2014,  Archive,  Meetings

Summer 2014 / Lacan Salon Reading Group

Life and Death in Psychoanalysis

by Jean Laplanche

Most critics have come to terms with the contradictions in Freud’s work by attempting to impose a unified system even at the cost of rejecting crucial metapsychological concepts such as the death wish.  According to Jean Laplanche, “such variations or variants deserve better than a choice in favor of one or the other: they require an interpretation and such an interpretation implies that, as is the case with the analysis of dreams, all the elements be juxtaposed so that nothing be eliminated, that the either / or be retranslated into an and” in a way that Freud plainly does not control, Laplanche argues, there are at work two different concepts corresponding to each of a series of crucial Freudian terms; in each of these conceptual pairs one of the elements is solidary with a specific conceptual scheme and the other with a second one.  The entire body of Freud’s work, for Laplanche, is constituted as an elaborately structured polemical field in which two mutually exclusive schemes may be seen to be struggling to dominate a single terminological apparatus.

Life and Death in Psychoanalysis is a painstakingly lucid inquiry into the interpretative consequences of the conceptual and terminological difficulties posed by Freud’s texts.  It is an uncannily precise delineation of the perverse rigor with which Freud’s most virulent discoveries perpetually escape him – and are endlessly rediscovered.

Meeting Place: First Session, July 8th @ Roundhouse Community Centre; July 15th – August 16th @ SFU Woodwards

July 8

The Order of Life and the Genesis of Human Sexuality

July 15

Sexuality and the Vital Order in Psychical Conflict

July 22

The Ego and the Vital Order

July 29

The Ego and Narcissism

August 5

Aggressiveness and Sadomasochism

August 12

Why the Death Drive?

August 16

Conclusion and Appendix: The Derivation of Psychoanalytic Entities