Apparently, in about 3-4 months, the psychoanalytic group of which I am a member will feature a debate or discussion on the topic of Jacques-Alain Miller and his followers’ contributions to Lacanian discourse: the ‘One-all-alone’, the real unconscious, the ‘autism’ of jouissance, generalised foreclosure, the limits of meaning, the non-existence of the Other, the non-existence of symbolic paternity in particular, etc. Without dismissing JAM’s contributions in toto, I’m not likely to be on the pro-JAM side of the aisle. The practical effects of JAM’s positions are not entirely benign. They include racism, homophobia and transphobia, a blindness to colonialism, paranoia as an institutional imperative, and the abolition of the Freudian unconscious, as well as sublimation. I’ll turn to some of these another time.Continue reading
The following was presented at a study day of the Lacan Circle of Australia on 16/3/19.
There are no shortage of psychoanalytic theories of psychosis. The Lacanian account of psychosis that derives from the 1950s – and which we may think of as ‘classical’, in Lacanian psychoanalysis – can be found best expressed in Seminar 3, and the paper entitled ‘On a question prior to any possible treatment of psychosis’ in the Écrits. To put it very simply, psychosis is conceived of as a structure, not a checklist of symptoms, or a particular phenomenological condition. Where neurosis is characterised by the fundamental operation of repression, and perversion by disavowal, in psychosis, foreclosure is paramount. To illustrate: in repression, signifiers and thoughts become unconscious. It is as if they were swept under a carpet; out of sight, but leaving a lump, nonetheless. In foreclosure, not only is the same material not swept under the carpet, but it is never admitted entry in the first place. This has ramifications for a subject’s entire place and function within the symbolic order (i.e. the order of discourse and law). It is as if a set of organising principles are lacking, at least, relative to those found in neurosis under repression. Continue reading