On the Names-of-the-Father

Author(s) : Jacques Lacan

On the Names-of-the-Father

Book Details

  • Publisher : Polity Press
  • Published : 2015
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 96
  • Category :
    Lacanian Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 38845
  • ISBN 13 : 9780745659923
  • ISBN 10 : 0745659926
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What astonishing success The Name-of-the-Father has had! Everyone finds something in it. Who one's father is isn't immediately obvious, hardly being visible to the naked eye. Paternity is first and foremost determined by one's culture. As Lacan said, 'The Name-of-the-Father creates the function of the father.' But then where does the plural stem from? It isn't pagan, for it is found in the Bible. He who speaks from the burning bush says of Himself that He doesn't have just one Name. In other words, the Father has no proper Name. It is not a figure of speech, but rather a function. The Father has as many names as the function has props. What is its function? The religious function par excellence, that of tying things together. What things? The signifier and the signified, law and desire, thought and the body. In short, the symbolic and the imaginary. Yet if these two become tied to the real in a three-part knot, the Name-of-the-Father is no longer anything but mere semblance. On the other hand, if without it everything falls apart, it is the symptom of a failed knotting.- Jacques-Alain Miller

About the Author(s)

Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) came to psychoanalysis by way of medicine and psychiatry. In 1951 he turned his attention to the training of analysts, and this was one of the issues which led him and his circle to part company with the Société Psychanalytique de Paris. He became, in 1953, the first President of a new group, the Société Française de Psychanalyse, whose declared aim was a return to the true teaching of Freud. Eleven years later the Société Française was dissolved and, under Lacan's direction, gave birth to the École Freudienne de Paris. Jacques Lacan was a practising psychoanalyst and teacher up until his death in 1981.

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