Talk:De la psychose paranoïaque dans ses rapports avec la personnalité

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The full title of the doctoral thesis that signaled Jacques Lacan's entry into psychiatry was De la psychose paranoïaque dans ses rapports avec la personnalité ('On paranoiac psychosis as it relates to the personality').

The work was dated September 7, 1932, when Lacan was thirty-one years old.

Readers of the work were uniformly impressed with the breadth of scientific learning that Lacan displayed. To Georges Heuyer, who had doubts about the sheer quantity of bibliographical references, Lacan responded that he had, in fact, read them all. Furthermore, Lacan claimed to have personally evaluated about forty cases. And his familiarity with German texts clearly distinguished his scholarship from the chauvinism characteristic of the two great schools of psychiatry of the time. The French school was his model because of the high quality of its observation and because of its elegance and precision. But the Germans supplied Lacan with the doctrinal authority required by his goal of methodological synthesis.

"Then came Kraepelin" (Lacan, 1932, p. 23). Emil Kraepelin succeeded in imposing differential diagnoses in the field of the psychoses, where previously the category of paranoia had been extended to every kind of delusion and cognitive disorder in a way clearly contradicted by observation, despite the fact that paranoia was defined very narrowly. Lacan wrote in glowing terms of Johannes Lange, coauthor of the 1927 edition of Kraepelin's ]]Manual of Psychiatry]], whose study of eighty-one cases noted that classical paranoia was extremely rare, and assigned the curable cases to the category delineated by Kraepelin. As for "genuine paranoia," the question was whether it could be acute, whether remissions were possible. This was a question that Lacan asked from the outset (1932) and that would still preoccupy him twenty-five years later in "On a Question Prior to Any Possible Treatment of Psychosis" (1959/2004). For Lacan, the work of Robert Gaupp supplied an affirmative answer to this question. In short, Lacan endorsed Kraepelin's inclination toward a psychogenetic conception of paranoia, and what Lacan called "psychogeny" became a main theme of his thesis. Hence Lacan's harsh criticism of organicism, the constitutional theory, and the ideology of degeneracy—all then still prevalent in French psychiatry.

To stymie these tendencies, Lacan chose to speak of "personality." To solidify this notion, he drew upon Ernst Kretschmer, Pierre Janet, Karl Jaspers, and, finally, Eugen Bleuler. Bleuler and the Zurich school were Lacan's main route into psychoanalysis from the psychiatric study of the psychoses. Lacan sought to relate mental disturbances to personality, as Janet did, and, like Kretschmer, to explain them in terms of the individual's history and "experience" (Erlebnis) (1932, p. 92), with "its social and ethical stresses," rather than by evoking "congenital defects" (1932, p. 243). All this implied a "comprehensive" approach to psychotics consonant with the phenomenology of Jaspers. For this reason, Lacan enlisted the masters of psychiatry and psychopathology in support the open-minded approach to mental illness characteristic of his friends at the journal L'évolution psychiatrique.

Lacan argued that pathological manifestations in psychosis were "total vital responses," which, as "functions of the personality," maintained meaningful connections with the human community (1932, p. 247). In short, they were meaningful—a realization that defined the young Lacan's approach and influenced the choice of his inaugural case, that of "Aimée."

De la psychose paranoïaque dans ses rapports avec la personalité, Paris: Le Français, 1932.

See Also


DE LA PSYCHOSE PARANOIAOUE DANS SES RAPPORTS AVEC LA PERSONNALITE (ON PARANOIAC PSYCHOSIS IN ITS RELATION TO PERSONALITY) A monograph is at the center of this doctoral thesis: Le cas Aimee (The Case of Aimee), from the name given by the patient to the heroine of her first novel. The Surrealists were enthusiastic; Pierre Janet praised it in 1935, in the A"nales Medico-Psychologiques, with regard to "malfunctions of social personality." I, in turn, find this case study, unique in Lacan's works, fascinating.

The beginning of the work provides a mine of information concerning psy�chiatric and psychological theories in France and Germany. It displays a broad range of knowledge, eclectic curiosity, and mastery of the topic. The end opens vast perspectives on a future of a "science of the personality." Could it be the first draft of that science of the subject, whose project will increas�ingly pervade the seminars? Lacan makes the case of Aimee the first case of a particular form of para�noia, that of self-punishment or psychosis of the superego. He defends his method (a concrete and exhaustive phenomenological study), which is linked to his conception of mental illness as an "illness of the personality" in its "development and structure." In this text, the notions of "vital milieu" and of "vital conflict"-which are still present in Le My the du nevrose (22)�designate in fact the social environment, including the family.

"Our research in psychoses takes up the problem at the point where psy�choanalysis left off." Here, narcissism, conceived as terra incognita, is al�ready a land to be explored.

De la psychose paranoïaque dans ses rapports avec la personnalité : suivi des premiers écrits sur la paranoïa

     Auteurs : LACAN Jacques

Seuil /Coll. Champ freudien (Editeur ) Date de parution : 1975 Nbre/N° de page : 411 p. ISBN : 2-02-002771-2 Cote : LAC

Introduction I- Position théorique et dogmatique du problème : 1- Formation historique du groupe des psychoses paranoïaques 2- Critique de la personnalité psychologique 3- Conception de la psychose paranoïaque comme développement d'une personnalité 4- Conception d'une de la psychose paranoïaque comme déterminée par un processus organique

II- Le "cas Aimée" ou la paranoïaque d'auto-punition 1- Examen clinique du cas "Aimée" 2- La psychose de notre cas représente-t-elle un "processus" organo-psychique ? 3- La psychose de notre cas représente-t-elle une réaction à un conflit vital et à des traumas affectifs déterminés ? 4- L'anomalie de structure et la fixation de développement de la personnalité d'Aiméesont les causes premières de la psychose

III- Exposé critique, réduit en manière d'appendice, de la méthode d'une science de la personnalité et de sa portée dans l'étude des psychoses

Premiers écrits sur la paranoïa : Ecrits "inspirés" : Schizophrénie Le problème du style et la conception psychiatrique des formes paranoïaques de l'expérience Motifs du crime paranoïaque : le crime des soeurs Papin

Appendice : Exposé général de nos travaux scientifiques

De la psychose paranoïaque dans ses rapports avec la personnalité DM Thèse de doctorat en médecine de Lacan, éditée la première fois en 1932, puis reprise avec des ajouts ("Premiers écrits sur la paranoïa") aux éditions du Seuil en 1975. Trois parties: Position théorique et dogmatique du problème - Le cas "Aimée" ou la paranoïa d'auto-punition - Exposé critique, réduit en manière d'appendice, de la méthode d'une science de la personnalité et de sa portée dans l'étude des psychoses, p. 345-349. Détails sur le produit

   * Poche
   * Editeur : Seuil (1 avril 1980)
   * Langue: Français
   * ISBN: 2020055104
   * Dimensions (en cm): 2 x 11 x 18