Seminar XIV: The logic of phantasy: 1966-1967: begins 16th November 1966 : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on November 16, 1966

Translated by Cormac Gallagher

Published at

Available here


Body, Meaning and Knowledge – Part I by Jo Rostron on October 8, 2011

 The Theory of the Knot Outlined by Jacques Lacan : July 1996 : Jean Michel Vappereau or here

Drive and Fantasy: 1994: Pierre Skriabine

The Ordinary Topology of Jacques Lacan: 1986: Jeanne Lafont 

Session dates and references (All sessions take place on a Wednesday):


1 : p1 : 16th November 1966

2 : p12 : 23rd November 1966

3 : p24 : 30th November 1966

4 : p30 : 7th December 1966

5 : p43 : 14th December 1966

6 : p59 : 21st December 1966


7 : p66 : 11th January 1967

8 : p79 : 18th January 1967

9 : p91 : 25th January 1967

10 : p103 : 1st February 1967

11 : p109 : 15th February 1967

The Ordinary Topology of Jacques Lacan: 1986: Jeanne Lafont

12 : p123 : 22nd February 1967

13 : p134 : 1st March 1967

14 : p145 : 8th March 1967

p151 : Ernst Kris’s ‘fresh brains’ dream


Ego psychology and interpretation in psychoanalytic therapies (Dream ‘fresh brains’) : December 1948 (New York) [1951] : Ernst Kris or here

Intellectual Inhibition & Disturbances in Eating (Dream ‘fresh brains’) : September 1933 [Published1938] : Melitta Schmideberg or here


Jacques Lacan comments Dream ‘fresh brains’ in Seminars I, III, VI & X and Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis : 26th & 27th September 1953 & Direction of the Treatment : 10th to 13th July 1958 or here (Seminar XIV will be added to this post)

15 : p159 : 15th March 1967

16 : p162 : 12th April 1967

17 : p175 : 19th April 1967

18 : p186 : 26th April 1967

19 : p201 : 10th May 1967

p205-206 : Note : “Anatomy is destiny” is from

i)  ‘On the Universal Tendency to Debasement in the Sphere of Love’ (Contributions to the Psychology of Love II) : 1912 : Sigmund Freud : p3180 :

p259 of James Strachey’s translation, pfl : Why is the relation of the lover to his sexual object so very different?

It is my belief that, however strange it may sound, we must reckon with the possibility that something in the nature of the sexual instinct itself is unfavourable to the realization of complete satisfaction. If we consider the long and difficult developmental history of the instinct, two factors immediately spring to mind which might be made responsible for this difficulty Firstly, as a result of the diphasic onset of object-choice, and the interposition of the barrier against incest, the final object of the sexual instinct is never any longer the original object but only a surrogate for it. Psycho-analysis has shown us that when the original object of a wishful impulse has been lost as a result of repression, it is frequently represented by an endless series of substitutive objects none of which, however, brings full satisfaction. This may explain the inconstancy in object-choice, the ‘craving for stimulation’ which is so often a feature of the love of adults.

Secondly, we know that the sexual instinct is originally divided into a great number of components – or rather, it develops out of them – some of which cannot be taken up into the instinct in its later form, but have at an earlier stage to be suppressed or put to other uses. These are above all the coprophilic instinctual components, which have proved incompatible with our aesthetic standards of culture, probably since, as a result of our adopting an erect gait, we raised our organ of smell from the ground. [Footnote 3] The same is true of a large portion of the sadistic urges which are a part of erotic life. But all such developmental processes affect only the upper layers of the complex structure. The fundamental processes which produce erotic excitation remain unaltered. The excremental is all too intimately and inseparably bound up with the sexual; the position of the genitals – inter unrinas et faeces – remains the decisive and unchangeable factor. One might say here, varying a well-known saying of the great Napoleon: ‘Anatomy is destiny.’ The genitals themselves have not taken part in the development of the human body in the direction of beauty: they have remained animal, and thus love, too, has remained in essence just as animal as it ever was. The instincts of love are hard to educate; education of them achieves now too much, now too little. What civilization aims at making out of them seems unattainable except at the price of a sensible loss of pleasure; the persistence of the impulses that could not be made use of can be detected in sexual activity in the form of non- satisfaction.

Thus we may perhaps be forced to become reconciled to the idea that it is quite impossible to adjust the claims of the sexual instinct to the demands of civilization; that in consequence of its cultural development renunciation and suffering, as well as the danger of extinction in the remotest future, cannot be avoided by the human race. [Footnote 3 : James Strachey : Cf. two long footnotes to Chapter IV of ‘Civilization and its Discontents’ : 1930a, in which this idea is explored in greater detail.]

ii) Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex : 1924 : Sigmund Freud :

p320 of James Strachey’s translation, pfl : At this point our material – for some incomprehensible reason – becomes far more obscure and full of gaps. The female sex, too, develops an Oedipus complex, a super-ego and a latency period. May we also attribute a phallic organization and a castration complex to it? The answer is in the affirmative; but these things cannot be the same as they are in boys. Here the feminist demand for equal rights for the sexes does not take us far, for the morphological distinction is bound to find expression in differences of psychical development. [Footnote 2] ‘Anatomy is Destiny’, to vary a saying of Napoleon’s. [Footnote 2 : by James Strachey : See ‘Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction between the Sexes’ : 1925j : p331 of pfl. Much of what follows is elaborated there. The paraphrase of Napoleon’s epigram had appeared already in the second paper on the psychology of love (1912d)]

20 : p216 : 24th May 1967

21 : p226 : 31st May 1967

22 : p238 : 7th June 1967

23 : p250 : 14th June 1967

24 : p262 : 21st June 1967

p267 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : The therapeutic effect of inexact interpretation : a contribution to the theory of suggestion : October 1931 : Edward Glover or here


The summary of Seminar XIV was published in July, its availability is given below. This summary was also published in Autres Écrits, availability is given below.

The Logic of the Phantasy: Jacques Lacan’s Summary of the Seminar of 1966-1967 : July 1968 : Jacques Lacan  : Available here

Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan or here

Further information:

Posts for the “Topology and the clinic” category : here

Posts for the “Dreams” category : Available here

Posts for the “Lacan Jacques” category : Available here

Posts for the “Freud Sigmund” category : Available here

Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here

Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan or here