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I'm on my second year of debating Lacan on the neg, and I have to say, most people are "Lacking" in their understanding. While I am no master of psychoanalytic theory, I have a very firm understanding of Lacanian theory and it's spin off. This topic is meant to increase education all around, for you, for me, and for anyone who stumbles upon it. Post some stuff, let's get a convo going.

 

 

And always, Embrace The Lack :)

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From my experience of watching a few Lacan rounds, it seems to me that people look further than necessary when trying to understand the argument.

 

Overly simplified, is it just, "you don't recognize that plans will never be executed as imagined, and in your world 'the other' is blamed (scapegoated) and exterminated when recognized"?

 

Feel free to mock me if my understanding is off.

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From my experience of watching a few Lacan rounds, it seems to me that people look further than necessary when trying to understand the argument.

 

Overly simplified, is it just, "you don't recognize that plans will never be executed as imagined, and in your world 'the other' is blamed (scapegoated) and exterminated when recognized"?

 

Feel free to mock me if my understanding is off.

Yeah, that is the basis of the way that many people run the K, but it really doesn't do anything more than function as a security K in that instance. For example, if done correctly, the Lacan K can have a CAP, Queer Theory, Death Drive, and Security Impact in the 2NC with the shell you just explained.

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what are the tricks?

Explain what you mean by "tricks". Because it can be as simple as having the correct 2NC blocks, but if you really want to demolish on a psychoanalysis/Lacan K, you need to really to have a good understanding on psychoanalytic theory.

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I'm on my second year of debating Lacan on the neg, and I have to say, most people are "Lacking" in their understanding. While I am no master of psychoanalytic theory, I have a very firm understanding of Lacanian theory and it's spin off. This topic is meant to increase education all around, for you, for me, and for anyone who stumbles upon it. Post some stuff, let's get a convo going.

 

 

And always, Embrace The Lack :)

 

In Lacan's seminar, "The Ego in Freud's Theory," he states that:

 

"Desire is a relation to being to lack. The lack is the lack of being properly speaking. It is not the lack of this or that, but lack of being whereby the being exists."

 

and a few paragraphs later...

 

"Desire, a function central to all human experience, is the desire for nothing nameable. And at the same time this desire lies at the origin of every variety of animation. If being were only what it is, there wouldn't even be room to talk about it. Being comes into existence as an exact function of this lack. Being attains a sense of self in relation to being as a function of this lack, in the experience of desire. In the pursuit of this beyond, which is nothing, it harks back to the feeling of a being with self-consciousness, which is nothing but its own reflection in the world of things. For it is the companion of beings there before it, who do not in fact know themselves"

 

I'll be honest - I am having a very hard time deciphering Lacan and even the secondary material surrounding him.

 

1. Can you give any insight into these passages? How can the lack be a lack of being when Lacan also argues that the lack constitutes human identity? Is there a meaningful distinction between identity and being? What does the "being" that we lack look like?

 

2. Is there any empirical or scientific basis for this phenomenon of the lack? If not, on what grounds does Lacan argue that the fundamental driving antagonism of human beings is this lack?

 

3. Why does Lacan believe that the unconscious is a complex entity structured like a language as opposed to Freud's understanding of it as a primordial yet sentient force of will influenced by human drive? How does this contribute to Lacan's understanding of human identity and the lack?

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Yeah, that is the basis of the way that many people run the K, but it really doesn't do anything more than function as a security K in that instance. For example, if done correctly, the Lacan K can have a CAP, Queer Theory, Death Drive, and Security Impact in the 2NC with the shell you just explained.

Or you could do it right and put it in the 1nc, i'm getting an i dont read psychoanalysis right vibe from you.

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You should try reading Wikipedia, which is pretty useful in this case since it's based on Dylan Evans' definition of the lack in "An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis."

 

In Lacan's seminar, "The Ego in Freud's Theory," he states that:

 

"Desire is a relation to being to lack. The lack is the lack of being properly speaking. It is not the lack of this or that, but lack of being whereby the being exists."

 

and a few paragraphs later...

 

"Desire, a function central to all human experience, is the desire for nothing nameable. And at the same time this desire lies at the origin of every variety of animation. If being were only what it is, there wouldn't even be room to talk about it. Being comes into existence as an exact function of this lack. Being attains a sense of self in relation to being as a function of this lack, in the experience of desire. In the pursuit of this beyond, which is nothing, it harks back to the feeling of a being with self-consciousness, which is nothing but its own reflection in the world of things. For it is the companion of beings there before it, who do not in fact know themselves"

 

I'll be honest - I am having a very hard time deciphering Lacan and even the secondary material surrounding him.

 

1. Can you give any insight into these passages? How can the lack be a lack of being when Lacan also argues that the lack constitutes human identity? Is there a meaningful distinction between identity and being? What does the "being" that we lack look like?

Most people kind of ignore these earlier passage in favor of Lacan's articulation of the lack in La relation d'objet in Seminar IV, at least from what I've seen. To be honest, my own understanding of the lack is not through those passages, so my readings may be incorrect. Reading the Evans definition in his dictionary is probably best.

 

Anyway, these passages seem to point to Lacan's theories on symbolic castration of the imaginary phallus, which, to put it (too) simply, is how our mastery/control over things is prevented by constraints placed upon us by the Symbolic. So the lack of being is that imaginary phallus: our selves cannot properly "be" because we are castrated.

 

Then, our desire is a desire for the fulfillment of our being, in that we desire the restoration of the phallus, and therefore, control and power. This comes to define our identity because we identify with this lack of power in the phallus. Lacan says there is "nothing" at the end point of this "pursuit of the beyond" because what causes this desire is the concept of objet petit a, which is what stands in for this lack of the phallus. As Zizek says in, like, 500 of his books, the point of objet petit a and desire is that we never actually attain this objet petit a, and that instead we circle around it.

 

2. Is there any empirical or scientific basis for this phenomenon of the lack? If not, on what grounds does Lacan argue that the fundamental driving antagonism of human beings is this lack?

I don't know if he does. And really, it doesn't matter too much, since the idea of psychoanalysis is trying to formalize the way the human mind works, and that it fits at least somewhat. In that sense, it's just as rigorous as mathematics which is a completely formalized system; it just happens to be useful when applied as well. Saying that applied psychoanalysis is bad science is like saying Physics is bad science because it is applied mathematics, which doesn't necessarily have a connection with the real world. At least, that's what psychoanalysts might say. This article seems to talk about this issue on a critical side against Lacan, and Glynos's article on the "grip of ideology" is useful to cut answers to these types of arguments on the neg. Lacan says a lot about science, too, for example in "Science and Truth" in Écrits, and of course Glynos/Stavrakakis wrote "Lacan & Science".

 

Although, I think, the fundamental basis for Lacan's ideas is that the psyche is structured like a language, and the subsequent application of Saussurian linguistics. For Lacan, every sign has a fundamental gap between the signifier and the signified, which constitutes the lack. So the lack as explained above, as the desire for power and mastery through the phallus, seems to stem from the human psyche desiring for a language that is adequately powerful to describing the entirety of the Real, which is fundamentally impossible because, according to Saussure, the connection between signifier and sign is completely arbitrary and only defined in relation to other signs, and so it is impossible to embody, for example, "chair"-ness in the signifier "chair."

 

3. Why does Lacan believe that the unconscious is a complex entity structured like a language as opposed to Freud's understanding of it as a primordial yet sentient force of will influenced by human drive? How does this contribute to Lacan's understanding of human identity and the lack?

For Lacan, language is fundamental because it is the only way we can understand the unconscious in the first place. So understanding the way language works is imperative in our subsequent understanding of the psyche. And if you read "The agency of the letter in the unconscious" (Écrits), Lacan makes the connection from Freud for you: Freud saw the necessity for studying language which intervenes in psychoanalytic discussions, the Interpretation of Dreams is based on "reading" dreams like language, and linguistic observations like the Sapir-Wolfe hypothesis seem to point in the direction of the psyche structured like a language, or at least language affecting the structure of the psyche.

 

Hope that helped and that it wasn't too inaccurate. Lacan isn't the best for debate because of its difficulty, although I guess the Lacanian security K makes a lot of sense. I personally prefer the "Lacanian" critique of ideology based on Althusser, Laclau/Mouffe, and Zizek (this is where the Zizek "traversing the fantasy" alt comes from). I'm really interested seeing a K based on the Lacanian theory of the gaze, though; hopefully someone decides to do that sometime (if not me).

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From my experience of watching a few Lacan rounds, it seems to me that people look further than necessary when trying to understand the argument.

 

Overly simplified, is it just, "you don't recognize that plans will never be executed as imagined, and in your world 'the other' is blamed (scapegoated) and exterminated when recognized"?

 

Feel free to mock me if my understanding is off.

 

Are you advocating that ironically?

 

Clearly you've never read a Lacan K...

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Or you could do it right and put it in the 1nc, i'm getting an i dont read psychoanalysis right vibe from you.

 

This is the right vibe to be getting. I, as well as other people on OU's debate team who also run Lacan regularly (including one of the top debaters in the country), have watched Mr. Bates butcher Lacan over and over again. We try to give him advice so he can run the K correctly, but he's apparently just too good to listen to us.

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I'm on my second year of debating Lacan on the neg, and I have to say, most people are "Lacking" in their understanding. While I am no master of psychoanalytic theory, I have a very firm understanding of Lacanian theory and it's spin off. This topic is meant to increase education all around, for you, for me, and for anyone who stumbles upon it. Post some stuff, let's get a convo going.

 

 

And always, Embrace The Lack smile.gif

 

"Hey guys, I think I'm cool and better than others for reading this author in a debate round. Admire me!"

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This is the right vibe to be getting. I, as well as other people on OU's debate team who also run Lacan regularly (including one of the top debaters in the country), have watched Mr. Bates butcher Lacan over and over again. We try to give him advice so he can run the K correctly, but he's apparently just too good to listen to us.

 

Half the problem is he does it with my file (which he inexplicably obtained) and my overviews (which he also inexplicably obtained) which makes me look like an asshat. Then he has the balls to read my file with me in the back, including overviews specific to a TNWs aff from the college nuclear weapons topic that not only had nothing to do with the Derrida aff he was debating, but extended cards that they didn't even read in the 1NC. Saying he doesn't read psychoanalysis right is the understatement of the century.

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