Meeting of the Seminar VII Reading Group on Saturday 7th September

by Julia Evans on August 1, 2013

Reading Jacques Lacan’s Seminar VII : The Ethics of Psychoanalysis



LOCATION NOW: Room 420, Birkbeck College – Main Building, Malet St, London, WC1E 7HX, London WC1H :

Room 420 in Malet Street Building, entrance via Torrington Square and then take the lift on the left hand side behind reception up to the 4th floor.

Nearest tube: Russell Square or Goodge Street

All are welcome to join in.  Just come along.

We start reading at Session of 3rd February 1960: Ch X: Marginal Comments : p128 of the Dennis Porter translation, published by Routledge

Next meeting: Saturday 7th September 2013

Time: 10.30am to 12.30pm

Location: Room 420, Birkbeck College – Main Building, Malet Street, London WC1H.

Tube: Russell Square

Contribution: £15/£10 concessionaries. Please contact us to discuss if payment causes difficulties.


Organised by

Julia Evans  –

Bruno de

in association with

You are invited to post your observations and comments to ‘the-letter’ Google group:

To access posts by this group, go to and look in the category  ‘Posts for the “A. Reading Seminar VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis”’ category or here

A number of the references commented on by Jacques Lacan are available at Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: Jacques Lacan or here

The meeting dates for 2013/14 are available: Reading Seminar VII Group – Schedule for 2013/2014 Or here  or below


The 1992 translation by Dennis Porter will be used. Details of its availability are given Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: Jacques Lacan or here


What does psychoanalysis allow us to formulate concerning the origin of morality?

“Given all that is implied by the phrase, the ethics of psychoanalysis will allow me, far more than anything else, to test the categories that I believe enable me to give you through my teaching the most suitable instruments for understanding what is new both in Freud’s work and in the experience of psychoanalysis that derives from it.”

With these words Jacques Lacan begins his famous seminar on ethics, in which he discusses the problem of sublimation, the paradox of jouissance, the essence of tragedy (a reading of Sophocles’s Antigone), and the tragic dimension of analytical experience.

Delving into the psychoanalyst’s inevitable involvement with ethical questions and the ‘attraction of transgression’, Lacan clarifies many of his key concepts, as well as his criticisms of certain trends in psychoanalysis.


The English translation of Jacques Lacan’s text will be read aloud during sessions. Group participants will be encouraged to contribute to the discussion of the ideas, the examination of the context and Lacan’s references. Invitations will be extended to them and others, with intersecting interests (such as linguistics, musicology, mathematics, Judaism, philosophy, topology, semiotics, Semitic languages, etc…) to join us in discussions. It is hoped that a body of notes will emerge.


All meetings are from 10.30am until 12.30pm.

7 September 2013       GOR323         BIRKBECK COLLEGE

Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H

Tube: Russell Square

28 September 2013     Room 2A        ULU

University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.

Tube: Russell Square/Goodge Street

19 October 2013         Room 2A        ULU

9 November 2013       Room 2A        ULU

30 November 2013     Room 2A        ULU

Christmas break

18 January 2014         Artists’ Room CONWAY HALL

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

Tube: Holborn

1st February 2014      Artists’ Room CONWAY HALL

22 February 2014       Artists’ Room CONWAY HALL

8 March 2014             Club Room      CONWAY HALL

Easter break

12April 2014              Artists’ Room CONWAY HALL

10 May 2014              Artists’ Room CONWAY HALL

31 May 2014              Artists’ Room CONWAY HALL

21 June 2014              Artists’ Room CONWAY HALL

5 July 2014                 Artists’ Room CONWAY HALL