Origin of the Term
The French substantive captation is a neologism coined by French psychoanalysts from the verb capter.
It was adopted by Jacques Lacan in 1948 and occurs regularly in his work from this point on.
Imaginary Effects of the Specular Image
Lacan uses the term captation to describe the imaginary effects of the specular image on the subject.
The double sense of the French term nicely indicates the ambiguous nature of the power of the specular image:
- On the one hand, it conveys the sense of "captivation," thus expressing the fascinating, seductive power of the image.
- On the other hand, the term also conveys the idea of "capture," which evokes the more sinister power of the image to imprison the subject in a disabling fixation.
- ↑ Édouard Pichon and Odile Codet
- ↑ Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 18