Ethics 26

Ethics 26
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Pleasure and reality

Freud in the course of his so-called auto-analysis writes in a short letter, it is
number 73: “Meine Analyse geht wetter, my analysis continues. It is my principal
interest, meine Hauptinteresse. Everything remains obscure, even the
problems involved, but there is a feeling of comfort. It is as if,” he writes,
“one had only to reach into a larder and take what one wanted. The unpleasant
thing,” he says, “are the Stimmungen,” in the most general sense we can
give to that word, which has a special resonance in German, namely, moods
or feelings, which by their very nature cover, hide – what precisely? the
Wirklichkeit, reality.


It is in terms of Wirklichkeit that Freud questions what presents itself to
him as a Stimmung. The Stimmung is that which reveals to him what he has
to look for in his auto-analysis, what he is questioning, the moment when he
has the feeling of having, as in a dark room, in a larder or Vorratskammer,
everything he needs, and that it is waiting there for him, in store for him.

用Wirklichkeit t这个术语,弗洛依德询问是什么东西呈现它自己给他,作为心情。这个心情就是跟他显示他必须寻找的东西,在他的自动-精神分析里。他所询问的东西,当他拥有他所需要的每样东西的感觉,如同在黑暗的房间,在厨柜里或Vorratskammer里。那个东西正在那里等待他,等候他。

But he isn’t led toward it by his Stimmungen. Such is the meaning of his
sentence – the most unpleasant experience, das Unangenehmste, is the Stimmungen.
Freud’s experience begins with the search for the reality that is
somewhere inside himself. And it is this that constitutes the originality of his
point of departure. Moreover, he adds in the same vein that “even sexual
excitement is for someone like me unusable in this approach. Even there I
do not trust myself to see where are the final realities.” And he adds, “I
maintain my good humor in this whole business.” Before achieving results,
we must be patient a little longer.


I bring to your attention in passing a recent little book by Erich Fromm
that I won’t say I recommend to you, since it is a strangely discordant, almost
insidious work, that is close to being defamatory. It is called Sigmund Freud’s
Mission and it makes insinuating points that are not without interest and that
concern the special traits of Freud’s personality, invariably seen from an
obviously belittling point of view. In particular, he selects from the text Freud’s
sentences on sexual excitation in order to have us draw the conclusion that
by the age of forty Freud was already impotent.


We are now in a position to analyze Freud’s 1895 manuscript concerning
his fundamental conception of the structure of the psyche, a manuscript that
chance has placed in our hands. He had thought of calling it Psychology for
the Use of Neurologists. Since he never published it, the draft remained attached
to a packet of letters to Fliess, and it is available to us thanks to the acquisition
of these collections.


It is, therefore, not only proper but necessary that we begin at that point
our analysis of the meaning in Freud’s thought of the “.hematics of the reality
principle in opposition to the pleasure principle. Is there or is there not something
distinctive relative to the development of his thought there, and at the
same time to the directions taken by our own experience? It is here that we
may find that hidden backbone which, I believe, is required on this occasion.


The opposition between the pleasure principle and the reality principle was
rearticulated throughout Freud’s work – 1895, the Entwurf (Project for a
Scientific Psychogy); 1900, Chapter VII of the Traumdeutung, with the first
public rearticulation of the so-called primary and secondary processes, the
one governed by the pleasure principle and the other by the reality principle;
1914, return to the article from which I selected the dream that I discussed
at length last year, the dream of the dead father, “he didn’t know”; the article,
“Formulieringen iiber the Zwei Prinzipen des Psychischen Geschehens,”
that one might translate as “Of the Structure of the Psyche”; 1930, that Civilization
and Its Discontents which, I promised you, we will get to by way of

“Formulieringen iiber the Zwei Prinzipen des Psychischen Geschehens,” 我们可以翻译为“心灵的结构”。在1930年,“文明与其不满”,我答应你们,我们将探讨作为结论。

Others before Freud spoke of pleasure as a guiding function of ethics. Not
only does Aristotle set great store by it, but he finds it impossible not to place
it at the center of his ethical teaching. What is happiness if it doesn’t contain
the bloom of pleasure? A significant part of the discussion of the Nicomachaen
Ethics is designed to restore the true function of pleasure to its proper place;
strangely enough it is introduced in such a way that it is given a value that is
not merely passive. Pleasure in Aristotle is an acdvity that is compared to the
bloom given off by youthful activity – it is, if you like, a radiance. In addition,
it is also the sign of the blossoming of an action, in the literal sense of
ένέργεια, a word that expresses the true praxis as that which includes its own


Pleasure has no doubt been given other modulations down through the
ages as sign, stigmatum, reward, or substance of the psychic life. But let us
consider the case of the man who quesdons us direcdy, of Freud.

无可置疑地,自古以来,快乐曾经被给予其他的调节,作为心灵的迹象,献身,酬劳,与物质。 但是让我们考虑这个人的情况,他直接询问我们关于弗洛依德。

What cannot fail to strike us right away is that his pleasure principle is an
inertia principle. Its function is to regulate by a kind of automatism everything
that comes together through a process that, in his first formulation,
Freud tends to present as dependent on a preformed apparatus that is stricdy
limited to the neuronic apparatus. The latter regulates the facilitations that it
retains after having suffered their effects. It is essentially a matter of everything
that results from a fundamental tendency to discharge in which a given
quantity is desdned to be expended. That is the point of view from which
the functioning of the pleasure principle is first articulated.



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