Jacques-Alain Miller

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Jacques-Alain Miller - the son-in-law of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (in 1967 he married Lacan's daughter Judith Miller) - is a prominent Lacanian psychoanalyst.

Jacques-Alain Miller is a prominent Lacanian psychoanalyst, if not the pre-eminent Lacanian psychoanalyst. As a student at the École Normale Supérieure, he met Lacan in 1964 while attending his seminars at the rue d'Ulm. After having read everything Lacan had thus far published, he asked him, "Does your notion of the subject imply an ontology?" and an entente was made with him. In 1966 he founded Cahiers pour l'Analyse, a seminal publication whose editorial board included Alain Badiou, François Regnault and Jean-Claude Milner. He was the editor of Ornicar? when Lacan announced the dissolution of L'Ecole Française de Psychanalyse, and the foundation of L'École de la Cause Freudienne.

At the École Normale Supérieure, Miller studied with Louis Althusser at the same time as Jacques Derrida and Jacques Rancière, but soon he was following the teachings of Jacques Lacan who in 1964 has been appointed lecturer at the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes. Althusser assigned him the task of reading of "all of Lacan" and Miller carried out the task admiringly: it is him who asks Lacan the famous question: "Does your notion of the subject imply an ontology?" In time he would become instrumental in Lacan's Ecole Freudienne de Paris. When Lacan moves to the University of Vincennes - the Department of Psychoanalysis is renamed "Le Champ freudien" - Lacan becomes its director, and Jacques-Alain Miller the president. Lacan's dissolution of the École Française de Psychanalyse in 1980 is followed by the creation of La cause freudienne. Soon he dies leaving Miller as the sole editor of his Seminars, an endeavor that will require Miller's entire life.

Jacques-Alain Miller, who had married Lacan's daughter, started in 1983 his own weekly seminars, called "L'Orientation lacanienne" intended to expound and elucidate Lacan's work. As the editor of Jacques Lacan's seminars, having so far published half of them in French. He also supervised the English translations of Lacan's work: "Écrits", and the seminars, "The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis", "The Ethics of Psychoanalysis", Encore - On feminine Sexuality. In 2001 he started a series of public interventions on behalf of the independence of psychoanalysis vis-à-vis government control in France. He wrote First Letter addressed by Jacques-Alain Miller to An Enlightened Public, "Clear Like Day Letter" and "The Tenderness of Terrorism" where he asserted that "an analyst is only authorized by her/himself (Lacan's dictum: l'analyste ne s'autorise que de lui-même).

At the same time Miller was responsible for an enormous expansion of Lacanian study groups throughout the world: Spain, Great Britain and Italy in Europe, and Argentina and Brazil in Latin America. In the early nineties, Miller's work began to be translated into English and published in the United States through the New York-based cultural journal Lacanian Ink. More recently other groups have taken root in America, notably in Omaha, Nebraska and around Columbia University in New York. In 1992 Miller set up the World Association of Psychoanalysis, WAP, in order to advance Lacan's teachings. Today it has over a thousand members in Europe, America and Australia. The WAP creates Schools that transmit psychoanalysis, ensure the formation of analysts, guarantee their qualification and the quality of their practice.

Within the frame of his "Orientation lacanienne" Miller works in conjunction with other European philosophers such as Slavoj Zizek and Alain Badiou.




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