Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Godelek, Kamuran. "Review of Lorenzo Chiesa's SUBJECTIVITY AND OTHERNESS." METAPSYCHOLOGY ONLINE REVIEWS April 22, 2008.

Chiesa, Lorenzo. Subjectivity and Otherness: a Philosophical Reading of Lacan. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. In a speech given in 1955 in Vienna, the birthplace of psychoanalysis, Jacques Lacan famously called for a "return to Freud". Lacan saw his mission as one of rescuing the meaning of Freud's texts from his own disciples, and that impulse remained at the heart of his analytic enterprise, one of the twentieth century's seismic intellectual events. On the basis of Freud's discoveries, Lacan outlines a revolutionary theory of the subject and, despite his relentless attacks against philosophy, repeatedly invites it to collaborate with psychoanalysis in order to build on his groundbreaking investigations. It is Chiesa's belief that "unfortunately such a call has largely gone unheard ... and that especially in light of the recent and widespread debate over a return of the subject in contemporary European philosophy, Lacan's psychoanalytic theory of subjectivity must be reconsidered as an innovative point of reference ... and must carefully be expounded (p. 6). The principal aim of Chiesa in this book, therefore, is to analyze the evolution of the concept of subjectivity in the works of Jacques Lacan by countering both a call from some "pro-Lacanians" for an end to the exegesis of his work and the dismissal of it by "anti-Lacanians" who hold it to be impenetrable. Against both sides, he offers a thorough and fruitful philosophical analysis of Lacan's theory of the subject. More specifically, it endeavors to carry out a detailed reading of the Lacanian subject in its necessary relation to otherness according to the three orders of the Imaginary, the Symbolic and the Real. In each phase, the subject is defined against a different order of otherness: the Imaginary in the first phase, the Symbolic in the second, and the Real in the third. Cutting against the grain of much recent Lacan scholarship, Chiesa emphasizes the continuity underlying the three phases of Lacan's theory of subjectivity. And he shows how in each successive stage, the older theory is recuperated and incorporated into the new one. . . . Read the rest here:

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