Jacques Lacan
(Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )


  • Fusion of psychoanalysis and structuralism
  • Permanent struggle between two consciousnesses: the self remained in eternal internal conflict (no Freud-ian reconciliation by bringing out the unconscious)
  • The "I" itself is a fiction of the subconscious
  • Freud: how the subconscious is created and how it can be subordinatd to the I
  • Lacan: how the I is created by the subconscious
  • Three aspects/phases of the psyche: the Imaginary, the Symbolic, and the Real
  • The Imaginary pre-linguistic aspect) formulates primitive self-knowledge
  • The Symbolic (linguistic aspect) generates a basic behavior through interaction with the community
  • Mathemes structure the Real the way language structures discourse
  • A baby is born in the Real, a life driven by needs and lived in unity with the mother.
  • Then it enters the "mirror stage" (the Imaginary stage) in which the baby separates from the mother and see its mirror image as itself (still incapable of realizing that the mirror image is actually different from the self)
  • Then it enters the Symbolic stage in which it recognizes the other and develops a self, a self that is driven by the desire to recover the original union
  • The unconscious is like language: a system of signs
  • Meaning is either condensed (in metaphor) or displaced (in metonymy)
  • Both are linguistic phenomena
  • Wishes, desires, etc are signifiers which form a "signifying chain" (one signifier has meaning only because it is not some other signifier)
  • The subconscious "is" that chain
  • There are no signifieds: there is nothing that a signifier ultimately refers to
  • This chain is permanently unstable because it does not refer to anything
  • The I is only a grammatical unit responsible for designasting the subject

(Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )