Reason for ‘Interrogating Freud & Lacan’, suggested topics & how you may join in

by Julia Evans on July 14, 2014

Quote: We are thus presented with a new task which had no previous existence: the task, that is, of investigating the relations between the manifest content of dreams and the latent dream-thoughts, and of tracing out the processes by which the latter have been changed into the former.

The dream-thoughts and the dream-content are presented to us like two versions of the same subject-matter in two different languages. Or, more properly, the dream-content seems like a transcript of the dream-thoughts into another mode of expression, whose characters and syntactical laws it is our business to discover by the comparing the original and the translation. : The Interpretation of Dreams: 1st November 1899 (published as 1900): Sigmund Freud  : Information here : Chapter VI – The Dream-Work : pfl p381

This is Jacques Lacan’s description:

Mathematical formalisation which is our goal, our ideal, why? Because it alone is matheme, namely, capable of being transmitted integrally. Mathematical formalisation is something written. And this is what I will try to go into today.

Now this mathematical formalisation only subsists if I employ in presenting it the tongue I use. Therein lies the objection. No formalisation of the tongue is transmissible without the use of the tongue itself. It is through my saying  that I make ex-sist this formalisation, ideal metalanguage. Thus, it is that the symbolic is not to be confused, far from it, with being. But that it subsists as ex-sistence of saying. : Seminar XX : 15th May 1973 : Ch XII p2 in Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Information Seminar XX: Encore: 1972 – 1973: from 21st November 1972 : Jacques Lacan : Information here

There is some relationship of being that cannot be known. It is that relationship whose structure I investigate in my teaching, insofar as that knowledge – which, as I just said is impossible – is prohibited (interdit) thereby. This is where I play on equivocation – that impossible knowledge is censored or forbidden, but it isn’t if you write “inter-dit” (interdicted?) appropriately – it is said between the words, between the lines. We have to expose the kind of real to which it grants access. : Seminar XX : 15th May 1973 : as above

So Bruno de Florence & Julia Evans propose to follow in Freud’s & Lacan’s footsteps & trace what is going on in the impossible to know by examining the formalisations they develop.

You are invited to join this project of making ex-sist the ideal metalanguage(s). All participants are requested to commit to saying, either through the discussion or presentations & contributing to all 7 sessions.

Please register by emailing Bruno de Florence & Julia Evans.

________________________

WARNING : The following are suggestions, only, for topics & clinical subject matter. They are subject to amendment during group discussions & rely on how each of you choose to tackle these areas.

Possible Topics: from 12.30 to 2pm:

First topic : The Project for a Scientific Psychology : September & October 1895 : Sigmund Freud

Possible frameworks:

Deriving the logical process used in ‘Project for a Scientific Psychology’

Commenting on any of the schemas: The functioning of the apparatus (p375) : Ψ Paths of Conduction (p376) : Introduction of the concept of an ‘Ego’ (p385) : Dream consciousness (p403) :

References:

The Project for a Scientific Psychology: 23rd & 25th September & 5th October 1895: Sigmund Freud  Information here There is also a detailed ‘Development timeline’ & 5 different commentaries, within this post.

Commentaries:

References to Sigmund Freud’s ‘The Project’ by Jacques Lacan

I welcome details of any more references.

Seminar I: ‘The Project’ is quoted in the background reading index of Seminar I: Freud’s papers on technique: 1953-1954 : begins on 18th November 1953 : Jacques Lacan : Information here

Seminar II: The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis: 1954-1955: begins 17th November 1954 : Jacques Lacan : Information here : Read especially : Chapters VIII-X, probably p93-122.

Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: begins 18th November 1959 : Jacques Lacan : Information here : Read especially : Seminar II 26th January 1955, 2nd February 1955 & 9th February 1955 : probably p93-122.

Second Topic : The Death Drive

Seminar II: The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis: 1954-1955: begins 17th November 1954 : Jacques Lacan : Information here : Read especially Seminar II : 9th February 1955 : Quote p115: In fact for Freud it is a matter of understanding human behaviour. To this end, he wonders whether there might not be room for employing a category analogous to those used in physics. So he introduces the dimension of entropy in so far as it is found in the analytic situation, this novel form of communication. One must keep a hold on all of these dimensions, in order to understand Freud’s proposals. which concern not only the living organism as objectifiable at the psychical level, but the signification of its behaviour, precisely in so far as it comes into play in this particular relation, the analytic relation, which can only be understood as a communication. That is the framework which gives the comparison between the death instinct and entropy its meaning.  …

Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: begins 18th November 1959 : Jacques Lacan : Information here  : Read especially Seminar VII : 18th May 1960 : Quote p236 : As far as we are concerned, we find in the discourse of the community, of the general good, the effects of a scientific discourse in which we see revealed the first time the power of the signifier as such. That question is our very own. As far as we are concerned, the question raised is subsumed beneath the order of thought that I am trying to present to you here.

The sudden, prodigious development of the power of the signifier, of the discourse that emerged from the little letters of mathematics and that is distinct from all previously existing discourses, becomes an additional alienation. In what way? Insofar as it is a discourse that by reason of its structure forgets nothing. That is why it is different from the discourse of primary memorization, which carries on inside us without our knowledge, different from the memorising discourse of the unconscious whose centre is absent, whose place is identified through the phrase “he didn’t know”, that is precisely the sign of that fundamental omission in which the subject is situated.

At a certain moment in time, man learned to emit and place the discourse of mathematics in circulation, in the real as well as in the world, and that discourse cannot function unless nothing is forgotten. It only takes a little signifying chain to begin to function based on this principle, for things to move forward as if they were functioning by themselves. So much so that we even wonder if the discourse of physics, as engendered by the omnipotence of the signifier, will reach the point of the integration of nature or its disintegration.

Reading:

Beyond the Pleasure Principle: 1920g : Sigmund Freud

‘Das Ich und das Es’: ‘The ego and the id’: 1923: Sigmund Freud

The Economic Problem of Masochism: 1924 : Sigmund Freud

Information about availability at Sigmund Freud’s texts available electronically or here

For the notion of Lustgewinn, aka Plus-de-Jouir aka Surplus-Jouissance :

Some additional notes on dream-interpretation as a whole : 1925 : Sigmund Freud :

In conjunction with:

Seminar XXI: 1973-1974: Les non-dupes errent : begins 13th November 1973 : Jacques Lacan : Information here  : Especially Seminar XXI : 20th November 1973 : Nota: in the English translation by Cormac Gallagher, this is the very 1st session, whereas it was the 2nd one.

Seminar II : 9th February 1955 & 16th February 1955 : From p114 of Seminar II: The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis: 1954-1955: begins 17th November 1954 : Jacques Lacan : Information here

Seminar VII : 27th April 1960 & 4th May 1960 of Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: begins 18th November 1959 : Jacques Lacan : Information here

Pierre Kaufmann’s Commentary on Siegfried Bernfeld & Sergei Feitelberg’s Death Drive & Entropy : Seminar VII, 27th April 1960, p204-205 : Notes towards Reading Group of 22nd February 2014  or here

The Principle of Entropy and the Death Instinct (Der Entropiesatz und der Todestrieb) : 1931 : Siegfried Bernfeld & Sergei Feitelberg or here

Third topic : The Cut or the creation of zero:

Lacan makes it apparent that the symbolic meets its foundation in the cut :

p73-76 of Alan Sheridan’s translation : Function & Field of Speech & Language in Psychoanalysis (Rome): September 1953 : Jacques Lacan : Information Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here : Quote from p73 of Alan Sheridan’s translation : The mathematicized form in which is inscribed the discovery of the phoneme  as the function of pairs of oppositions formed by the smallest discriminate elements capable of being distinguished in the semantic structure, leads us to the very grounding in which the last of Freud’s doctrines designates the subjective sources of the symbolic function in a vocalic connotation of presence and absence.

And the reduction of every language to the group of a very small number of these phonemic oppositions, by initiating an equally rigorous formalization of its highest morphemes, puts within our reach a precisely defined access to our own field.

Seminar II : 15th June 1955 : p283-285 (approx) of Seminar II: The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis: 1954-1955: begins 17th November 1954 : Jacques Lacan : Availability given here : Quote from p284 of Sylvana Tomaselli’s translation : What strikes me in what you have just said, if I’ve properly understood it – I think I’ve understood it – is this – when one illustrates the phenomenon of language with something as formally purified as mathematical symbols – and that is one of the reasons for putting cybernetics on the agenda – when one gives a mathematical notation of the verbum, one demonstrates in the simplest possible way that language exists completely independently of us. Numbers have properties which are absolute. They are, whether we’re here or not. 1729 will always be the sum of two cubes, the smallest number which is the sum of two different pairs of cubes.

All this can circulate in all manner of ways in the universal machine, which is more universal than anything you could imagine. One can imagine an indefinite number of levels, where all this turns around and circulates. The world of signs functions, and it has no signification whatsoever.

What gives it its signification is the moment when we stop the machine. These are the temporal breaks which we make in it. If they are faulty, we will see ambiguities emerge, which are sometimes difficult to resolve, but which one will always end up giving a signification to.

______________________________________________

The Clinic : from 2.30pm to 4pm : Possibilities for interrogation :

1) Dream of Irma’s injection : a) p403 of The Project for a Scientific Psychology: 23rd & 25th September & 5th October 1895: Sigmund Freud : Information here, b) The Interpretation of Dreams: 1st November 1899 (published as 1900): Sigmund Freud  : Information here : Chapter II The method of interpreting dreams : an analysis of a specimen dream [p474-496] : Preamble & Dream of July 23rd to 24th 1895 : & c) Seminar II: 9th & 16th March 1955 : p146-162 of Seminar II: The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis: 1954-1955: begins 17th November 1954 : Jacques Lacan : Information here

2) Emma : The hysterical first lie : The Project : p410 of The Project for a Scientific Psychology: 23rd & 25th September & 5th October 1895: Sigmund Freud : Information here

3) Little Dick : Melanie Klein : The importance of symbol-formation in the development of the ego : 1930 : Melanie Klein : Information here : Commentaries 1) Seminar I : 17th February 1954 : p68 of  Seminar I: Freud’s papers on technique: 1953-1954 : begins on 18th November 1953 : Jacques Lacan : Information here  2) Clinic and Topology : 1993 : Pierre Skriabine : Information here

4) An unknown autobiographical fragment by Freud : 1946 : Siegfried Bernfeld : Information here  : Commentary : Seminar II : 9th March 1955 : p114 to p116 of Seminar II: The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis: 1954-1955: begins 17th November 1954 : Jacques Lacan : Information here : Quote from p114 of Sylvana Tomaselli’s translation : … but the very structure of the text, enabled Bernfeld to show that it couldn’t be a real dialogue with a real patient, that it had to be a transposition.

5) The American Virgin Killer : Information here or http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2639011/He-polite-Police-visited-virgin-killers-apartment-one-month-rampage-FAILED-search-residence.html

Scroll down the page to see the video of his testimony. If the video is no longer available, ask Bruno (bruno@deflorence.com) for a copy.

6) Clinic : to be agreed. Suggestions are welcomed.

Further topics & reading to be agreed at the end of each session.

_________________________________

Background information:

Reading:

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

The Ordinary Topology of Jacques Lacan: 1986: Jeanne Lafont : Information here

Pre-registration is essential. Register your interest in becoming a member of this body, giving us your reasons for joining us, by emailing both Julia and Bruno (contact details below).

Organisers

Julia Evans je@lacanianworks.net  w : www.lacanianworks.net

Bruno de Florence bruno@deflorence.com   w : www.deflorence.com

Dates (all Saturdays)

6th September 2014

11th October 2014

29th November 2014

7th February 2015

14th March 2015

30th May 2015

4th July 2015

Session Times

12h30-14h00: session part 1 : The Topic

14h00-14h30: break

14h30-16h00: session part 2 : The Clinic

Cost for the 7 sessions

£105 (waged)

£70 (unwaged)

Location

Conway Hall

25 Red Lion Square London WC1R 4RL    Tube: Holborn

Further information is given at www.LacanianWorks.net, in the category: Interrogating Freud & Lacan or here