Download Eros and Ethics: Reading Jacques Lacan’s Seminar VII by Marc De Kesel PDF

By Marc De Kesel

In Eros and Ethics, Marc De Kesel patiently exposes the traces of proposal underlying Jacques Lacan’s frequently complicated and cryptic reasoning concerning ethics and morality in his 7th seminar, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (1959–1960). during this seminar, Lacan arrives at a slightly complicated end: that which, over the a while, has been alleged to be “the ultimate reliable” is in truth not anything yet “radical evil”; consequently, the final word aim of human wish isn't really happiness and self-realization, yet destruction and loss of life. And but, Lacan speeds up so as to add, the morality according to this end is way from being melancholic or tragic. really, it leads to an encouraging ethics that for the 1st time in background provides complete ethical weight to the erotic. De Kesel’s shut interpreting uncovers the true scope of Lacan’s feedback in regards to the moralizing ethics of our time, and is among the infrequent books that provides the reader complete entry to the letter of the Lacanian textual content.

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Extra info for Eros and Ethics: Reading Jacques Lacan’s Seminar VII

Example text

Phallus . . It is well known that Lacan’s major turn in 1953 coincides with his discovery of the primacy of the signifier in the operation of both the unconscious and in subject formation. He begins from the point that for the infantile libidinal being the very fact that it must settle down in a universe of signifiers is already a trauma but, to the extent that it is a libidinal being for whom attaining pleasure equals life, it simply has no other choice. Having no way of satisfying its life-sustaining need for pleasure by itself, the infant must rely on others from the outset and, because these others direct themselves to the infant through speech, it is completely at the mercy of their linguistic world.

In other words, the being of the drive “is” indeed both its object and its relation to that object. In the sixth seminar, Desire and Its Interpretation, where Lacan specifically addresses this topic, he focuses on the phantasm of the miser. It is brought to his attention through a passage from Simone Weil’s, Gravity and Grace, a compilation of aphorisms. There, the famous Christian mystic refers to the mystery of the “miser,” a passage to which Lacan returns four times in the course of his seminar.

In this way, thinking ethics from the primacy of desire and lack—that is, from the paradigm of psychoanalysis—would have changed little. The Christian ethics drawn from Weil’s mystical thought would not really have differed from the ethical consequences resulting from Lacan’s theory of desire of that period. 2. . Under Critique Nevertheless, things went differently. 64 At the moment when he finally explains Hamlet’s “phallophany,” as he had long and with great pathos announced to his audience he would do, he no longer seems able to read Ophelia exclusively as the phallus.

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