JEP --> HOME PAGE --> Number 26/27

J E P - Number 26/27 - 2008

The Perverse Subject of Politics: Lacan as a Reader of Mohammad Bouyeri

Slavoj Žižek

Keywords: Perverse position – Regime of Truth – Mimicry – Positive Knowledge

Summary: The perverse subject acts as an instrument of the Other’s Will, thereby escaping ethical responsibility; the religious fundamentalist takes the position of the pervert by displacing division unto the Other. The fundamentalist knows the Truth and reduces belief to knowledge, taking no account of the truth of lying or deception and admitting no mediation. Like the cynic, the fundamentalist threatens belief, since the fundamentalist does not make an ethical decision to believe.

The Challenge of Power in Žižek and Foucault

Fabio Vighi, Heiko Feldner

Keywords: Žižek – Foucault – Agency – Power – Capitalism

Summary: The article maps Žižek’s notion of agency against the background of Foucault’s theory of power, especially as it emerged from Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality. It argues that the awareness of the state of subjection is a necessary but not sufficient cause to effect social change, since any given subjection is inevitably eroticised, sustained by the disavowed pleasure we derive from being caught in a power mechanism. By considering the Foucauldian insight that knowledge is by definition drawn in the workings of power, we maintain that critical theory needs to reflect on the difference between resistance to power and the political act, thus marking the limits of epistemic practices as such. Rooted in the notion of the psychoanalytic act as radically shifting the symbolic coordinates of a given subject, Žižek’s theorizations of social transformation go a long way in achieving this. Whether they amount to a model for social change based on collective political practice, however, remains questionable.

Introduction to the Italian Edition of
Glyn Daly, Conversations with Žižek

Sergio Benvenuto

Keywords: Žižek’s Hegelian Approach – Lacanian “Thing” – Ethics, Politics, Psychoanalysis – the Real – New Freudo-Marxism

Summary: Žižek’s great merit lies in his having recognized that Lacanian thought should be interpreted as a derivation of Hegelianism, which has dominated part of French philosophy since the 1930s. This introduction to Žižek’s work allows the author to highlight the essential nodes of Lacanian thought, and in particular the notion of the Real. He discusses in particular the dual interpretation – Kantian and Hegelian – of the concept of the Real, and the ethical and political consequences which these two interpretations somehow imply.

Love of Transference and Passion for the Signifier

René Major

Keywords: Tranference love – Erotic transference – Love of transference – Jung – Spielrein – Freud

Summary: The author examines the circoumstances that led Freud to write about Transference love (die Ubertragungsliebe): Sabina Spielrein’s analysis with Jung in which the erotic transference (die Liebesübertragung) is induced by the analyst. In this case the Interchange of signifiers emerges as a reality of thought transference on a scene of fiction. while the analytic situation, as a scene of fiction, allows some effects in reality by the significant articulation of the veracity of the subject’s relation to the truth. A comparison is made between the analytic and the literary scenes.

Evolution in the Clinical Use of Counter-transference

Fabiano Bassi

Keywords: Counter-transference – Intersubjectivism – Theory Technique

Summary: The author traces the development of the concept of countertransference in psychotherapeutic theory technique and attempts to highlight the theoretical motivations, beginning from Freud and continuing with the schools of thought that came after him, underlying the modifications and extensions suggested to “correct” the very nature of the conceptualization of countertransference. The second part of the article reviews the points of view of two contemporary authors, Jacobs and Renik, who in their own distinctive ways and with different stresses, have actively put forward innovative points of view for the understanding of this concept. An assessment on Renik’s positions brings the author to his own considerations on the intersubjective point of view, which has strongly asserted itself in recent years.

Transference and “Bare Life”. Defencelessness

Cristiana Cimino

Keywords: Bare life – Real – Claustrophilic area – Uncanny – Trauma.

Summary: The hypothesis of this work is that the psychic life is marked from the beginning by the exposure to a Real that is by definition extraneous, uncanny, undomesticated and not subjective. In some circumstances the quota of Real exceeds that which is sustainable for the subject, in such a way that contact with this Real assumes traumatic connotations. This gives rise to a primary experience of “defencelessness”, “Bare Life” according to some of today’s philosophy. From this basic experience, that can be assimilated only in part to the Freudian Hilflosigkeit, the drive to merge with the other originates in the attempt to recuperate the state of indifferent well-being/bliss, similar to that described by Winnicott, brutally interrupted by trauma. The attempt to “make whole” with the other assumes various forms, from that described and called by the Italian psychoanalyst Elvio Fachinelli as “co-identity”, to one that tends toward an actual fall from boundaries, inducing con-fusion of identities between patient and analyst. In the present work, these psychic movements are traced in the dynamic of transference and counter-transference and are illustrated with the evidence of a clinical case.

Disidentity Shock in Transference and

Giampaolo Lai, Pierrette Lavanchy

Key Words: Disidentity – Transference – Counter-transference – Temporal Logic – Logic

Summary: Transference is the therapist’s hypothesis that the patient perceives, imagines, knows him, – the analyst, – not as he is in the actual psychoanalytic situation, but as other fictional persons were in the patient’s past history. Conversely, counter-transference is the therapist’s hypothesis that his own feelings, perceptions, imaginations do not belong to his actual self, but are derivatives of the experiences of his past elicited by the patient. The two hypotheses construct a possible world inhabited by disidentical persons, such as a therapist who is not what he is and is what he is not, while seeing a patient who is also not what he is and is what he is not. The phenomenon of disidentity shock is characterized by a set of feelings of surprise, uncertainty, confusion, bewilderment, which can arise anywhere, every time you open the door expecting a known person and see an unknown one. From this point of view, psychoanalysis is not the endeavor to transform disidentity into identity, but the ability to tolerate the uncertainty of disidentity. The authors distinguish two types of disidentity, diachronic disidentity, as in the example of saint Paul, and synchronic disidentity, as in the example of Dorian Gray. In the paper, two clinical vignettes illustrate these concepts, also in the light of tense logic and of modal figures.

Transference: A No Man’s Land

Antonio Maiolino

Summary: ‘Preliminary conversations’ are very important, both in private and in public settings, for in these conversations we wait for the emergence of the question that will enable us to begin therapy. My argument proceeds from this consideration. I shall describe a case, which I regard as representative of what is done in a public institution when we activate the psychoanalitic device and its functionality. I found this case interesting because it shows how one can speak of psychoanalisis (performance wise) in an institution and not only in a private studio. It also shows how, all in all, the difference between the two settings is irrelevant for the functioning and destiny of analysis, because if there is a difference, this is due to the listener and not to the place where one listens. Finally, in the case I describe, I shall focus my attention on the possible passage, in the analytic discourse, from a public to a private setting, making the preliminary remark that one sets to psychoanalytical listening upon receiving a demand.

Keywords: Psychoanalisis – Transference – Setting – Preliminary conversations – Dream – Individual psychotherapy – Family psychotherapy – Private studio – Rehabilitation center

Lacan on Personality from the 1930s to the 1950s

Bruce Fink

Keywords: Lacan – Personality – Masks – Unity – Subjectivity

Summary: The concept of personality plays an important polemical role in Lacan’s early work, where he stresses the importance of psychological as opposed to biological determinants of mental illness. He defines personality at that point in time as a diachronic self-conception that evolves in tension with other people, it being a shorthand term in his vocabulary for the psyche. By the time he comments on Lagache’s work (1958), he indicates that those who concern themselves with “personality” are taken in by the lure of wholeness, succumbing to the illusion that a person is or becomes a unified whole. Lacan instead emphasizes the mask-like quality of personality, relying on Lévi-Strauss’s work to undermine the notion that a psychoanalytic topography could allow us to conceptualize a person as unitary. Lacan's work on Gide and Reich provide a number of other points regarding masks and so-called personality.

Kojève and Lacan

Matteo Vegetti

Keywords: Desire – Need – Self-Consciousness – Otherness – End of History

Summary: The paper traces the history of the intellectual relation between Kojève and Lacan and develops its theoretical implications. The analysis centers on the Hegelian notion of desire, one that Kojève redevelops with and against Hegel to found human self-consciousness within a relational framework in which otherness plays an essential and ambivalent role. Together with the Kojèvian theme of desire, this very ambivalence will become for Lacan the place of continuous critical confrontation: from the initial analyses devoted to the “mirror-phase” (1938) up to Seminar II (1954-55), this issue undergoes a range of theoretical mutations that reflect important phases of Lacanian thinking. Behind Lacan’s complex hermeneutic debt towards Kojève what finally emerges is the knot of the Hegel-Freud relation with regard to the meaning and the limits of knowledge an human self-conscience.

Development of Psychosomatics and the
Therapeutic Relationship.
The impact of the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis

Márta Csabai

Keywords: Psychosomatics – Therapeutic relationship – Budapest school – History of psychoanalysis

Summary: Among the theorists connected to the Budapest school of psychoanalysis presumably Franz Alexander and Michael Balint received the widest scientific recognition. Nevertheless they enjoyed much success and reputation in medicine, the significance of their psychoanalytic theories has not been acknowledged adequately. On the other hand, in psychoanalytic theorizing, their names are primarily connected to certain concepts, and the more general medical relevance of their work is neglected. Further, the fact that George Engel, the founder of the biopsychosocial model, and Thomas Szasz, pioneer of the antipsychiatry movement, were both students of Alexander is almost unknown, and the significance of their "Budapest" inheritance has neither received enough attention. This paper attempts a common understanding of the fragmented evaluations of these theorists. It argues that not only the roots of Alexander's and Balint's concepts are common – both can be originated from the theories of Ferenczi – but they have other strong intellectual ties, too. They can be characterized equally by the emphasis on the relational/ emotional aspects, and a psychosomatic orientation.

JEP --> HOME PAGE --> Number 26/27