From an other to the Other 67

From an other to the Other

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康


o o 0
What I am pointing out here is the fragile character of this sort of writing, inasmuch as by following games’ theory, the conjunctures can only be determined from the
intersection of the play of two adversaries. Namely, that the subject ought to be in
this position, while the enigmatic Other, the one involved in short as to whether he
holds the wager or not, ought to find himself in that place, God exists or does not

/ o
•3*0.0 o O

But God is not involved. In any case, nothing allows us to affirm it. It is from this
fact that it paradoxically results that face to face with him, on the table, as I might say,
there is not man but the subject defined by this wager. The stake is confused with the
existence of the partner, and that is why the signs written on this table have to be
reinterpreted. The choice is made at the level of God exists or God does not exist.


The formulation of the wager starts from that. And starting from there, only from
there, it is clear that if there is no reason to hesitate, namely, that what you may win
by wagering that God exists is not comparable to what you can certainly win, even
though this certainty can easily be questioned. Because what will you win? o is
precisely not defined.


o OO
It is here that I open the question – not at the level of a formula that has nevertheless
the interest of taking at its source the question of the intervention of the signifier, of
what is involved in any act of choice whatsoever. This is where I pointed out the
inadequacy of a table that is incomplete because it does not highlight that in taking
things at the second stage, the one, perhaps, that restores the correct position of what
the matrix involves as it is used in games’ theory, is where there should be placed
what I distinguish from the subject, the subject that is purely identical to the
inscription of the stakes as well as the one that can envisage the case where even if
God exists, he wagers against, namely, chooses o to his cost.


Namely, knowing what
this choice involves, that he positively loses the infinite, the infinity of happy lives
that is offered him, so that there is reproduced in the two boxes that are marked here
what first of all occupied the first matrix, there still remains this fourth to be filled.
Namely, that it can be supposed that, even if God does not exist, the o as holding the
(122) place that you see it occupying in the first box can be abandoned, this time in an
explicit way. And because of this fact it appears in the negative, the subtraction of o
with what we are writing here without any further commentary.


And you see that
even though it appears to be self-evident as zero, in effect it still constitutes a problem
ao 9 , – o °
– 0, 0,


In effect, let us now extract in order to isolate it simply in a new matrix something
added on by our second composition, namely, 0,-oQ, – o, zero. To be honest, I
explicitly mark what I have just indicated in passing in this very discourse, that this
zero takes on the value of a question.

O — cx->
– Q 3*oo ?
In effect, if the zeros were able to be thus posited in the first matrix, this is something
that deserves to hold our attention, because what did I say earlier if not that in truth
the only thing that counts in this position of the gambler, of the subject who alone
exists, the only thing to be taken into account is the infinite and the finite o.


What do
these zeros designate if not that by putting some stake on the table, as Pascal
underlined in introducing the theory of gaming, nothing correct can be stated about a
game unless you start from this, unless by having a beginning and an end fixed in the


What is put on the table, what is called the bet, is lost from the start. The game
only exists starting from the fact that it is on the table, as one might say, in a common
mass. What the game is is implied and therefore from its constitution the game can
here only produce zero. This zero only indicates that you are playing; without this
zero, there is no game.


Assuredly you could say the same thing about the other zero,
namely, this one, that it represents the loss to which the other player resigns himself
by bringing this infinity into play. But since precisely what is at stake is the existence
of the other player, it is here, in the first matrix, that the zero qua sign of the loss
becomes problematic.



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