Research Topic

Lacanian Psychoanalysis

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It is certain that in his "retour à Freud", Jacques Lacan did not turn psychoanalysis into an easier, more accessible or in any sense reassuring discourse. It is certain as well that his psychoanalytical stance did not lead to a practice that would be, in the first place for clinicians, more straightforward ...

It is certain that in his "retour à Freud", Jacques Lacan did not turn psychoanalysis into an easier, more accessible or in any sense reassuring discourse. It is certain as well that his psychoanalytical stance did not lead to a practice that would be, in the first place for clinicians, more straightforward or comfortable. No wisdom nor truths, no guiding rules that carry a content transposable from one context, one cure, one life to another, are to be expected from Lacan. And nevertheless, there is something quite essential to learn from Lacan, something that concerns psychoanalysis at its heart, something that sharpens Freud's viewpoint on the unconscious into a point of truthfulness that can leave no psychoanalytic clinician, who is willing to listen to his own unconscious, untouched. That something goes beyond the myths and metaphors that Freud provided us with and that risk rocking us imperceptibly into mental deafness. Returning to Freud meant for Lacan in the first place to take Freud’s words, and the speech of subjects more generally, literally, beyond an all too quick understanding. To Lacan, this beyond is to be approached in logical, structural, and ultimately topological ways, focusing on the positions and relations within which particular contents and meanings have a place. Instead of blocking the singularity of a human story by understanding it in general or social ways, Lacanian psychoanalysis focuses on the position from which something is spoken. That focus is what motivates the psychoanalyst’s interventions and interpretations, it is the core of all change and dynamics, it is the way in which the subjects are given a chance to unravel the causes of their suffering. In the present research topic, Lacanian scholars have agreed to develop a number of fundamental Lacanian concepts – such as the signifier, jouissance, identity and identification, the fundamental phantasy, RSI – in the most theoretically thorough and clinically inspired way, without renouncing the attempt to be accessible for scholars interested in the field of psychoanalysis.

For the present Research Topic, Lacanian scholars are encouraged to develop a number of fundamental Lacanian concepts – such as the signifier, jouissance, identity and identification, the fundamental phantasy, RSI – in the most theoretically thorough and clinically inspired way, without renouncing the attempt to be accessible for scholars interested in the field of psychoanalysis.


Keywords: psychosis, mind-body, transcendental dialectics, Lacan, void, signifier, identification, Freud, jouissance, drive, representation, imaginary/symbolic/real, naming (nomination)


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