Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Jacques Lacan’s Psychology - The Partially Examined Life, Episode 74

According to Wikipedia,
Jacques Marie Émile Lacan (French: [ʒak lakɑ̃]; 13 April 1901 – 9 September 1981) was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who made prominent contributions to psychoanalysis and philosophy, and has been called "the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud".[2] Lacan's post-structuralist theory rejected the belief that reality can be captured in language.[3]

Giving yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, Lacan influenced France's intellectuals in the 1960s and the 1970s, especially the post-structuralist philosophers. His interdisciplinary work was as a "self-proclaimed Freudian....'It is up to you to be Lacanians if you wish. I am a Freudian';"[4] and featured the unconscious, the castration complex, the ego, identification, and language as subjective perception. His ideas have had a significant impact on critical theory, literary theory, 20th-century French philosophy, sociology, feminist theory, film theory and clinical psychoanalysis.
In this lengthy podcast from The Partially Examined Life, your four hosts try to make sense of one of the more intentionally obtuse psychoanalysts of the last century.

Episode 74: Jacques Lacan’s Psychology
Posted by Mark Linsenmayer on April 3, 2013

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:14:47 — 123.5MB)

On Bruce Fink’s The Lacanian Subject (1996) and Lacan’s “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience” (1949).

What is the self? Is that the same as the experiencing subject? Lacan says no: while the self (the ego) is an imaginative creation, cemented by language, the subject is something else, something split (at least initially) between consciousness and the unconscious. Lacan mixes this Freudian picture with semiotics–an emphasis on systems of linguistic symbols–using this to both create his picture of the psyche and explain how psychological disorders arise.

The regular PEL foursome (with Wes acting much like a guest due to his formal study of psychoanalysis) try to make sense of this complex picture as presented by American psychoanalyst Fink and complain about Lacan’s language as they wade into the nearly impenetrable writing of the Frenchman himself. Featuring the alienation of language! Eruptions into consciousness! Undifferentiated needs! “The Real” opposing “reality!” A baby preening in front of a mirror! Castration! And introducing the mysterious “object a!” Read more about the topic and get the texts.

End song: “Something Else” by Madison Lint, recorded mostly in late 2002 with vocals added just now; written by Jim Low and Mark Linsenmayer.

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