does so irrepressibly, irremediably, and no doubt
with relation to the same Thing. There is not a good and a bad object; there
is good and bad, and then there is the Thing. The good and the bad already
belong to the order of the Vorstellung; they exist there as clues to that which
orients the position of the subject, according to the pleasure principle, in
connection with that which will never be more than representation, search
for a privileged state, for a desired state, for the expectation of what? Of
something that is always a certain distance from the Thing, even if it is regulated
by the Thing, which is there in a beyond.


We see it at the level of what the other day we noted were the stages of the
φ system. Here there are Wahmehmungszeichen, here there is Vorbewusstsein,
here there are the Wortvorstellungen, insofar as they reflect in a discourse what
goes on at the level of the thought processes. And the latter are themselves
governed by the laws of the Unbewusst, that is to say, by the pleasure principle.
The Wortvorstellungen, as a reflection of discourse, stand in opposition
to that which is ordered in the Vorstellungsreprasentanzen according to an
economy of words. And in the Entwurf Freud calls these Vorstellungsreprasentanzen
conceptual memories, which is no more than a first approximation of
the same notion.

我们看见它处于这个层次,前天我们注意到的,这个φ 系统的这些阶段。在此,有这些物表象,在此是表象,在此是词表象。因为它们在辞说里反映,在思想过程的层面进行的东西。后者的本身受到无意识法则的统辖。换句话说,受到快乐原则的统辖。这个词表象,作为辞说的反映,跟在表象-再现所被成为秩序的东西处于对立状态。在“否认entwurf”,弗洛依德称这些表象-再现,为观念的记忆。它仅是相同观念的最初的靠近。

At the level of the φ system, that is to say, at the level of what takes place
before the entry into the ψ system, and the crossover into the space of the
Bahnung and the organization of the Vorstellungen, the typical reaction of the
organism as regulated by the neuronic system is avoidance. Things are ver
tneidet, avoided. The level of the Vorstellungsreprasenlanzen is the special site
of Verdrangung. The level of Wortvorstellungen is the site of Verneinung.

在阳具φ 系统的层面,换句话说,在进入这个阳具φ系统之前,发生的事情的层面,以及跨越进入Bahnung的空间之前,表象的组织之前,有机体的典型的反应,受到神经细胞系统的规范,这种反应是避免。事情被避免。表象-再现的层面就是压抑Verdrangu的地点。词表象的层面就是否认Verneinung。

I will stop there for a moment to explain the meaning of a point which is
still a problem for some of you in connection with Verneinung. As Freud
notes, it is the privileged means of connotation at the level of discourse for
whatever is verdrangt or repressed in the unconscious. Verneinen is the paradoxical
way in which what is hidden, verborgen, in the unconscious is located
in spoken, enunciated discourse, in the discourse of Bewusstwerden; verneinen
is the manner in which what is simultaneously actualized and denied comes
to be avowed.


One should continue this study of Verneinung that I have just begun with
a study of the negative particle. Following Pichon’s example, I have already
pointed out here the subtly differentiated use in French of this pleonastic
“ne,” which, as I showed, makes it seem paradoxical when, for example, the
subject enunciates his own fear.


We do not say “Je crains qu’il vienne” (“I am afraid he may come”), as
logic would seem to demand, but “Je crains qu’il ne vienne” (“I am afraid he
may [not] come”).2 This “ne” has a floating place between the two levels of
the graph that I showed you how to use, so as to distinguish between the level
of enunciation and the level of the enunciated. By enunciating “I am afraid
that . . .,”1 make it appear both in its reality, and in its reality as a wish -”
… he may come.” And it is here that in French the little “ne” is interposed,
which points to the discordance between the levels of enunciation and of the


The negative particle “ne” only emerges at the moment when I really speak,
and not at the moment when I am spoken, if I am on the level of the unconscious.
And I think it is a good idea to interpret Freud in a similar way when
he says that there is no negation at the level of the unconscious. Given that
immediately afterwards, he shows us that there is indeed negation. That is to
say, in the unconscious there are all kinds of ways of representing negation
metaphorically. There are all kinds of ways of representing it in a dream,
except, of course, for the hide negative particle “ne,” because the particle
only belongs to discourse.


The concrete examples show us the distinction that exists between the
function of discourse and the function of speech.


Thus the Verneinung, far from being the pure and simple paradox of that
which presents itself in the form of a “no,” isn’t just any old “no.” There is
a whole world of no-saying (non-dit), of interdiction (interdit), since it is in
that very form that the Verdrangt, which is the unconscious, essentially pre-
sents itself. But the Verneinung is the most solid beachhead of that which I
would call the “intersaid” (entre dit) in the same way that we say “interview.”
One might just as easily explore a little common usage in the sphere of the
language of love, in all that is said when, for example, one says, “I do not say
that. • .”or quite simply in the way people express themselves in Corneille:
“No, I do not hate you.”


Identification 225

June 22, 2015

Identification 225

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

9.5.62 XIX 9

The topological schema that I am going to shape for you and which
consists with respect to what first of all is presented for you
in the shape of the inverted eight, is designed to warn you about
the problematic of any limiting usage of the signifier, in so far
as by it a limited field cannot be identified to the pure and
simple one of a circle. The field marked inside is not as simple
as the one here, as the one which a certain outside signifier


There is necessarily produced somewhere, from the fact
that the signifier redoubles itself, is summoned to the function
of signifying itself, a field which is one of exclusion and
through which the subject is rejected into the outside field. I
anticipate and I propose that the phallus in its radical function
is simply signifier, but even though it can signify itself, it is
unnameable as such.


If it is in the order of the signifier –
because it is a signifier and nothing else – it can be posed
(11) without being different to itself. How can it be conceived
intuitively? Let us say that it is the only name which abolishes
all other nominations and that it is for that reason that it is
unsayable. It is not unsayable because we call it the phallus
but one cannot at the same time say the phallus and continue to
name other things.


The final reference point: in our indications at the beginning of
one of our scientific years someone tried to articulate in a
certain fashion the most radical transferential function occupied
by the analyst as such. It is certainly an approach which is not
at all to be neglected that he managed to articulate quite
crudely; and indeed what can it mean that one might feel that it
is rather brazen for the analyst in his function to have the
place of the phallus?


The fact is that the phallus of the Other is very precisely what
incarnates, not the desirable, the eromenos, even though its
function is that of the postman through whom any object
whatsoever may be introduced to the function of object of desire,
but that of desirer, of the eron. It is in so far as the analyst
is the presence which supports an entirely veiled desire that he
is the incarnated “Che vuoi?”


9.5.62 XIX 10

I will recall later that one can say that the ^ factor of the
phallic value constitutive of the very object of desire is
supported and incarnated by him. But it is a function of
subjectivity so redoubtable, so problematic, so projected into
such a radical otherness, and it is indeed for that reason that I
led you and brought you to this crossroads last year as being the
essential mainspring of the whole question of transference: what
should this desire of the analyst be?


For the moment what is proposed to us, is to find a topological
model, a transcendental aesthetic model which would allow us to
account at once for all these functions of the phallus. Is there
something which resembles that, which like that is what one calls
in topology a closed surface, a notion which takes on its
function, to which we have the right to give a homologous value,
an equivalent value to the function of significance because we
can define it by the function of the cut. I already referred to
it on several occasions. The cut, I mean with a pair of
scissors, a rubber ball, in order to prevent through habits that
one could qualify as age-old in many cases a crowd of problems
that are posed from immediately striking us.


When I thought I was telling you very simple things in connection
with the interior eight on the surface of the torus, and when
subsequently I unrolled my torus believing that it was selfevident,
that I had a long time ago explained to you that there
was a way of opening the torus by cutting it with a scissors and
when you open the torus crossways you have an open belt, the
torus is reduced to that (see the schema) and it is enough at
that moment to try to project onto this surface the rectangle
which we would have done better to call the quadrilateral, to
apply onto it what we have designated previously in this form of
the inverted eight in order to see what happens and to what
something is effectively limited, something can be chosen,
distinguished between a field limited by this cut and, if you
wish, what is outside, something which is not so obvious, does
not immediately strike us.


Nevertheless, this little image that I represented for you seems
in the first shock to have created problems for certain people.
It must be therefore that it is not so easy.



Ethics 60

June 22, 2015

Ethics 60
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Das Ding (II)


Thus, even pain must not be simply attributed to the register of sensory
reactions. I would say, and this is something that the surgery of pain reveals,
that it is not a question of something simple, which can be considered a
simple quality of sensory reaction. The complex character of pain, the character
that, so to speak, makes it an intermediary between afferent and efferent,
is suggested by the surprising results of certain operations, which in the
case of some internal illnesses, including some cancers, allow the notation of
pain to be preserved, when the suppression or removal of a certain subjective
quality has been effected, which accounts for the fact that it is unbearable.
All this belongs to the sphere of modern physiological research, and it does
not yet allow us to explain the problem fully. I will, therefore, limit myself
to suggesting that we should perhaps conceive of pain as a field which, in the
realm of existence, opens precisely onto that limit where a living being has
no possibility of escape.

因此,即使痛苦也一定不要被归属于感官与反应的铭记。我不妨说,这是痛苦的外科手术揭露的东西。这并不是简单的东西的问题。它能够被认为仅是感官与反应的特征。痛苦的复杂的特性,也就是,让痛苦成为这个中介的特性,处于传入afferent 与传出efferent 之间的特性,由某些手术的令人惊奇的结果显示出来。在某些的内部的疾病的案例,包含某些的癌症。这些结果让痛苦的标记被保存下来,当某些的主体的特质被压抑或被移除已经被形成。它们解释这个事实:痛苦是令人无法忍受的。所有这一切都属于现代生理学研究的范围。它还没有让我们能够充分地解释这个难题。我因此将限制我自己,仅是建议,我们或许应该构想痛苦,当著是一个领域,在存在的领域,这个领域开展,确实针对那个限制。在那个限制里,作为活生生的人没有逃避的可能。

Isn’t something of this suggested to us by the insight of the poets in that
myth of Daphne transformed into a tree under the pressure of a pain from
which she cannot flee? Isn’t it true that the living being who has no possibility
of escape suggests in its very form the presence of what one might call petrified
pain? Doesn’t what we do in the realm of stone suggest this? To the
extent that we don’t let it roll,1 but erect it, and make of it something fixed,
isn’t there in architecture itself a kind of actualization of pain?

在达芬妮的神话,这些诗人的洞见难道不是跟我们建议某件东西?在痛苦的压力下,达芬妮被转变成为一颗树,她无法逃离的这个痛苦。这难道不是真实的吗?这位活生生的人没有逃避痛苦的可能,在痛苦的形式里,它暗示我们所谓的被麻痹的痛苦的存在?在石头的领域,我们的所做所为难道不是就暗示这个?甚至,我们没有让石头滚落, 而是将石头竖立起来,将石头解释成某件固定的东西。在建筑的本身,难道不是存在着痛苦的某种实践?

What happened during the period of the Baroque, under the influence of
an historical movement that we will come back to later, would support this
idea. Something was attempted then to make architecture itself aim at pleasure,
to give it a form of liberation, which, in effect, made it blaze up so as
to constitute a paradox in the history of masonry and of building. And that
goal of pleasure gave us forms which, in a metaphorical language that in itself
takes us a long way, we call “tortured.”


I hope you will pardon my digression, since it does, in fact, point in the
direction of the themes we will take up again later, in connection with the
man of pleasure and the eighteenth century, and the very style it introduced
into the investigation of eroticism.


Let us return to our Vorstellungen, and try to understand them now, to
surprise them in their operations, so as to understand what is involved in
Freuthan psychology.


The character of imaginary composition, of the imaginary element of the
object, makes of it what one might call the substance of appearance, the
material of a living lure – an appartion open to the deception of an Erscheinung,
I would say, if I took the liberty of speaking German; that is to say,that by means of which the appearance is sustained, but which is also at the
same time an unremarkable apparition – something that creates that Vor, that
third element, something that is produced starting from the Thing. Vorstellung
is something that is essentially fragmented. It is that around which Western
philosophy since Aristotle and φαντασία has always revolved.


Vorstellung is understood by Freud in a radical sense, in the form in which
it appears in a philosophy that is essentially marked by the theory of knowledge
. And that is the remarkable thing about it. He assigned to it in an
extreme form the character philosophers themselves have been unable to reduce
it to, namely, that of an empty body, a ghost, a pale incubus of the relation
to the world, an enfeebled jouissance, which through the age-old interrogations
of the philosophers makes it the essential feature. And by isolating it in
this function, Freud removes it from its tradition.


And the sphere, order, and gravitation of the Vorstellungen, where does he
locate them? I told you last time that if one reads Freud carefully, one has to
locate them between perception and consciousness, between the glove and
the hand.


It is between perception and consciousness that is inserted that which functions
at the level of the pleasure principle. Which is what precisely? – The
thought processes insofar as they regulate by means of the pleasure principle
the investment of the Vorstellungen, and the structure in which the unconscious
is organized, the structure in which the underlying unconscious mechanisms
are flocculated. And it is this which makes the small curds of
representation, that is to say, something which has the same structure as the
signifier – a point on which I insist.


That is not just Vorstellung, but as Freud
writes later in the same article on the unconscious, Vorstellungsreprasentanz;
and he thus turns Vorstellung into an associative and combinatory element.
In that way the world of Vorstellung is already organized according to the
possibilities of the signifier as such. Already at the level of the unconscious
there exists an organization that, as Freud says, is not necessarily that of
contradiction or of grammar, but the laws of condensadon and displacement,
those that I call the laws of metaphor and metonymy.


Why should it be a surprise, therefore, if Freud tells us that these thought
processes that take place between percepdon and consciousness would not
mean anything to consciousness, if they were not transmitted there by the
mediation of a discourse, of that which can be clarified in the Vorbewusstsein,
in preconsciousness? But what does that mean? Freud leaves us with little
doubt; it is a question of words. And we must, of course, situate the Wortvorstellungen
that are involved in relation to our argument here.


Freud tells us this is not the same thing as the Vorstellungen whose thought
processes of superposition, metaphor and metonymy we follow through the
unconscious mechanism. It is something entirely different. The Wortvorstel•
lungen inaugurate a discourse that is articulated on the thought processes. In
other words, we know nothing about our thought processes, unless we engage
in psychology – allow me to say that to make my point more forcefully. We
only know them because we are speaking of something which goes on inside
us, because we are speaking of them in terms that are unavoidable – terms
whose indignity, emptiness and vanity we are also aware of. It is from that
moment when we speak of our will and our understanding as distinct facul
tics that we have a preconscious, and that we are able, in effect, to articulate
in a discourse something of that chattering by means of which we articulate
ourselves inside ourselves, we justify ourselves, or we rationalize for ourselves,
with reference to this or that, the progress of our desire.


It is definitely a discourse that is involved. And Freud emphasizes that,
after all, we know nothing else except this discourse. That which emerges in
the Bewusstsein is Wahrnehmung, the perception of this discourse, and nothing
else. That is exactly what he thinks.


That is why he tends to reject utterly superficial representations or, to use
Silberer’s term, the functional phenomena. There are no doubt in a given
phase of a dream things that represent the functioning of the psyche to us
imagistically – a notable example represents the layers of psychic activity in
the form of the game of Chutes and Ladders. What does Freud say? Involved
here is the production of dreams by a mind given to metaphysics or, in other
words, to psychology, which tends to expand on what the discourse necessarily
imposes on us when we should be trying to distinguish a certain rhythm
in our inner experience. But this representation, Freud tells us, overlooks
that structure, that most profound gravitation, which is established at the
level of the Vorstellungen. And he affirms that these Vorstellungen gravitate,
operate exchanges and are modulated according to laws that you will recognize,
if you have followed my teaching, as the fundamental laws of the signifying


Have I managed to make myself understood? It seems to me difficult to be
any clearer as far as this essential point is concerned.



Ethics 57

June 21, 2015

Ethics 57
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Das Ding (II)


Freud comments somewhere that if psychology succeeded in making some
people anxious, by insisting excessively on the reign of the instincts, it nevertheless
also promoted the importance of the moral agency.


This is an obvious truth, one that is confirmed every day in our practice.
Furthermore, we still do not rate highly enough in the world outside the
exorbitant character of the power of the sense of guilt, which is exercised
without the subject’s knowledge. Thus it is that which presents itself in the
massive guise of the sense of guilt that I believe is important to focus on more
narrowly this year. Moreover, it is important to articulate it so as to bring
out the originality, the revolution in thought, that was the effect of the Freuthan
experience in the field of ethics.


Last time I tried to show you the meaning in Freuthan psychology of the
Entwurf in connection with which Freud organized his first intuition concerning
what takes place in the experience of the neurotic. I tried, in particular,
to show you the pivotal function that we must accord something which
is to be found in a detour taken by the text. And it is one that it is important
not to miss, especially since Freud picks up on it again in a variety of forms
right to the end. I mean das Ding.


Right at the beginning of the organization of the world in the psyche, both
logically and chronologically, das Ding is something that presents and isolates
itself as the strange feature around which the whole movement of the Vorstellung
turns – a Vorstellung that Freud shows us is governed by a regulatory
principle, the so-called pleasure principle, which is tied to the functioning of
the neuronic apparatus. And it is around das Ding that the whole adaptive
development revolves, a development that is so specific to man insofar as the
symbolic process reveals itself to be inextricably woven into it.

就在心灵的世界的组织的开始,逻辑上与年代顺序上,物象都是某件呈现而且孤立自己,作为是陌生的特征。意象Vorstellung的整个的运动的旋转,就是环绕这个陌生的特征。弗洛依德跟我们显示的这个意向Vorstellung ,受到规范的原则统辖,这个所谓的快乐原则。快乐原则跟神经症者的心理机制的功能息息相关。整个的适应的发展的旋转,就是环绕这个“物象“。这一种发展对于人们是如此明确,因为象征的功能揭示自己,作为跟这个物象交织纠缠。

We find das Ding again in the Vemeintmg article of 1925, an article that is
full of ideas and also of questions. It occurs in a formula which we must
assume to be essential since it is placed at the center of the article and is, so
to speak, the crucial enigma. Das Ding has, in effect, to be identified with
the Wieder zu finden, the impulse to find again that for Freud establishes the
orientation of the human subject to the object. Yet you should note that this
object is not even stated. And here we might give its due to a certain textual
criticism, whose attachment to the signifier sometimes seems to take a talmudic
turn. It is remarkable that the object in question is nowhere articulated
by Freud.

我们在1925年的“否认Verneinung的文章,再次发现这个”物象“Das Ding。这篇文章充满各种的观念,也充满各种问题。它发生在一个公式。我们必须认为这个公式非常重要,因为它被放置在文章的中心。所谓的关键的谜团。实际上,这个”物象“必须被辨明说再次找到的这个冲动。对于弗洛依德,这个再次找到的冲动建立人类的主体取向于这个客体。可是,你们应该注意到,这个客体甚至没有被陈述。在此,我们可以给予它应得的地位,对于某些文本的批评。这些文本对于能指的迷恋似乎具有启示的意涵。值得注意的是,受到置疑的这个客体在弗洛依德那里,根本就没有被表达。

Moreover, since it is a matter of finding it again, we might just as well
characterize this object as a lost object. But although it is essentially a question
of finding it again, the object indeed has never been lost. In this orientation
to the object, the regulation of the thread, the Vorstellungen relate to
each other in accordance with the laws of a memory organization, a memory
complex, a Bahnung (that is to say, a facilitator, but also, I would say more
decidedly, a concatenation) whose neuronic apparatus perhaps allows us to
glimpse those operations in a material form, and whose functioning is governed
by the law of the pleasure principle.


The pleasure principle governs the search for the object and imposes the
detours which maintain the distance in relation to its end. Even in French
the etymology of the word – which replaced the archaic “quérir (“to search”)”
– refers to circa, detour. The transference of the quantity from Vorstellung to
Vorstellung always maintains the search at a certain distance from that which
it gravitates around. The object to be found confers on the search its invisible
law; but it is not that, on the other hand, which controls its movements. The
element that fixes these movements, that models the return – and this return
itself is maintained at a distance – is the pleasure principle. It is the pleasure
principle which, when all is said and done, subjects the search to encounter
nothing but the satisfaction of the Not des Lebens.

快乐原则统辖对于客体的追寻,赋加这个迂迴,维持跟它的目标的距离的迂迴。即使在法语,这个字的词源,它取代“追寻”的古字”quérir “—它提到“circa”迂迴。数量从“意象”转移到“意象”,总是维持这个追寻,在某个距离,距离它环绕旋转的东西。能够被找到的客体,给予这个追寻它的隐形的法则。但是另一方面,它并不是控制它的运动的东西。固定这些运动的元素,模仿这个回转的元素。这个回转的本身被维持在某个距离。这就是快乐原则。当一切被说被做之后,这个快乐原则将寻求隶属于遭遇到仅是这个“迫切状态”的满足。

Thus the search encounters in its path a series of satisfactions that are tied
to the relation to the object and are polarized by it. And at every point they
model, guide and support its movements according to the particular law of
the pleasure principle. This law fixes the level of a certain quantity of excitation
which cannot be exceeded without going beyond the limit of the Lust/
Unlust polarity – pleasure and unpleasure are the only two forms through
which that same and single mode of regulation we call the pleasure principle
expresses itself.


The admission of quantity is regulated by the width of the channels that
do the conducting, by the individual diameters that a given organism can
support – the thing is expressed metaphorically by Freud, but it is almost as
if we were to take it literally. What happens once the limit is exceeded? The
psychic impulse is not as such capable of advancing any further toward what
is supposed to be its goal. Instead it is scattered and diffused within the
psychic organism; the quantity is transformed into complexity. In a kind of
expansion of the lighted zone of the neuronic organism, here and there in the
distance, it lights up according to the laws of associative facilitation, or constellations
of Vorstellungen which regulate the association of ideas, unconscious
Gedanken, according to the pleasure principle.


The limit has a name. It is something more than the Lust/Unlust polarity
Freud speaks of.


I would have you note that it is avoidance, flight, movement, which in the
beginning, even before the system starts to function, normally intervenes in
order to regulate the invasion of quantity in accordance with the pleasure
principle. And it is to the motor system that the function of regulating the
bearable or homeostatic level of tension for the organism is handed over in
the end. But the homeostatis of the nervous system, which is the site of
autonomous regulatory mechanism, is distinct from the general homeostasis
(with all the potential for conflict that that implies), the homeostasis which
activates the balance of moods. The balancing of moods occurs, but as an
order of stimulation arising from within. That is how Freud expresses it.
Certain stimulations come from within the nervous system, and he compares
them to external stimulations.


I would like us to stop for a moment at this limit of pain.


Those commentators who collected the letters to Fliess consider that Freud
slipped up by using the term motorisch, motor, instead of secretorisck, cell,
nucleus, organ. I once said that it did not seem to be clear that it was such a
slip. Freud tells us, in effect, that in the majority of cases, the reaction of
pain derives from the fact that the motor reaction, the flight reaction, is
impossible. And the reason for this is that the stimulation, the excitation,
comes from within. Consequently, it seems to me that this so-called slip is
only present in order to point to the fundamental homology between the
relationship of pain and the motor reaction. Besides – this idea occurred to
me a long time ago, and I hope you will not find it absurd – in the organization
of the spinal marrow, the neurons and axons of pain coexist at the same
level and at the same spot as certain neurons and axons of the tonic motor



Ethics 54

June 20, 2015

Ethics 54
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Jacques Lacan
IV Das Ding

Das Ding is that which I will call the bey on d-of-the-signified. It is as a
function of this beyond-of-the-signified and of an emotional relationship to it
that the subject keeps its distance and is constituted in a kind of relationship
characterized by primary affect, prior to any repression. The whole initial
articulation of the Entwurf takes place around it. Let us not forget that
repression still posed a problem for Freud. And everything that he will subsequently
say about repression, in its extraordinary sophistication, can only
be understood as responding to the need to understand the specificity of
repression compared to all the other forms of defense.

“物象“是我所谓的”所指“的”超越“的东西。作为所指的超越与情感跟它的关系的功能,主体保持它的距离,并且主体被形成,用原初的情感表现特征的一种关系。这个原初情感早先于压抑。”蓝图设计 Entwurf“的整个的最初的表达,环绕着它发生。让我们不要忘记,对于弗洛依德,压抑依旧形成一个难题,具有特别的精致,仅能够被理解,作为是回应这个需求,理解压抑的明确性的需要,跟所有的其他形式的防卫比较起来。

It is then in relation to the original Ding that the first orientation, the first
choice, the first seat of subjective orientation takes place, and that I will
sometimes call Neuronenwahl, the choice of neurosis. That first grinding will
henceforth regulate the function of the pleasure principle.


It remains for us to see that it is in the same place that something which is
the opposite, the reverse and the same combined, is also organized, and which
in the end substitutes itself for that dumb reality which is das Ding – that is
to say, the reality that commands and regulates. That is something which
emerges in the philosophy of someone who, better than anyone else, glimpsed
the function of das Ding, although he only approached it by the path of the
philosophy of science, namely, Kant.


In the end, it is conceivable that it is
as a pure signifying system, as a universal maxim, as that which is the most
lacking in a relationship to the individual, that the features of das Ding must
be presented. It is here that, along with Kant, we must see the focal point,
aim and convergence, according to which an action that we will qualify as
moral will present itself. And which, moreover, we will see present itself
paradoxically as the rule of a certain Gut or good.


Today I will simply emphasize this: the Thing only presents itself to the
extent that it becomes word, hits the bull’s eye,2 as they say. In Freud’s text
the way in which the stranger, the hostile figure, appears in the first experience
of reality for the human subject is the cry. I suggest we do not need this
cry. Here I would like to make a reference to something that is more inscribed
in the French than in the German language – each language has its advantages.
The German das Wort, word, is both le mot and la parole in French.

今天,我将仅是强调这点:这个“物象“仅是呈现它自己,它甚至成为”道“,击中靶心,如人们所说。在弗洛依德的文本,这位陌生人,这位具有敌意的人物,在人类主体的现实的第一次经验里出现的就是这个哭喊。我建议,我们并不需要这个哭喊。在此,我想要提到某件东西,更加被铭记在法文,而不是德文的语言里。每个语言都有它的优点。德文的” das Wort“,在法文里,既是le mot (道),又是 la parole(言说)。

The word le mot has a particular weight and meaning. “Mot” refers essentially
to “no response.” “Mot,” La Fontaine says somewhere, is what remains
silent; it is precisely that in response to which no word is spoken. The things
in question are things insofar as they are dumb – some people might object
that these things are placed by Freud at a higher level than the world of
signifiers that I have described as the true moving force of the functioning in
man of that process designated as primary. And dumb things are not exactly
the same as things which have no relationship to words.


It is enough to evoke a face which is familiar to everyone of you, that of
the terrible dumb brother of the four Marx brothers, Harpo. Is there anything
that poses a question which is more present, more pressing, more
absorbing, more disruptive, more nauseating, more calculated to thrust
everything that takes place before us into the abyss or void than that face of
Harpo Marx, that face with its smile which leaves us unclear as to whether it
signifies the most extreme perversity or complete simplicity? This dumb man
alone is sufficient to sustain the atmosphere of doubt and of radical annihilation
which is the stuff of the Marx brothers’ extraordinary farce and the
uninterrupted play of “jokes”3 that makes their activity so valuable.

我们只要召唤一下你们每个人都耳熟能详的脸孔就足够了。四位马克兄弟中那位糟糕的哑巴弟弟,哈泼。难道还有任何东西,会形成一个更加无所不在,更加迫切,更加吸引人,更加断裂,更加令人作呕,更加被人盘算 要将每样发生在我们面前的东西,抛掷进入深渊,或空无当中?比起这位哈泼 马克的脸孔?那个带着它的微笑的脸孔,让我们感到迷惑,关于它意味着最极端的变态,或是完全的纯洁?光是这位哑巴的人就足够维持怀疑的气氛与强烈毁灭的气氛。那就是马克兄弟的特殊的闹剧的材料与“笑话”的没有中断的运作,让他们的活动如此具有价值。

Just one more thing. I have spoken today of the Other as a Ding. I would
like to conclude with something that is much more accessible to our experience.
And that is the isolated use that French reserves for certain forms of
the pronoun of interpellation. What does the emission, the articulation, the
sudden emergence from out of our voice of that “You!” (Toi!) mean? A “You”
that may appear on our lips at a moment of utter helplessness, distress or
surprise in the presence of something that I will not right off call death, but
that is certainly for us an especially privileged other – one around which our
principle concerns gravitate, and which for all that still manages to embarrass


I do not think that this “You” is simple – this you of devotion that other
manifestations of the need to cherish occasionally comes up against. I believe
that one finds in that word the temptation to tame the Other, that prehistoric,
that unforgettable Other, which suddenly threatens to surprise us and to cast
us down from the height of its appearance. “You” contains a form of defense,
and I would say that at the moment when it is spoken, it is entirely in this
“You,” and nowhere else, that one finds what I have evoked today concerning
das Ding.


So as not to end with something that might seem to you to be so optimistic,
I will focus on the weight of the identity of the thing and the word that we
can find in another isolated use of the word.


To the “You” which, according to me, tames, but which tames nothing, a
“You” of vain incantation and fruidess connection, there corresponds what
may happen to us when some order comes from beyond the apparatus where
there lurks that which, along with ourselves, has to do with das Ding. I am
thinking of what we answer when we are made responsible or accountable for
something. “Me!” (Moi!).4 What is this “Me!”, this “Me!” all by itself, if it
is not a “Me!” of apology, a “Me!” of refusal, a “Me!” that’s simply not for


Thus from its beginning the “I” as thrust forth in an antagonistic movement,
the “I” as defense, the “I” as primarily and above all an “I” that refuses
and denounces rather than announces, the “I” in the isolated experience of
its sudden emergence – which is also perhaps to be considered as its original
decline – this “I” is articulated here.


I will speak about this “I” again next time in order to explore further the
way in which moral action presents itself as an experience of satisfaction.
December 9, 1959



Ethics 53

June 19, 2015

Ethics 53
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Jacques Lacan
IV Das Ding

Here we come to the notion of the spezifische Aktion of which Freud speaks
on a number of occasions, and that I would like to shed some light on here.
There is, in fact, an ambiguity in the Befriedigungserlebnis. What is sought is
the object in relation to which the pleasure principle functions. This functioning
is in the material, the web, the medium to which all practical experience
makes a reference. How then does Freud conceive of this experience,
this specific action?

在此,我们来到这个观念:在好几个场合,弗洛依德谈论的这个spezifische Aktion。我想要在此有某些启蒙。事实上,在Befriedigungserlebnis 有种的模糊暧昧。所被寻求的东西就是这个客体。快乐原则发挥功能,就是跟这个客体息息相关。这种发挥功能在于物质里,网络里,媒体里,所有的实际的经验都提到它。那么,弗洛依德如何构想这个经验,这个明确的行动?

In this connection one has to read his correspondence with Fliess to appreciate
the significance of it, and in particular that letter referred to above,
which still has a lot to tell us. He says that an attack of hysteria is not a
discharge. It is a warning to those who always feel the need to place the
emphasis on the role of quantity in the functioning of affect. There is no field
more favorable than that of hysteria to suggest to what extent in the concatenation
of psychic events a fact is a question of relative contingency. It is by
no means a discharge, sondern eine Aktion – an action, moreover, which is
Mittel von Reproduktion von Lust.

关于这一点,我们必须阅读他跟弗利斯的信件,为了赏识它的这个意义。特别是以上被提到的信件。这个信件依旧有许多东西要告诉我们。他说,癔症的侵袭并不是发泄。那是一种警告,对于那些总是感觉这个需求,要强调品质的角色,在情感的功能。癔症的领域是最为有利的领域,用来建议,在心灵事件的连续发展里,事实仅是相当迫切性的问题。它根本就不是发泄,而且,它是一种行动,产生繁殖与欲望的行动 Mittel von Reproduktion von Lust.。

We will see how what Freud calls an action is made clear. The essential
characteristic of any action is to be a Mittel, a means of reproduction. In its
root at least it is this: “Das ist er [der hysterische Anfall] wenigstens in der
Wurzel.” And elsewhere “sonst motiviert er sich von dem Vorbewusstsein
allerlei Grunden” – an action may be motivated on all kinds of grounds which
are located at the level of the preconscious.


Immediately afterwards Freud explains what its essence consists of. And
he illustrates at the same time what an action as Mittel zur Reproduktion means.
In the case of hysteria, of a crisis of tears, everything is calculated, regulated,
and, as it were, focused on den Anderen, on the Other, the prehistoric, unforgettable
Other, that later no one will ever reach.


The thoughts we find expressed here allow us to make a first approach to
the problem of neurosis and to understand its correlative or regulatory term.
If one goal of the specific action which aims for the experience of satisfaction
is to reproduce the initial state, to find das Ding, the object, again, we will be
able to understand a great many forms of neurotic behavior.


The behavior of the hysteric, for example, has as its aim to recreate a state
centered on the object, insofar as this object, das Ding, is, as Freud wrote
somewhere, the support of an aversion. It is because the primary object is an
object which failed to give satisfaction that the specific Erlebnis of the hysteric
is organized.


On the other hand – this is Freud’s distinction and we don’t need to give
it up – in obsessional neurosis, the object with relation to which the fundamental
experience, the experience of pleasure, is organized, is an object which
literally gives too much pleasure. Freud perceived this clearly; it was his first
apperception of obsessional neurosis.


What in its various advances and many byways the behavior of the obsessional
reveals and signifies is that he regulates his behavior so as to avoid
what the subject often sees quite clearly as the goal and end of his desire. The
motivation of this avoidance is often extraordinarily radical, since the pleasure
principle is presented to us as possessing a mode of operation which is
precisely to avoid excess, too much pleasure.


So as to move fast – as fast as Freud in his first apperceptions of ethical
reality, insofar as it functions in the subject whom he is dealing with – I will
outline the positing of the subject in the third of the major categories that
Freud distinguishes at the beginning – hysteria, obsessional neurosis, and
paranoia. As far as paranoia is concerned, Freud gives us a term that I invite
you to reflect on as it first emerged, namely, Versagen des Glaubens. The
paranoid doesn’t believe in that first stranger in relation to whom the subject
is obliged to take his bearings.


The use of the term belief seems to me to be emphasized in a less psychological
sense than first seems to be the case. The radical attitude of the paranoid,
as designated by Freud, concerns the deepest level of the relationship
of man to reality, namely, that which is articulated as faith. Here you can see
easily how the connection with a different perspective is created that comes
to meet it – I already referred to it when I said that the moving force of
paranoia is essentially the rejection of a certain support in the symbolic order,
of that specific support around which the division between the two sides of
the relationship to das Ding operates – as we will see in subsequent discussions.



From an other to the Other 36

June 19, 2015

From an other to the Other 36

Jacques Lacan
11.12.68 V 12

A convergence, then, of this demand and here, something of a promise,
of something that, in S2 is the hope of gathering together this “I”. It is
(69) indeed what in transference I called the subject supposed to know.
Namely, this prime,conjunction, Si linked to S2, in so far, as I recalled
the last time, in the ordered pair, it is it, it is this conjunction, this knot
that grounds what knowledge is.


What does that mean? If this “I” is only tangible in these two
divergent poles, one called what I here am articulating as the ‘‘no”, the
refusal that gives form to the lack of the reply, and this something
different articulated there as s(O), this meaning, what is it? Because is
it not tangible that the whole discourse that I am spinning out to give
the framework of th e ‘T ’ of the questioning from which this experience
is established, is it not tangible that I am pursuing it while leaving
outside, at least up to this point that we have come to here, any


What does that mean? That after having formed you for long years to
ground, on the differentiation of a linguistic origin, the signifier as
material., from the signified as its effect, I am allowing it to be
suspected, to appear here that some mirage lies at the source of this
field defined as linguistic, the sort of astonishing passion with which
the linguist articulates that what he tends to grasp in the tongue is pure
form, not content?


Here I am going to bring you back to this point, that in my first lecture,
I first brought forward before you, and not unintentionally, in the form
of the pot. Nothing, those who are taking notes should know, is
unpremeditated in what one could call, at first sight, my digressions.


If I name back in an apparently digressive way to the mustard pot, it is
certainly not without reason. And you may remember that I gave a
place to the fact that, in the first forms of its apparition, it is to be
strongly signalled, that there are never lacking, on the surface of this
pot the marks of the signifier itself. Is there not introduced here
something in which the “I” is formulated?


The fact is that what
sustains the whole of human creation, of which no image has ever
appeared better than the work of the potter, is very precisely to make
this something, the utensil, that pictures for us by its properties, that
pictures for us this image that the language of which it is made – for
where there is no language there is no worker either – that this
language is a content.


It is enough to think for a moment that this very
fabrication is there to introduce the reference to this philosophically
traditional opposition of form and content. It is not for nothing that in
my first introduction of this pot I signalled that where it plays the part
of an accompaniment to death in burial there is put this addition that
properly speaking holes it. It is indeed in effect because its spiritual
principle, its origin in language, the fact is that there is that there is
somewhere a hole through which everything escapes.


When it rejoins
at their place those who have gone beyond, the pot for its part also,
finds its true origin, namely, the hole that it was designed to mask in
language. There is no meaning that does not leak away as regards
(70) what a cup contains, and it is quite curious that I made this
discovery that was certainly not made at the moment that I stated this
function of the pot for you.


Searching, my God, in what I usually refer
myself to, namely, in the Bloch et von Wartburg, what is involved in a
pot, I had, as I might say the happy surprise of seeing that this term – as
is testified, it appears, by lower German and Dutch with whom we
share it – is a pre-Celtic term. Therefore it comes to us from afar, from
the Neolithic no less.

我的天,在我通常提到的东西,也就是,这个Bloch et von Wartburg,在陶壶所牵涉的东西,我不妨说,我遭遇这个快乐的惊喜,当我看见,这个术语是前印欧语言的术语,根据查证,我们跟德语与荷兰语同样都有这个术语。因此这个术语从远地来到我们这里,如同来自新石器时代。

But there is better. It is that because of having
this idea, at least to give it a little base, we ground ourselves on these
pots that are found before the Roman invasion, or more exactly as
representing what was established before it, namely, the pots that are
dug up, it appears, in the region of Trier. Bloch et von Wartburg
express themselves as follows: “We see inscribed there the word

但是更加贴切的是,因为拥有这个观念,至少为了给予它一点基础,我们将我们自己的基础,根据在罗马人侵入之前被发现的那些陶壶。或者更加贴切地说,作为是代表在罗马人侵入之前被建立的东西。换句话说,那些被挖掘出来的陶壶,似乎是在特瑞尔地区。Bloch et von Wartburg 表达它们自己如下:「我们看见Potus这个字词被铭记在那里。」

This is enough, for them, to designate the very ancient,
because it is a usage that is at stake, that they indicate that Potus,
hypochoristically, as they put it, can designate the makers. What
matter! The only thing that is important for me is that when the pot
appears it is always marked on its surface by a signifier that it supports.


The pot here gives us this function distinct from that of the subject, in
so far as in the relation to the signifier the subject is not a preliminary
but an anticipation. It is supposed, upokeimenon. It is its essence, it is
its logical definition, supposed, almost induced, certainly, it is not the
support. On the contrary, we can legitimately give to the signifier a
fabricated support and even, I would say, a utensil. The origin of the
utensil in so far as it distinguishes the field of human fabrication is
■ I ‘ •even properly speaking there.


The meaning as product, this is what serves, and as a lure, to veil from
us what is involved in the essence of language, in so far as, by its
essence, it properly does not mean anything. What proves it is that the
assertion in its essential function is not an operation of meaning and
this indeed is how we analysts understand it. What we are seeking is
what, not from the Other, but outside the Other as such, suspends what
is articulated from the Other, the S2, as outside the field. Here is the
question of knowing what is involved in the subject, and whether this
subject cannot in any way be grasped by discourse; here also is the
justification for what can be substituted for it.


The sense of what is involved in castration is balanced with that of
enjoyment. But it is not enough to grasp this relation as assuredly in
what was manifested in a time that is close to us, of something in
which at the same time this scream, need for truth, is an appeal to
enjoyment. It is assuredly not enough to aspire to enjoyment without
hindrances, if it obvious that enjoyment can only be articulated for
every individual — himself included in language and the utensils — can
only be articulated in this register of remainder inherent to one and the
other that I defined as the surplus enjoying. It is here that on 8th of
January we will take up our discourse again.