Talk:Jacques Lacan

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Lacan earned a medical degree in 1932 and was a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Paris for much of his career.


LANGUAGE notable poststructuralist, he reinterpreted Freudian psychoanalysis, esp. the theory of the unconscious, in the light of structural linguistics and anthropology.

He reinterpreted Freudian psychoanalysis in the light of structural linguistics and anthropology; he saw the unconscious as developing simultaneously with language.

Lacan carried out influential work in reinterpretating Freudian psychoanalysis in light of developments in structural linguistics and anthropology.

His endeavour was to reinterpret Freud in the light of the structural approach to linguistics inaugurated by Saussure.

Language becomes a manifestation of the structures present in the unconscious. T

Lacan emphasized the primacy of language as the mirror of the unconscious mind, and he tried to introduce the study of language (as practiced in modern linguistics, philosophy, and poetics) into psychoanalytic theory. His major achievement was his reinterpretation of Freud's work in terms of the structural linguistics developed by French writers in the second half of the 20th century.

he central theme is that the growing child must give up the narcissistic stage of absorption in the mother, and becomes aware of loss and difference as it begins to take its place in a network of linguistic and social roles. The repressions involved in this procedure open up a world of insatiable desires.


He founded and headed an organization called the Freudian School of Paris from 1964 until he disbanded it in 1980 for what he claimed was its failure to adhere with sufficient strictness to Freudian principles.

SEMINARS, FAME - WORKS The influence he gained extended well beyond the field of psychoanalysis to make him one of the dominant figures in French cultural life during the 1970s. In his own psychoanalytic practice, Lacan was known for his unorthodox, and even eccentric, therapeutic methods.

His influence rested on the series of seminars he gave at the univeristy of Paris from 1953 which decisively influenced French thought of the time.

he reached prominence only after he began conducting regular seminars at the University of Paris in 1953. He acquired celebrity status in France after the publication of his essays and lectures in Écrits (1966; Eng. trans. The Language of the Self: The Function of Language in Psychoanalysis).

Lacan's work is notoriously obscure, repeating the same shifting nature of dreams and, presumably, the unconscious; like that of Derrida after him it is also replete with wordplays, puns, and reason-defying leaps. His lectures, in transcript, are collected in the two-volume Écrits (1966, 1971, trs. under the same title, 1977).

A number of Lacan's articles and lectures are collects in Écrits (1966).


Lacan's work has transformed psychoanalysis, both as a theory and as a practice.

In the 1950s, Lacan emphasized the role of language (and the symbolic order) in psychoanalysis and formulated his most important thesis: that the unconscious is structured like a language.

(This was an extraordinarily innovative period for Lacan and he introduced many of the concepts that would preoccupy him for the rest of his career.)

Lacan drew on a field of study known as Structuralism and on linguistic theory.

Claude Lévi-Strauss's elementary structure of kinship provided the basis for Lacan's conception of the symbolic order and the formation of the unconscious.

Lévi-Strauss's structural anthropology was facilitated by the work of the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) and it was through Lévi-Strauss that Lacan began to read linguistics.

In the process he made radical and far-reaching changes to Saussure's concept of the linguistic sign, completely reversing any conventional understanding of the relationship between the speaking subject and language.

Finally, we will look at the Russian linguist Roman Jakobson's (1896-1982) work on metaphor and metonymy, as this was crucially important for Lacan's conceptualization of desire.

Lacan's conception of the subject as constituted in and through language.

Further information about Jacques Lacan can be found below:

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One of the most important -- and most controversial -- figures in the history of psychoanalysis, Lacan is also acknowledged for his influence across a broad range of disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences, from the field of cultural studies, literary and film criticism, to the field of social and political theory, women and gender studies, and philosophy.