Talk:Jacques Lacan/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Simplification of this following sentence

In text we read: "Correcting" Freud from within the light of Saussure, Lévi-Strauss, and Barthes, Lacan's "return to Freud" could be read as the realization that the pervading agency of the unconscious is intimately tied to the functions and dynamics of language, where the signifier is irremediably divorced from the signified in a chronic but generative tension of lack.

As it stands, can someone explain what is the "agency of the unconscious"? Does it mean the "agent who is directing the unconcious"? In which case, it might be better to substitute it entirely with the single word "unconcious", or perhaps "the brain structure that is source of unconciousn thought" might be more appropriate. The word "signifer" is very vague. Without context, no reader can tell what is being signified and what is signifying. What does "generative" mean? There must be something being generated - what is that thing? And what does the final "lack" mean? A lack of what? How can one have "tension of lack"? Tension in the context of "language" or "consciousness" has not even a field-specific meaning. Can an expert either simplify this language or remove the sentence.

Lacan just is very jargon-y. He's not a great writer because of that. But, because of that, it's a disservice not to explain some of these terms or at least use phrases descriptive of them. I don't think you need to explain "signifier" and "signified". That's something you can figure out inside of an hour alone with a copy of Saussure. Ditto on unconscious. If you've ever read Freud or a psych textbook (and I don't know how anyone gets through college without taking a psych class) you should know that.
Btw, Freud dealt with the mind in his psychoanalytic work. If you write "brain" in the sentence about the unconscious, you're essentially ignoring the crux of psychoanalysis and the comparative methodological differences between psychoanalysis and cognitive neuropsych.
I'll summarize - Lacan said the unconscious has its own rational "language" and then sought to understand Freud's notions of the unconscious based on Saussure's notions of the things language refers to and the ways language is expressed - which Saussure called the signified and the signifier.
Maybe we could alter to something like that - you know, that makes sense. Guinness4life (talk) 01:20, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

So really, what does this mean?

'Lacan's "return to Freud" could be read as the realization that the pervading agency of the unconscious is intimately tied to the functions and dynamics of language, where the signifier is irremediably divorced from the signified in a chronic but generative tension of lack.'

A 'chronic but generative tension of lack'? Yes, that makes perfect sense. I mean, come on, I know Lacan was a particularly obscure writer, but perhaps we who aren't Lacan could at least attempt to recapitulate his ideas in comprehensible language instead of vague pseudo-propositions. What is a tension of lack? What is lacking? Whence the tension? What is being generated? -- (talk) 19:59, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Assuming there is any meaning to be extracted from this section (the "tension of lack" business in particular), an English translation would be most illuminating. Alternatively, if no editor can create a sensible translation of this diarrheal pomobabble, I'd like to make a case for its removal from the article, since apparently anyone who can understand it is already an expert on Lacan.--Kajerm (talk) 03:29, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
How can anyone, after the publication of Hegel's writings, suggest that obscurity is undesirable? It is the very essence of profundity. If you don't understand, the fault is due to your mental limitations, which come from a chronic but generative tension of lack.Lestrade (talk) 18:15, 7 September 2008 (UTC)Lestrade
The first cited paragraph is actually not a particularly difficult passage. It makes sense. It's expected that before reading Lacan, you've read Hegel, Freud, and Saussure (it's actually an expectation that holds true for most 20th century French Philosophy). That's not unreasonable. Before studying Calculus, you generally study Arithmetic. Building upon prior concepts, no? Some of Lacan just doesn't make sense, either. He's French. I can't say I remember what "tension of lack" is off the top of my head.
Hegel was an atrocious writer. Profound thinker, utterly awful writer. Being a bad writer did not positively impact his thought. The difficulty of prose does not imply difficult or original content. Let's not confuse the inscrutable with the profound or philosophy with masochism. Foucault, Searle and Austin have profound philosophy books written on about a 7th grade reading level.
Lacan is also a terrible writer. As with Hegel, that's a flaw, not something to be extolled. That said, I don't think, given Lacan's oeuvre, the passages on this page are particularly jargon filled. I might do some edits though, if no one minds to dumb it down a bit. Guinness4life (talk) 00:56, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Come on! Hegel is known for being an excellent writer. He is elegant, accurate and intelligent. Clarity sometimes is expandable.
As for the opening sentence here what it means: there is a split between the ego and the unconscious. This split is present also between signifier and sgnified. This means the the signified is as unaccessable to the signifier as the unconscious for the ego. A signifier never relates to a signifier thus but only to another signifier. The signified is now a lack, a lack that insists in appearing in the signifier's chain, thus here's the tension. Why is itgenerative? Because we try to express the signified but we never managed adequately, so we start producing a whole series of metaphors trying to capture it as much as we can. Here! Explained!

There is a —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:01, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Digression on post-structuralist is too far afield

While I agree entirely that calling Lacan a "post-structuralist" is not clear, going into a digression on the meaning of the term is distracting for the lead. We could say a lot about what different people mean by the term, whether Lacan ever affirmed or denied it, whether it applies to other Lacanians, and so on. But surely not in the lead.

The way the lead reads now is sufficiently non-committal without needing to belabor the point. We don't even say that any specific figure influenced by Lacan is post-structuralist, just that the general tendency is characterized in English in such a manner. That is open enough: it pins down which general, vague tendency of thought without putting a foot down on this or that person being or not being a postie. Likewise, I took out a parenthetical about Derrida which circumlocuted about his relationship with posties (maybe the article on Derrida can discuss that, but surely not here). LotLE×talk 05:13, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Courbet painting

I confess I have to agree that Lacan's ownership of a particular notable painting is at the level of trivia. But given the fame of the painting, as well as connections one might imagine between it and Lacan's own body of thought, some mention appeals to me. What was taken out was:

Lacan was the last private owner of Gustave Courbet's provocative painting L'Origine du monde (The Origin of the World); he had his stepbrother, the painter André Masson, paint a surrealist variant. The painting was given to the French government by Lacan's heirs after his death because of his having left them with a large burden of back taxes; it now hangs in the Musée d'Orsay.

I wonder if a shorter off-hand comment might still fit? Certainly, this is not central to Lacan's notability, but it might add harmless "color" to the text. What about:

Lacan owned Gustave Courbet's provocative painting L'Origine du monde; it was transferred to the French government by Lacan's heirs after his death.

Whadaya think? LotLE×talk 08:13, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

If you must, but I still think it qualifies as "too much detail". Can you explain why it is important for his thought? Maybe then it would add something, yes?MarkAnthonyBoyle 08:48, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I think I could make a "plausible speculation" about a connection. But doing that would be entirely WP:OR: no one cares what "LotLE's thinks might be a going on." On the other hand, some amount of stuff that is "trivia" gets into most bios: for thinkers, it doesn't usually really matter what their parents did for a living, or what town they were born in, or how many children they had... but that sort of thing is in most bios on WP. Anyway, I don't care that much, and won't put anything back right away, especially not until other editors have opined. LotLE×talk 08:58, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Short session

The bit about Lacan getting haircuts during sessions is funny, both the claim by Roudinesco itself (not really a reliable source for this, methinks) and the attachment of an editor to including it. While I have no idea whether Lacan actually did get a haircut during sessions, the logic behind breaking the process of transference is an actual intellectual point of Lacan, and against most other psychoanalytic traditions. I'm not really convinced myself by the logic of the short session, but neither do I imagine it a simple question of sloth or greed: there was a specific theoretical understanding to it.

It seems odd to me to imagine the analytic process as the equivalent of hiring a masseuse or a plumber (for whom you demand 50 minutes labor for a certain pay, not a minute less). An analyst should be neither a father substitute, imagined lover/friend, nor an hourly laborer. Even analysts who do not use short sessions--in fact, even psycho-therapists who are not analysts--make efforts to break the transferal and counter-transferal process. Something like a feigned demeanor of non-attention is a commonplace technique (I'm sure somewhere in the world a therapist is merely inattentive as well... but that wasn't Lacan's story). LotLE×talk 09:15, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Incidentally, I changed 5-minute to "truncated" to avoid the impression that every short session was exactly 5 minutes. The logic of the practice was the indeterminacy of the length, not substituting some specific shorter length. I also omitted pedicure, and left hair cut, just for flow. Either one seems to give the idea of "apparent inattention", which is the theoretical/ethical point involved. LotLE×talk 09:38, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I think that is fine. Glad you left it in. My thinking is that this whole article is beginning to read better now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MarkAnthonyBoyle (talkcontribs) 11:05, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I recall also reading sessions were occasionally conducted through the slightly ajar and still latched door of Lacan's flat, but I'll leave it out unless I come across the source again. honestly, it was my understanding that Freud's fifty minute session was derived from the length of an academic lecture, not from any clinical data, apart from what he admits is speculation concerning the attention spans and stamina of clients. Why should the clinician assume that every client in every session would benefit from some absolute limit to the session? Variable session length is crucial to the analyst's neutrality, since it allows a session to last precisely as long as is necessary, a period determined only by what would benefit the client. I suppose, tho, we must bear in mind what has become common practice amongst some psychiatrists in the United States, which is give a patient a short questionare, then in a matter of moments send them out into the world with a month's supply of potentially lethal drugs. Variable length sessions indeed. I hardly think many of them are Lacanian, tho.--Slenney (talk) 19:50, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Castoriadis writes of these sessions that "'variable duration' would obviously require each session of 5 or 10 minutes to be matched on average by one of 80 or 85" ("Psychoanalysis: Project and Elucidation" in "Crossroads in the Labyrinth") AllyD (talk) 22:00, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Newish comments on Lacan and French Left

By the 1960s, Lacan was associated—at least in the public mind—with the far left in France. Echoing this sentiment, "Shortly after the tumultuous events of May 1968, Lacan was accused by the authorities of being a subversive, and directly influencing the events that transpired."

This seems like a pertinent inclusion, and I've seen this sort of thing claimed elsewhere, so there is obviously something to it. But, as a reader, I want to know:

"public mind"? was he a public figure by then?, and in what sense? what public? (intellectuals?, man in the street?, newspaper readers? was psychological practice in the news or just Lacan? who exactly?)
which bit of the "far left"? (anarchists?, Maoists?, trade union?, which bit of the left exactly? or was it his "anti-authoritarian" stance?)
how was he "associated" (did he do something?, say something?, did he belong to some organisation?)
which "authorities accused him? (the university leardership?, the police?, members of a political party?, the president?)
did the authorities give some reason as to how or why he directly influenced events? or was he just one of the "usual suspects"?

If we could briefly address these issues it would make for a much more informative articleMarkAnthonyBoyle 01:32, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Lulu, makes more sense nowMarkAnthonyBoyle 18:57, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

I think this section has to be more specific. Lacan himself wrote about the student uprising, both in the seminar of 1969 and, apparently, according to that source, in an article commissioned by Le Monde on the topic of education, which I have never actually seen, and his position is much more nuanced than this section makes appear. I will edit it to the best of my knowledge, citing sources, but I must admit my own failings on the issue. I simply know slightly more than is currently displayed. If anyone else knows more, I would be interested in hearing it. Also, there is, I know, an essay more or less on the subject in Lacan's Silent Partners, edited by Zizek, which I've not got around to reading, if anyone has the time and energy--Slenney (talk) 19:21, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Part of it has to do with the politicization of psychoanalysis and the huge amounts of unemployed philosophy students in France at the time. Lay Freudian psychoanalysis was EXTREMELY controversial in the medicine dominated Freudian circles of the time. Has anyone else read his biography? Want me to post some of this? I have RS's. Guinness4life (talk) 01:01, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Overall shape of the article

Just looking over the article as a whole it has become more easy to read and more informative lately. It is shaping up nicely as good introduction to Lacan and his principle ideas (just like an encyclopaedia!). I'd like to suggest a non-trivial change at this point. I'd like to combine the sections: Life, Career, Analysis, Lacan's Seminars, The new school, and perhaps the Return to Freud. My thinking is that it would be beneficial for these parts to read more chronologically, to give an overall shape to the Biography, allowing his individual concepts to be outlined later on under their own subject headings. What do others think? PS maybe it's time archive the discussion page. Does anybody know how to do this? MarkAnthonyBoyle 04:40, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

I certainly have no objections to a more chronological biography. Even organized decade-by-decade would be fine, with the various concepts popping up when they occur in the seminars. It's a bit of an undertaking, and I can't necessarily promise to do a lot of it (my paying publishers are clamoring for their stuff, after all)... but if MAB wants to, I support it (and will help to some extent). LotLE×talk 04:55, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Limiting Infobox

I've had this problem elsewhere: Infoboxes tend to grow particular editor's favorite "influenced by/influenced" links, without any particular regard to centrality of influence or comparative fame of people listed.

What I believe is the obvious and correct approach to this is that anyone listed in an infobox as an influence(d) should be discussed (meaningfully) in the body of the article as such. A million people read Lacan, and were trivially "influenced" by him. Only those who are notable enough to be mentioned in the body belong in the infobox... or especially belong as influences upon him: only those whose influence is explicated. LotLE×talk 07:29, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Biographical order

I have sorted out the article chronologically. There is a problem in the 1950's section: It refers to Ecrits 1960's. Can someone more familiar with his bio sort this out please. Thanks MarkAnthonyBoyle 02:27, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Not an issue - Ecrits is a compilation fo essays,t he oldest one going back to the 1930s. Most come from the 1950s. The section says this. Phil Sandifer 16:47, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Pictures ?

There aren't any illustrations on this page, is it meant ? If it is not, you can find a few ones on the french page dedicated to Lacan. Pythakos (talk) 13:06, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

[I like his post structuralist approach to psychonalaysis, but that's because I Lacan education]

Erm, sorry to spoil the party but Lacans theories have been pretty conclusively proven to be garbage. Although he's obviously relevant, purely in terms of his continued influence on thinkers ect, ect. None of the criticisms of Lacan on this page seem to point out the comprehensive debunking of his claims. Why is this? He based his theories on Saussure, who as everyone knows is now irrelevant beyond serving a footnote to the history of linguistics. His 'mirror stage' concept has been shown to be erroneous in light of modern studies on child development. And, err, there ain't much left beyond his survival in the work of trendy theorists. May I add these crucial criticisms? I'm amazed this charade has been able to persist for song long....??? This page is suffering from a fundamental manque. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:58, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

It's psychoanalysis. They're all basically voodoo priests, regardless of where they're from. I don't believe very much of the Bible is true, but it's useful as a cultural and mytho-historical referent. A page like this on Lacan is similarly useful from an ideological perspective, if nothing else, owing to his popularity - he's one of the most influential French thinkers of the 20th century. Also, his contributions to psychoanalysis in France were huge, even if in America he's only known for being a featured player in the Sokal Affair and in pretentious lit crit circles.
Where was mirror stage conclusively debunked? That's one of Lacan's better ideas. Gallup did field research on a similar idea involving mirrors and self-awareness. Most of Lacan's early work before he stopped making sense in the 60s is actually pretty solid, if poorly written.
Honestly, most of Piaget and Vygotsky is similarly deplorable in the specifics and terrible writing is pretty much par for the field. Have you read their actual work?
Lacan's late stuff is nonsense, but as far as psychoanalysis goes on the whole, I think he's better than other Neo-Freudians. His concept of the unconscious is actually pretty interesting, as well as lay psychoanalysis and the short session. Guinness4life (talk) 18:25, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Recent addition of Raymond Tallis article to end of Criticism section

I followed the link provided and found, rather than the advertised "witty and persuasive demolition of Lacan's psychoanalytical works and writings", a rather short ad hominem attack that proceeds through argument by assertion and much throwing about of terms like "lunatic" and "psychopath". I am quite sure there are very good critiques of Lacan's theories out there, but this is not one of them.

As a newbie to editing Wikipedia pages I thought I would put this up for discussion rather than simply edit the page myself.

Iclubb (talk) 20:03, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Criticism of critics

The criticism section includes this, 'In Fashionable Nonsense, Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont accuse Lacan of "superficial erudition" and of abusing scientific concepts he does not understand. Defenders of Lacanian thinking claim that these critics' misunderstand—or often simply have not read—Lacan's texts. Bruce Fink has dismissed Sokal and Bricmont, claiming they have "no idea whatsoever what Lacan is up to," and accuses them of elevating a distaste for Lacan's writing style into an attack on his thought as a whole.[30] Similarly, Arkady Plotnitsky claims that Lacan uses the mathematical concepts more accurately than do Sokal and Bricmont.' May I ask what the last three sentences of this paragraph are doing here? This is supposed to be a section about criticism of Lacan, not about criticism of Sokal and Bricmont. There are two times as many sentences criticising Sokal as there are criticising Lacan! This is absurd, and I am strongly inclined to change it. Skoojal (talk) 05:26, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree there was too much on the "critics of critics." However, as I write in my edit comments, leaving the Sokal/Bricmont by itself treats it too much as serious criticism. There book is just a "who's who" of post-structuralist thinkers, with vague personalistic snipes at each thinker named. It's not a criticism of Lacan, he just makes it on a long "enemies list". It's also not really "criticism" at any serious level (I would object at all to removing the whole bit of nonsense from this article), more like a semi-academic version of The Star (magazine).
In any case, the entire section is really bad form under WP:CRIT. Having a title heading for places to add snipes about a bio subject is not encyclopedic. Actually integrating criticism into the discussion of particular concepts would be worthwhile. Of course, in that case, the personalistic snipes wouldn't make it in, since they are not about any particular concept or book. LotLE×talk 17:54, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Saying that leaving Sokal and Bricmont's comments there by themselves treats them as too serious a criticism is, I suppose, your way of saying that you do not agree with the criticism. That's irrelevant. This is supposed to be a neutral article. It also misses a fundamental point: criticism of Sokal and Bricmont belongs in the article about them, not here. I will undo your changes.
Also, I should make a correction: I wrote that there was twice as much criticism of Sokal and Bricmont as criticism of Lacan in that paragraph. That was a mistake. There is actually three times as much, going by sentence count. This is a blatant violation of neutrality. Skoojal (talk) 23:27, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I wrote the above before seeing what you actually did, however. Now that I take a look at it, I can see it's not unreasonable, so I won't undo it. Skoojal (talk) 23:33, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I believe the reference to the sokal book should be erased. It's a bad book, written by unqualified writers which now days has no relevance or what so ever. Having it as the only criticism gives it too much credit while there are, unmentioned, much more interesting and effective critics as Derrida, Kirsteva and Guttuari. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:47, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Agreed with the above. They actually engage with Lacan's thought to critique it, whereas Sokal and Bricmont just dismiss it wholesale based on a gross misreading and distorition of Lacan's project. Also remove reference to the Dylan Evans piece. I actually heard from a Lacanian acquaintence of Dylan's that his so-called "salvation from Lacan by Darwin" did not occur as he had eloquently described it. Can't say whether he was right or not but Dylan Evans understanding of Lacan tends to reflect a personal dissatisfaction that led to a understandable frustration yet a flawed characterization of other readers of Lacan and of Lacan studies as a whole. It was a rather cheesy piece in some respects. - User: Afghan Historian —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:12, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Richard Webster

The section on 'Works about Lacan's works and theory' includes Richard Webster's Why Freud Was Wrong. I am going to remove it. Why Freud Was Wrong is a book of 673 pages. It mentions Lacan on six of those pages, always briefly and unhelpfully. It is not in any real sense 'about Lacan.' Skoojal (talk) 08:50, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Andre Green

A criticism of Lacan by Andre Green was recently added to, and then deleted from, this article. I'm tempted to put it back in again; it was quite interesting, and I'm not sure what its being notable or not has to do with anything. Skoojal (talk) 06:21, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Being "interesting" doesn't come close to cutting it (not that I found it very interesting, in any case). I've read hundreds of critiques of famous philosophers by colleagues, many of which were interesting... and none of them belong in articles unless there is clear, citable evidence of their notability. Heck, I've written "interesting" published critiques of Lacan (that don't come close to belonging in article space). Notability, that is, for Lacan's biography. What's notable for Green's biography is not necessarily, and probably not actually, interesting for Lacan's.
Before going on this line any further, please read, understand, and memorize WP:CRIT. There's is something deeply unencyclopedic aobut 99% of the "criticism" that makes it to WP (and the Green was a particularly bad example of special pleading) LotLE×talk 07:16, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
I read it. I still am not sure why Green's criticism of Lacan shouldn't be in this article. Skoojal (talk) 07:52, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
This is a biography of Lacan! The reason is pretty straightforward. Green had no impact on the course of Lacan's life, or on the reception of his works. Now obviously, there is a fair amount of material on commentary that happened after Lacan's death, and that is not unreasonable given that he had much influence into the 1990s-2000s. However, that later commentary that is mentioned must be citable as notable to the study and reception of Lacan (even that is pushing the limits of biography). Almost no one has ever heard of Green in Lacanian circles, and his actual influence on the field of scholarship is exactly zero (just as is mine, even with my published articles about Lacan). Butler, or Fink, or also someone quite critical like Roudinesco, are all important to "Lacanian studies"... Green is nobody. And a nobody with a purely one-liner style of "critique". LotLE×talk 04:00, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
I am the user who added the Green criticism. I thought my contribution was deleted perhaps in part due to my being an unregistered, anonymous user. I have just registered in order that I may be allowed to make a point in regards to this matter. I am a great admirer of Lacan, but feel that Green's position as a member of Lacan's inner circle for a period of almost ten years and an ardent admirer and promulgator of his theories during the time of their relations, his criticism is especially valid. Andre Green is a noted psychoanalyst, at the very least, his position of relative prominence in the living practice of psychoanalysis should make his criticism noteworthy especially given his once personal relationship with Lacan. Do I have a valid point here? LotLE's criticism of Green may be valid, but the usage of an ad hominem attack in order to denounce the validity of criticism against Lacan hardly seems appropriate. His relevance to the subject of Lacan himself is certainly a valid point to raise, but Green (and read the Division 39 article I cited) was close to Lacan and IS a prominent analyst whose opinions carry weight within the analytic community. It hardly seems fair to dismiss his comments so lightly as to not include them in a "criticism" section. BAAhmed (talk) 05:47, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I am a fairly studied Lacanian scholar. Well, maybe that's claiming a bit too much; but certainly I have Ph.D. in a closely related field, and have written professionally about Lacan. The first time I ever heard of Andre Green was in the recent insertion of his name into the Lacan article. Moreover, Green's own article gives no suggestion that he is particularly prominent or notable as a critic/commentator of Lacan. Green is simply not remotely close to the sort of name that is notable for a biography of Lacan. Moreover, the "criticism" is an empty sounding word play that has nothing whatsoever to do with Lacan's actual work or thought; at best it's a witticism (at worst merely trite). LotLE×talk 05:58, 12 June 2008 (UTC) BAAhmed (talk) 06:03, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I was going to re-insert the criticism, but I have re-considered the issue and I now think Lulu is right about this. A strong case can be made that criticism sections are a bad idea. Skoojal (talk) 11:03, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Without debating the merits of criticism sections in general, I simply felt that in the context of what is in the current criticism section, Green's comment is notable. Deleting it because one is opposed to criticism sections in general is one thing, deleting it for being offhand and not notable is another. However, I am not going to reinsert it without some type of consensus as to it being worthy of inclusion. Anyway, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the matter. BAAhmed (talk) 15:10, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

criticism in general

I've always interpreted a "criticism" section as the place for both positive and negative criticism. At the least, they both must be covered somewhere. For this article, though I am certainly not a specialist, it might be appropriate to have a section on his followers and those influenced by him. I know it's implied by the references to some extent, but it should still be explicit as a guide to those as ignorant as myself. DGG (talk) 14:13, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Lulu has objected to the inclusion of some criticism here because of its lack of biographical relevance. The same criticism could be applied to much of what is already in the criticism section. The criticism of Lacan by Derrida, Irigaray, and also perhaps Chomsky is biographically relevant, but I think the rest is not. So to be consistent, much of the contents of the criticism section should be deleted, and the remainder integrated into the rest of the article. Skoojal (talk) 02:35, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

I'd actually love to see more criticism if it were actually integrated into the discussion of concepts and chronology. For example, if we were to include a sentence about Irigiray (who criticized, contemporaneously a "single-pole of sexuality") near the discussion of The Signification of the Phallus, that would be right on topic. She actually addressed Lacan while he was writing, was also read in her opposition to certain Lacanian concepts, and her critique is a genuine intellectual disagreement. It's not just schoolyard taunts like those from Sokal and Green that take the form of generic personal insults, or plays on words.
In the past (on many intellectual biographies, not pointing to discussants here) I've seen so many attempts at false balance that just say "Thinker X claims blah; but Y, Z, and W say he's full of shit." The misunderstanding at the heart of these is that we're trying to tell readers "the truth" about someone's ideas, and evaluate their correctness "by presenting all POVs." Intellectual biographies are still, firstly, biographies... other articles on concepts might have more of this X claims blah, Y denies it (but even there with better explanations). LotLE×talk 17:23, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
The erasures of the past day look ok, but I'd be uncomfortable about evaporating the Criticism section altogether. I take the point about textual integration being preferable; indeed the major flaw in this article (as I said in the Talk archives) is the article's near silence on what Lacan did during 1969-1980. The wording that "he continued to deliver his expositions of analytic theory and practice till the dissolution of his School in 1980" is a particularly astonishing piece of grammatical passivity which really needs to be filled out. AllyD (talk) 18:42, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I certainly agree on the incompleteness of this bio. There's a little bit on concepts from the 1970s, but not enough. However, I very much would like to see the whole Criticism section go away. Not a deletion of the content, but moving its pieces into the overall narrative. Integrating Derrida somewhere earlier shouldn't be too hard; and the feminist (pro- and con-) could also be refactored into a topical organization around Lacanian concepts. The Chomsky could probably be included in the chronology part, since it speaks to a public perception of Lacan. The Sokal/Bricmont is really of far less value: it's a couple guys make sniping comments that are unrelated to the actual work in any real way, many years after Lacan's death (in a catalog of vague insults of a laundry list of intellectuals in a certain tradition). LotLE×talk 18:52, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the value of Sokal's criticism is the point. What matters is its lack of biographical relevance. Skoojal (talk) 02:27, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
It's a mixture, I think. I certainly have been advocating the point about biographical relevance, but this relevance doesn't entirely end with the death of the biographic subject. For example, there has been some enormously interesting Spinoza scholarship in the 20th Century (I think especially of Deleuze and of Negri). Obviously, those thinkers who lived centuries after poor Baruch died didn't directly affect his life, but they greatly affected the professional understanding of his work. Of course, that article shouldn't be too focused on posthumous reception of the work, but some mention of the state of scholarship seems reasonable. However, the quality and relevance of the later work become relevant here; if someone were to simply publish a "scandal sheet" about long-dead Spinoza today, I doubt it would be worth mentioning in the biography, but something that importantly changed the understanding of the past work might be. By obvious analogy, Fink or Miller's latest work on Lacan might be relevant in ways that Sokal simply isn't. LotLE×talk 06:47, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Some of the same points that apply to Sokal and Bricmont (that they were writing well after Lacan's death) also apply to the feminist criticism. Judith Butler's first books weren't published until the late 1980s, for instance. One has to be careful to avoid making this look like shielding Lacan from dismissive criticism. Skoojal (talk) 03:21, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I've always disliked the idea of "integrating" criticism sections, mainly because the whole concept is based on the idea that most readers are actually reading the entire article. Any drawbacks or critiques of a subject are easiest to find when they are in their own section. Concealing them in the article dilutes and obfuscates the criticism, and-- intentionally or unintentionally-- lionizes the subject of the article for lazy readers. Lazy readers being the majority of readers of nearly everything, I urge you strongly to reconsider putting the criticism section back in.

I really did actually want to read this article to find out what Lacan's critics had to say about him, and how his apologists responded. This information is buried in the article now, amidst nonsense about "a tension of lack." This whole project of resectioning has left this article as impenetrable as Lacan's own writing. --Kajerm (talk) 03:40, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Just came to find any critics and was surprised that it doesn't contain a separate Critics Section. I had to go to the german version of the page that is more user friendly in this sense.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:32, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

The criticism section is weak. It's missing Sokal's actual points regarding the misuse of science (Borromean Knot and Moebius Strip are the specific topological concepts) and reasoning by analogy. They're actually fairly valid critiques, though they do tend to rely on minor lectures more than his Ecrits or major lectures. Also, while it proves that it's fairly obvious Lacan doesn't understand set theory or topology, the criticism still doesn't really affect his primary theories regarding psychoanalysis.

No one even mentioned Deleuze and Guattari's "Anti-Oedipus"! It's a flagrant critique of Lacanian Freudianism that should be obvious to anyone familiar with Lacan. One of them (I forget if it was D or G) even sent his wife to seminar to see if Lacan would react (acc. to Stuart Schneiderman in his Lacan: Death of An Intellectual Hero). Guinness4life (talk) 00:20, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Weird text underneath the bibliography

Beneath the bibliography, there is this: '*referenced above.' Is there a good reason why that is there? It's not clear what this is supposed to mean. Skoojal (talk) 01:21, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

There was a time about 18 months ago when the article was unreferenced (indeed a numeric editor used to revert any attempt to add refs) so I guess this may be a residue of that? AllyD (talk) 18:48, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
This looks like something that should probably be deleted, and I probably will do that soon, unless someone explains why that text absolutely has to be there. Skoojal (talk) 08:39, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The gaze of the n-dash

I notice, Skoojal, that you seem to have an odd aversion to n-dashes :-). Wassup wit dat? I actually think it reads better with the dashes in each of the places you put in commas instead (I think I did write one of the uses, but not the others). I'll defer, of course, but it seems funny. LotLE×talk 16:15, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The — marks interrupt the flow of a sentence in a way I find jarring. Commas are smaller and less of a strain on the eyes. Skoojal (talk) 02:16, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I disagree; I often find the dash (whether m-dash or n-dash) flows better (both visually and semantically). However, I also use it with a slightly different meaning than a comma. In this article, for example, in what I think is the first instance you changed, I deliberately chose paratactic dashes over commas to convey a different meaning. It's not a huge difference, but the dash conveys more of an aside than the commas do; not as much of an aside a parentheses, however. Either is grammatically independent of the noun phrase of the main clause, but the commas should indicate a more direct semantic parallelism in the indepent clause than dashes do. Unfortunately, I think each of the cases you changed reads slightly worse as a consequence of your change. Actually, I think you elided some parens as well, which also detracted slightly from the proper emphasis. As pretty as commas may be, we should follow meaning not visual appeal. LotLE×talk 06:40, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't like asides in sentences. Perhaps they should be turned into different sentences? Anyway, I do so hope that you don't want to have an edit war over such a minor detail. Skoojal (talk) 07:17, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Don't worry, I haven't and I won't edit war over something like that. Just a nudge to ask you to think about whether prior editors had chosen punctuation with some specific intention rather then assume commas are always the right type of parataxis. LotLE×talk 08:12, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Criticism redaction and integration

I'm putting the old section here as a scratch pad to put back in overall flow. Please help me finish my integration and/or improve my efforts. LotLE×talk 19:33, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Although Lacan is associated with it, he was criticized by major figures associated with post-structuralism, and the related school of postmodernism. Jacques Derrida characterized Lacan as taking a structuralist approach to psychoanalysis. Derrida claimed this led Lacan to inherit a Freudian "phallocentrism," exemplified by Lacan's conception of the phallus as the "primary signifier" that determines the social order of signifiers. Derrida deconstructs the Freudian conception of "penis envy", upon which female subjectivity is determined "as an absence," to show that the primacy of the male phallus entails a hierarchy between phallic presence and absence that ultimately collapses.

Added to section Other/other (expanded and reworded slightly): While he has been criticized for adopting a Freudian phallocentric stance in his psychoanalytic theories, many feminists believe Lacan provides a useful analysis of gender biases and imposed roles. Some feminist critics, such as Luce Irigaray,[1] accuse Lacan of maintaining the sexist tradition in psychoanalysis. Others feminists, such as Judith Butler,[2] Jane Gallop,[3] Bracha Ettinger,[4] and Elizabeth Grosz,[5] have each interpreted Lacan's work as opening up new possibilities for feminist theory.

Integrate into Writing section: Other critics have often dismissed Lacan and his work in a more-or-less wholesale fashion. François Roustang[6] called Lacan's output "extravagant" and an "incoherent system of pseudo-scientific gibberish." Noam Chomsky described Lacan as "an amusing and perfectly self-conscious charlatan".[7] In Fashionable Nonsense, Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont accuse Lacan of "superficial erudition" and of abusing scientific concepts he does not understand. Defenders of Lacanian thinking claim that these critics misunderstand, or often simply have not read, Lacan's texts.[8][9]

You haven't done exactly what I expected, which would have been removing all mention of Sokal and Bricmont. Do you intend to do this? I don't think that what you have written, 'Largely because of his complex writing style, some critics have often dismissed Lacan and his work in a more-or-less wholesale fashion', is a description of Sokal and Bricmont's views that they would accept. Skoojal (talk) 03:28, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I think the brief mention of Sokal/Bricmont is defensible now. But I'm not attached to it, having never liked it. I'm just trying to reintegrate stuff into the flow, have at your own edits. I think the point about "complex writing style" acts as a pretty good transition from Lacan's own description of his writing and the several similar criticisms (not only S/B, but the others too; even the direct phrase "superficial erudition" from S/B seems to fit this general theme).LotLE×talk 03:48, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I think S/B have a place in this article, but that place may not be in the criticism section as it currently stands. What we might call "external" criticism of Lacan - criticism that comes from people outside of the fields he worked in and is employed by - is relevant, but a different matter than, say, the Derrida/Lacan disputes, which are internal to the fields Lacan is employed in. Phil Sandifer (talk) 14:40, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Mention of Sokal and Bricmont has recently been removed from the article on Luce Irigaray. There's a good case for removing it from this article as well, just in the interests of consistency. Skoojal (talk) 07:17, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Why should anybody in God's name care what you people think? The idea that anybody who critiques Lacan has not read him (or has not reached your hights of knowledge) is pretty lame. Castoriadis who may have been more more intelligent than all of us and has certainly read Lacan and was not impressed. And didn't Lacan's analyst think he was stark-raving mad?--Radh (talk) 11:09, 26 October 2009 (UTC)


I just noticed that the page was unprotected, and that it had been protected. That sequence seems weird. The alleged "vandalism" was to add Bracha Ettinger to the list of "influenced by" in the infobox. While I agree that Ettinger is not of sufficient importance to include in the list, it's not absurd to think she might be included, certainly it's not vandalism. Oh well, all looks happy now, and the protect/unprotect can just be one of those mysteries. LotLE×talk 01:12, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

A neutral expert on the subject should decide whether to include her or not. I don't have an educated opinion, but she certainly shouldn't be removed just because the article about her was written by a suspected sock puppet. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:40, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Phil Sandifer unprotected before we all knew the scale of the problem with these IPs blanking Ettinger info. See this ANI thread if you're interested--Cailil talk 11:26, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Calil (and Phil Sandifer, and all the diligent ANI watchers). I hadn't realized the scope and complication of the pro- and anti-Ettinger shenanigans until I read the ANI discussion just now. I happen to watch (and be more-or-less a "neutral expert" about) some of the affected pages, or topics likely to be affected, but that was my whole (peripheral) knowledge. You've all done a great job of sorting this weird mixture of self-promotion/bio-demotion, and vandalism out. LotLE×talk 18:23, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Lacan versus Ricoeur

The article says nothing about Lacan's relationship with Paul Ricoeur, including the accusation of plagiarism. I'll add something about this in the reasonably near future in the absence of objections. Skoojal (talk) 10:10, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

That may be worthwhile as there are books on that topic alone, although one has to bear in mind the point made under "criticism in general" above, that this article is a biography of Lacan. So one would have to stick with Lacan's role on that relationship? It is also worth recalling that this Lacan article remains in a position of scanty information on events from 1964-1980, even to the absence of the "Lettre de dissolution" of Jan 1980, so almost any text on a specific controversy may throw the overall article a bit off-balance? AllyD (talk) 14:16, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Incidentally, looking at the 1960s section of the article, I notice that the 1st paragraph relates to the "École Freudienne de Paris" but the 2nd paragraph is suddenly quoting from the "École de la Cause freudienne" - to my knowledge a distinct organisation founded after Jan 1980? AllyD (talk) 14:28, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Tagged for jargon

For example: "Lacan's 'return to Freud' could be read as the realization that the pervading agency of the unconscious is intimately tied to the functions and dynamics of language, where the signifier is irremediably divorced from the signified in a chronic but generative tension of lack." Good stuff, but holy moly! Cosmic Latte (talk) 03:52, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I actually laughed out loud when I saw (five minutes ago) that the article on Lacan had been tagged for having too much jargon. The tag should remain here in perpetuity for reasons of humor, if nothing else. Incidentally, while I'm too intimidated by Lacan's purported inscrutability to have ever read him, oddly the only word I really have trouble with in the preceding sentence (in terms of context) is "lack." But it's a pretty important word in that sentence, so I agree we have at least one jargon problem. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 08:43, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
What's laughable is the idea that Wikipedia is a place to define Lacan's concepts and the like. Stick to biography, indicate what he is known for, and point to additional reading.-FM (talk) 01:42, 13 August 2009 (UTC)FM

Lacan as Philosopher vs. Lacan as Psychoanalyst

a while back I tried to insert a criticism by Andre Green and was rebuffed by LOLTE as "non-notable" and when I tried to argue, he responded that he was a "fairly studied Lacanian scholar" while admitting that while that wasn't fair he had a "degree in a closely relate field" -- he was right. Philosophy is a field closely related to Lacan, but his primary life purpose was psychoanalysis, a context in which no one could dismiss Andre Green. Green quotes Lacan habitually in his works, pays honest, constant homage to his work, spent years as an earnest disciple of his, and yet his words are dismissed. I think this unfair and if others arise to affirm the non-notability of Green, please have a look at the European context, psychoanalysis as it exists in Europe or even South America. Don't look at Green's words, "He cheated everyone" as an absolutist anti-Lacanian phrase, but in the context of an analyst who reveres Lacan and makes use of his insights in day to day clinical practice. Green does not dismiss Lacan's discoveries, he simply wants to present them in context with that of Lacan as a Man. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BAAhmed (talkcontribs) 06:20, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


Why is the Real order situated after the Imaginary and Symbolic order? I think that could confuse some. It should be in chronological order, starting with the first stage of the child's psyche (the Real). I also think it would be helpful if the stages included the approximate age of the child (e.g., between 6 to 8 months the child undergoes the mirror stage). (talk) 16:39, 4 October 2008 (UTC)Amy

Lacan necessarily and openly eschews any talk of stages. As Lorenzo Chiesa has shown in Subjectivity and Otherness (MIT, 2007), the primordial Real you refer to is not the Real that is the object of psychoanalysis. The primordial Real doesn't exist strictly speaking insofar as it is always already lost to the Symbolic. Rather what Lacan is interested in is the Real-of-the-Symbolic manifest as it is in the objet petit a, which is at once a leftover, "a little piece of the Real" and the stopgap in the Symbolic around which the Symbolic is suspended. Which is to say it is both a hole at the center of the Symbolic as well as the cause of desire that enables the fantasy that protects the subject from the traumatic exposure to the Real. A far cry from a linear, three part chronology to say the least. -FM (talk) 14:25, 19 May 2010 (UTC)FM

more descriptive opening sentence

I dont know anything about this guy, so:

Jacques-Marie-Émile Lacan (French pronounced [ʒak lakɑ̃]) (April 13, 1901 – September 9, 1981) was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, who contributed much to the literature of the fields.

is not so good because: " who contributed much to the literature of the fields."

my one question is: what fields?

fields of psychoanalysis?

which fields exactly?

this is too vague. :s

please make it say which fields! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Yuck! That sentence fragment seems to have crept in quite some time ago. I think it was probably hoping to say something like "fields of psychoanalysis, philosophy, and literary theory", but it seems not to. I put in an older version of complete sentence, but maybe I'll substitute what I mention here. LotLE×talk 17:52, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Here's more jargon that could benefit from editing

In the Mirror stage a misunderstanding - "méconnaissance" - constitutes the Ego—the 'moi' becomes alienated from himself through the introduction of the Imaginary order subject. It must be said that the mirror stage has also a significant symbolic dimension. The Symbolic order is present in the figure of the adult who is carrying the infant: the moment after the subject has jubilantly assumed his image as his own, he turns his head towards this adult who represents the big Other, as if to call on him to ratify this image.[10]

I've identified the above paragraph (from the main article) as being inaccessible to the layperson, myself included, See WP:PCR and also Wikipedia:Guide_to_writing_better_articles I dislike the paragraph as a whole, but feel inadequate to improve it. If the important concepts introduced here are better placed near to top of the section, in deference to their significance, I'm okay with that. I invite others more knowledgeable than I to do so. In particular, I object to the following words, the first one especially:

  • constitutes -- Is it accurate to say that a méconnaissance constitutes the Ego? This is dense language; rich in jargon, and difficult for the uninitiated. It surprises me to think that one's ego could be made up entirely of a misunderstanding. Aren't we bigger than the sum of our understanding, or at least the understanding of just one or two things? But the more I think about it, perhaps this is a concept large enough to warrant the use of the word "constitute." I don't know. It's mind blowing. See definition at wiktionary:constitute )
  • "méconnaissance" (Must we speak French? Is the word better in the French?)
  • moi (Must we speak French? Is the word better in the French?)
  • dimension (This is the first time in the article that we are introduced to the Symbolic. It's bad enough that Lacanian concepts are all inter-related, simultaneously referring to one another. It's much worse when the reader has not been warned or introduced to them. I would have liked some warning. I would like to see the major Ideas (the Three Orders, Mirror Stage, Other/other) quickly introduced, or foreshadowed under the heading "Major Concepts" so that the reader can recognize them as they show up later. Otherwise, the reader will attempt to comprehend the terms using standard, everyday definitions rather than Lacaninan ones.
  • It must be said... If it really must be said, then go ahead and say it. I'll suffer another tired cliche if it's important enough, but I'm really not clear why you/we/wikipedians are saying it. Tell the reader why the Mirror Stage is related to Lacan's concept of Symbolic Order. It might be obvious to you, but that's no excuse for not stating the obvious. WP:OBVIOUS Give the reader the benefit of a greater perspective.--Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 21:28, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
It's a mixed bag here. Some of Lacan's words are his own coinages, so I think indicating the original is worthwhile. I think 'méconnaissance' is one such, and most (if not all) translators give Lacan's form in English texts. On the other hand, I think 'moi', being a plain French word, would be perfectly fine being omitted, and just using "I". But then, using the Latin 'ego' is also funny, since it's a foreign word taken from Freud's usage, but that became universal in psychoanalytic talk (or even just in pop psychology, for that matter). LotLE×talk 04:03, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Freud's usage was "Ich" rather than "ego" which comes from James Strachey's English translation? AllyD (talk) 10:22, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Has anyone else read the Schneiderman? He's the best (and least jargon-y) overview I've found for Lacan. I'll crib some notes from that after I'm done with my thesis if no one objects. Guinness4life (talk) 00:24, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Paragraph Rewrite

Lacan spent many years developing Freud's work. He wrote in a way which only reveals to the reader what their own analytic experience would allow them to understand. Lacan is not accessable to beginners nor did he aim to be. One of Lacan's critisisms of Freud is that Freud over simplified psychoanalytic writings which prevented the intricate psychic conflicts from being expressed accurately and thus many important elements were lost within simplification. Lacan also developed algebra and technical words that should not be translated into english. Where French words appear they usually represent something about the logic of the unconscious, therefore to translate a word like 'meconnaissance' is to miss the meaning as mere misunderstanding. When lacan uses that word he is not speaking about misunderstanding he is speaking about the logic of the mind preventing understanding in accordance with the principles of repression. If one wants to read and understand Lacan they must be prepared to do a lot of background reading because he did not write for those who are unaccostomed to psychoanalysis. Far from it, he expects an in depth knowledge of Freud and his own work. The tendancy to demand simplification goes against everything Lacan was about and therefore to do it is to begin at a disadvantageous position. Find a simple introductary book and see if it elucidates something for you, reading Lacan is not for the faint hearted!

Question about semiotic

This is a very well-written article, I appreciate the work people put into it. Does anyone know if anyone ever tried to engage Lacan in terms of CS Pierce's semiotic? (Lacan refers to Peirce in an endnote to one essay in Ecrits, I don't know that he otherwise refers to Pierce). Slrubenstein | Talk 23:16, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Nope, not that I'm familiar with. Fwiw, Lacan cites a lot of people he hasn't read very closely. If you're thinking about it, go for it, but I'd recommend using a more modern and readable theorist assuming you're not a Pierce specialist or aren't familiar with computer programming. I've been saying that the post-structuralists should have built their systems on more rigorous linguistic foundations than Saussure for years. Fwiw, no one will understand it, since Pierce is so Anglo-American and Lacan is unmistakably French. The schools don't tend to read each other very much. Pierce is fabulously dense if you haven't read him before, and he has very specific meaning in mind (kind of like reading Boole). I'm assuming you're planning to publish in Lit Crit, rather than philosophy, no? Guinness4life (talk) 16:32, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

No plans to publish in the near future. But I do not offhand see why an American philosopher won't fit well with a French theorist ... Lacan is reading Freud, and Austrian; Saussure was Swiss ... Levi-Strauss gets a third or mire if his ideas from the Americans. What "more modern" semiotic is there, that is nit based on Pierce or Wittgenstein? Slrubenstein | Talk 15:24, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

John Muller has a book on Pierce and Lacan - Beyond the Psychoanalytic Dyad - I can't swear that it reads Lacan through pierce (or vice versa) because I haven't read it a very long time - but it might be helpful--Cailil talk 20:18, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Did you like it? Is it well-written and knowledgable? So far the only really good resources I have found on Lacan are Lee and Fink (beyond them I find I am btter off just reading Lacan by myself) Slrubenstein | Talk 21:44, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

I like it - but Fink is goes into more depth as regards Lacan. What Muller does is work through the connections between Freud, Lacan and Pierce. It's very readable and I'd recommend it if you're looking for something to compliment Fink - can talk about it more on your talk page if you like?--Cailil talk 17:59, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Bad sentence on link to romanticism

The last line in the 1930's section is terrible. It's a speculation drawn from a book, it should be presented as such, not as a fact.

--Anorak000 (talk) 17:26, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Picture of Lacan

Isn't there a free image of Lacan we could use instead of the one that's shown at the moment? The image in the article looks very little like Lacan. Paperoverman (talk) 23:19, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

  • The illustration by Paperoverman is very inappropriate for a biographical article. Patiwat (talk) 19:07, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I think you misunderstood me. The illustration was not done by me. I was asking if anybody knows of a free image of Lacan that we can use, considering the current one looks nothing like him. Paperoverman (talk) 00:47, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree. The current illustration should be removed untill a replacement is found. Biedleid (talk) 11:29, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
No. The current illustration should be kept until a replacement is found. In this case, a bad drawing is better than nothing. guillom 16:06, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but the drawing looks nothing like him. It's not like the Foucault page that had a drawing that looked like him some time ago. This one really does not represent Lacan. I propose to have it removed. Paperoverman (talk) 17:54, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
You said that twice already. guillom 13:23, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
This is just my opinion (and that's the problem here, we are talking about opinions), but the illustration actualy looks like Lacan, based on this picture of his: Anyway, I don't know if there's a policy on this (as I am not an experienced Wikipedia user), but as someone coming here for a quick reference, I would much rather see an illustration which is obvious that is not a picture of his, rather than nothing - until a suitable replacement can be found. If I find the illustration interesting for my own reasons, I can always google his name to find an actual picture. Thanks. (talk) 00:51, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

The picture is very crude and unskillful. That makes it perfect for our time. Ideally, someone should just scribble some lines on paper and use that as the article's picture.Lestrade (talk) 16:09, 10 November 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

Judith Bataille

Is called Bataille simply because her mother was married to G. B. at the time of her birth (?)--Radh (talk) 12:01, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

orphaned quote mark & consequent ambiguity, 1930's section

As noted in heading, facts segue into a private voice, but where?

'Lacan was an active intellectual of the inter-war period; he associated with André Breton and Georges Bataille, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. He attended the mouvement Psyché founded by Maryse Choisy. He published in the Surrealist journal Minotaure and attended the first, public reading of Ulysses. His interest in surrealism predated his interest in psychoanalysis. Perhaps Lacan never really abandoned his early surrealist sympathies, its neo-Romantic view of madness as ‘convulsive beauty’, its celebration of irrationality, and its hostility to the scientist who murders nature by dissecting it".[4]'

Michael (talk) 07:54, 30 December 2009 (UTC)


Why has the criticism section been entirely deleted from this article?

More about Lacan's mathematical giberish

"In the works of Lacan, one finds many other abuses, e.g. on mathematical logic, physics and knot theory. It seems reasonable to assume that, far from providing honest and useful analogies, these references allowed Lacan to impress his non-mathematical audience with a superficial erudition and to put a varnish of scientificity on his discourse." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:39, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ Irigary, Luce, This Sex Which Is Not One 1977, (Eng. trans. 1985)
  2. ^ Butler, Judith. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" (1993)
  3. ^ Gallop, Jane, Reading Lacan. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985.
  4. ^ Ettinger, Bracha L., The Matrixial Borderspace, University of Minnesota Press, 2006 (essays from 1994-1999, published in French as "Régard et éspace-de-bord matrixiels", Bruxelles: La Lettre Volée, 1999) and Special Issue of Theory, Culture and Society, Vol. 21, n.1, 2004.
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference Grosz was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Roustang, François, The Lacanian Delusion
  7. ^ Usenet, 1996
  8. ^ Bruce Fink, Lacan to the Letter
  9. ^ Arkady Plotnitsky, The Knowable and the Unknowable
  10. ^ Lacan, Tenth Seminar, L'angoisse, 1962-1963