In Association with
                   Lacan and Science

Psychoanalysis and Science discourse

by Alain COCHET

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Sigmund Freud's voice (BBC document)

Jacques Lacan's voice (France Inter document)

    French version of this document

"Psychoanalysis is operating onto the subject of science, goes into the central lack where the subject tests itself as a desire" (1)

Freud, at once, wanted to adjust psychoanalysis within the science discourse. However, one cannot but notice that science has a specific statute as it rings what is the cause of desire of the scientist. In a major text of1966, "La science et la vérité"(2), Lacan says that this cause is foreclosed from the scientific discourse. It means that the subject of scientific desire is totaly bared, abolished, and so it comes back paradoxically into the Real that is the very object of scientific proceeding. This process, which leads to the split between Truth and Knowledge, was fond out forthe very first time in the XVIIth century by Descartes.
Thus psychoanalysis is not a science like the others, although it would never exists out of the scientific field. The analytic discourse appears more than the other side of the scientific discourse.
But the question of the Real is left. If, on one side, for any subject,"the real of the unconscious is what is impossible", that is to say what any imaginary or symbolic approach cannot reach, on the other side the real of science leads to a mathematical knowledge. What makes connection is the fact that the dimension of Real only seems to be caught by mathematical technics. This is undoubtedly why Lacan made an important use of this topic in his teaching.
Another question comes out : what is exactly the mathematical rationality?

(1) Lacan, Séminaire XI, Seuil, 1973, p.239
(2) Lacan, Ecrits, Seuil, 1966, p. 855

                                              ;  View of the borromean rings in vrml

    Bibliography :
On Lacan
Ecrits by Jacques Lacan (Taylor and Francis Books ltdPaperback)
The four fundamental Concepts of Psycho-analysis byJ. Lacan (Vintages Paperback)
Reading Seminar XI by Richard Feldstein (State Universityof New York Paperback)
Lacan and the New Wave in American Psychoanalysis byJudith Gurewich  (The Other Press Paperback)
Lacan for Beginners by Philipp Hill, David Leach (Writersand Readers Paperback)
Lacan for Beginners by Darian Leader, Judy Groves  (Icon Books Paperback)

On Freud
Freud and Psychoanalysis by Richard Stevens (Open UniversityPaperback)
Freud Library 3 : Studies on Hysteria by Sigmund Freud(Penguin Books Paperback)



Psychologist and psychoanalyst, I work specially in the field of logic, topology and knots-theory, in articulation whit the text of the Seminars of Jacques Lacan.
Author of a book published at Anthropos Editions (Paris) under the title "Lacan géomètre", I try to understand the interest of Lacan into the mathematics to ring the dimension of Real.

I beg your pardon for the mistakes of translation. You can contact me(with short mails, please). I can also indicate how to receive the book.

  • My e-mail



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