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French: captation

Origin of the Term

The French substantive captation is a neologism coined by French psychoanalysts from the verb capter.[1]

Jacques Lacan

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.[2]

The double sense of the French term nicely indicates the ambiguous nature of the power of the specular image:

See Also


  1. Édouard Pichon and Odile Codet
  2. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 18