Jacques Lacan, Past and Present: A Dialogue by Alain Badiou

By Alain Badiou

In this discussion, Alain Badiou stocks the clearest, such a lot targeted account thus far of his profound indebtedness to Lacanian psychoanalysis. He explains intensive the instruments Lacan gave him to navigate the extremes of his different philosophical "masters," Jean-Paul Sartre and Louis Althusser. Élisabeth Roudinesco vitamins Badiou's adventure together with her personal point of view at the bothered panorama of the French analytic global when you consider that Lacan's loss of life -- critiquing, for instance, the hyperlink (or lack thereof) among politics and psychoanalysis in Lacan's paintings. Their alternate reinvigorates how the the paintings of a pivotal twentieth-century philosopher is perceived.

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The representation of a totalitarian Lacan is ridiculous. All the more so in that Lacan, while favoring submission, never respected his epigones, and he at the same time valorized those who resisted his seduction. Ultimately, I have always had reservations about at­ tempts to give a political signification to Lacan’s radicality. What is radical in Lacan is his dark vision of the relations among men. The only place where the curse of human plu­ rality might be lifted was, for him, the cure. I do not know how a revolutionary politics could be founded on such a basis.

First, as a man of the Enlightenment he takes on the demand for rationality, the ideal of scienti­ ficity, which amounts in his own work to the eminence of structure and the unrelenting quest for the formalization of subjective experience. Second, he takes on the irreducibil­ ity of a subject that configures its own destiny. This is a vi­ sion that is at once rebellious and dramatic, drawing heavily on the theater and more particularly on Greek tragedy, to which he never ceased to refer. This is the portrait of Lacan that I, for my part, would propose: a man of the Enlighten­ ment who encountered the power of theater.

Positivism is more often than not an inverted religion, such that far from serving the science it claims to be, it is enslaved to ideological objectives that are foreign to the becoming proper to science itself. For this reason, a re­ ligious person has many more reasons to fear positivism than science itself.  . : Certainly! They were also put off by the Freudian assim­ ilation of religion to neurosis. In fact, the French Freudian psychoanalysts were for the most part anticlerical positivists who were not very open to intellectual or spiritual engage­ ment and rarely oriented toward philosophical discourse.

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