Wednesday 15 November 2023

Lacan / Lycan


I studied Philosophy under Alan Ford at Cheltenham University for four years, including going back to do an extra module to my degree the following year to achieve a field trip I would otherwise have missed out on. 

Although not perhaps ‘my favourite philosopher’, Lacan is critical and thus an important part of that education regarding the transition from Modernism to PostModernism and beyond. 

I discovered how Lacan resonates with my extra-curricular studies of The Philosophy of Magic especially involving late 20th century development of Chaos Magic (Osman O Spare influence of Michael Moorecock, Ken St Andre, Peter Caroll) which is excruciatingly post-modern in its approach to cause-and-effect. 

This week a new book arrived. 

What I love most already about it is the 21st century Israeli psychologists from Tel Aviv are writing about 20th century French European philosophy, evidently having recognised its ongoing validity. 

Integration of East and West is a good thing. Multiculturalism is a good thing. In this day and age of segregation, the integration and recognition of universal affinities is a good thing. 

I’m going on a probability that these scholars have nothing to do with their governments regime, genocide of Palestinians nor the seizing of their lands. 

People are People regardless of colour, creed, gender, age, experience, language, etc. 

This humanitarian attitude is one thing which the majority of respected psychologists and philosophers do apparently accept and usually promote, with some exceptions. 

World Wars have been fought against the exceptions. 

The importance of recognising humanitarianism even against your own governments abject lack of it is something to be proud of. 

While I wave the Palestinian flag but detest Hamas as much as the Israeli regime, the innocent and educated People of Planet Earth are on the We The People side of ‘the line’. 

That’s my philosophy. 

Let’s see what Lacan had to say. 

Lacanian Psychoanalysis, 

A Contemporary Introduction 

By Shlomit Yadun-Gadot and Uri Hadar

Published by Routledge

Preface (extract) 

“Lacan is not the first psychoanalyst to create inextricable ties between subjectivity and otherness.”

“Klein, Bion, Kohut and Winnicott had already deeply integrated contextuality into the subject’s makeup. Yet, their thought is embedded in a realistic epistemological framework that distinguishes fantasy from reality. Lacan was a unique and innovative contributor to postmodernism and may be marked as the first to recast psychoanalysis in an inter subjective epistemology. Accordingly, he predicated the constitution of self * upon otherness in fateful ways that our book describes.”

*”Lacan did not use the term ‘self’. We use it here as a reference to the concept of the first-person, as in colloquial speech.” 

Let’s look up that elitist word for a moment as the authors used it twice in the same paragraph it must be somewhat important to them. 

“Epistemology is the theory of knowledge. It is concerned with the mind's relation to reality.”

-University of Sheffield




  1. the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope, and the distinction between justified belief and opinion.


mid 19th century: from Greek epistēmē ‘knowledge’, from epistasthai ‘know, know how to do’.

-Oxford Dictionary 

If I recall correctly, Lacan is about how we associate and construct mental maps built on concepts, illusions, delusions, rather than the hard existential reality we experience around us. 

That painting of an alien on an alien world is an idea. Technically it is a coloured dried pigment on woven fibers. Recognition of the abstract to make more sense to us than the practicality of the realism is what Lacan, to an extent Modernism and definitely PostModernism, are all about. 

If my memory serves correct. 

Let’s keep reading. 


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