Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis. History, theory, and psychoanalytic perspectives on a diverse range of topics. www.freud.org.uk

In The Not-Two, Lorenzo Chiesa examines the treatment of logic and God in Lacan’s later work.

The Not-Two: Logic and God in Lacan

Chiesa draws for the most part from Lacan’s Seminars of the early 1970s, as they revolve around the axiom "There is no sexual relationship." Chiesa provides both a close reading of Lacan’s effort to formalize sexual difference as incompleteness and an assessment of its broader implications for philosophical realism and materialism.

Chiesa argues that "There is no sexual relationship" is for Lacan empirically and historically circumscribed by psychoanalysis, yet self-evident in our everyday lives. Lacan believed that we have sex because we love, and that love is a desire to be One in face of the absence of the sexual relationship. Love presupposes a real "not-two." The not-two condenses the idea that our love and sex lives are dictated by the impossibility of fusing man’s contradictory being with the heteros of woman as a fundamentally uncountable Other. Sexual liaisons are sustained by a transcendental logic, the so-called phallic function that attempts to overcome this impossibility.

Chiesa also focuses on Lacan’s critical dialogue with modern science and formal logic, as well as his dismantling of sexuality as considered by mainstream biological discourse. Developing a new logic of sexuation based on incompleteness requires the relinquishing of any alleged logos of life and any teleological evolution.

For Lacan, the truth of incompleteness as approached psychoanalytically through sexuality would allow us to go further in debunking traditional onto-theology and replace it with a “para-ontology” yet to be developed. Given the truth of incompleteness, Chiesa asks, can we think such a truth in itself without turning incompleteness into another truth about truth, that is, into yet another figure of God as absolute being?

Lorenzo Chiesa is a philosopher who has published extensively on psychoanalysis. His works in this field include Subjectivity and Otherness: A Philosophical Reading of Lacan (MIT Press, 2007); Lacan and Philosophy: The New Generation (Re.press, 2014); The Not-Two: Logic and God in Lacan (MIT Press, 2016); and The Virtual Point of Freedom (Northwestern University Press, 2016). Since 2014, he has been Visiting Professor at the European University at Saint Petersburg and at the Freud’s Dream Museum of the same city. Previously, he was Professor of Modern European Thought at the University of Kent, where he founded and directed the Centre for Critical Thought.

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Raul Moncayo in conversation with Dany Nobus

raul-moncayo-language-sinthome-jouissance-nomination.jpgLacan's Seminar XXIII on the Sinthome represents the culmination of a Seminar that spanned over two decades and represents an evolution of his thought where previous concepts are not abandoned but rather recontextualized within the context of new theory. As the topological knot of three represents the first theory presided by the Symbolic, the knot of four represents the final theory presided by the Real and a new conception of the symptom. Until recently Seminar XXIII was only available in English thanks to Cormac Gallagher unofficial translation, but now the official translation has been published as well as Raul Moncayo's commentary on the same.

Raul Moncayo is supervising analyst, founding member, and faculty of the San Francisco Bay Area Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis (LSP). He has a private practice of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, supervision, and consultation. Dr. Moncayo has published five books and many papers in professional journals and has over thirty years of clinical experience including being training director for many years of a large psychiatric clinic in San Francisco and being faculty at many universities both locally and internationally. His latest work, Lalangue, Sinthome, Jouissance, and Nomination: A Reading Companion and Commentary on Lacan's Seminar XXIII on the Sinthome, is published by Karnac.

Dany Nobus is Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychology at Brunel University London, where he also convenes the MA Programme in Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society. In addition, he is the Chair of the Freud Museum London, and the author of numerous publications on the history, theory and practice of psychoanalysis. In April 2017, he will be presented with the Sarton medal of the University of Ghent for his contributions to the history and theory of psychoanalysis, and this will coincide with the publication of a new book entitled The Law of Desire: On Lacan’s “Kant with Sade”.

 

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Part 2: Henrietta Moore - Exclusion, Unsustainability and the Determinations of the Symbolic

This paper discusses the difficulties of adhering to Lévi-Strauss’s view of the symbolic and his account of the effectiveness of symbols. It uses material from Papua New Guinea and China to explore the relationship between desire and ethics as a means of exploring some contemporary problems in articulating the relationship between the psyche and the social.

Henrietta Moore is the founding Director of the new Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London where she also holds the Chair of Philosophy, Culture and Design. She is an internationally renowned social anthropologist who has written extensively on the interrelation between material and symbolic gender systems, embodiment and subjectivity. She is the author of several books, including The Subject of Anthropology (2007), a cutting-edge analysis of gendered subjectivity and a ground-breaking contribution to the debates between anthropology and psychoanalysis.


Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.

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Susie Orbach in conversation with Rachel Holmes

Join us for an evening marking the publication of a new edition of Shulamith Firestone’s groundbreaking work The Dialectic of Sex, (Verso, April 2015). This work by a then unknown 25 year old had an extraordinary impact on radical feminism when it first appeared in 1970.

Susie Orbach, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, writer and social critic, is joined in conversation by Rachel Holmes, academic and author of the acclaimed Eleanor Marx: A Life. Together with Lisa Appignanesi, they co-edited the hotly-discussed Fifty Shades of Feminism (Virago).

Originally published in 1970, when Shulamith Firestone was just twenty-five years old, and going on to become a bestseller, The Dialectic of Sex was the first book of the women’s liberation movement to put forth a feminist theory of politics.

Beginning with a look at the radical and grassroots history of the first wave (with its foundation in the abolition movement of the time), Firestone documents its major victory, the granting of the vote to women in 1920, and the fifty years of ridicule that followed. She goes on to deftly synthesize the work of Freud, Marx, de Beauvoir, and Engels to create a cogent argument for feminist revolution. Identifying women as a caste, she declares that they must seize the means of reproduction—for as long as women (and only women) are required to bear and rear children, they will be singled out as inferior. Ultimately she presents feminism as the key radical ideology, the missing link between Marx and Freud, uniting their visions of the political and the personal.

“A must-have for those interested in feminist theory, both past and present. Its reappearance now, during yet another period of ‘ridicule’ towards women’s rights, is perhaps even more pertinent than its first publication.” – Kathleen Hanna, founding member of the riot grrrl movement

“Without so much as a single fanny joke or wacky dating anecdote, The Dialectic of Sex gripped and electrifed thousands of people, giving the so-called Second Wave of feminism much of its initial impetus and energy.” – New Statesman

“No one can understand how feminism has evolved without reading this radical, inflammatory second-wave landmark.” – Naomi Wolf
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