© 2011

Lacanian Ethics and the Assumption of Subjectivity


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Introduction — A Brief History of Ethics

  3. The Subject

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Calum Neill
      Pages 15-29
    3. Calum Neill
      Pages 30-55
    4. Calum Neill
      Pages 56-72
  4. Lacanian Ethics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 73-73
    2. Calum Neill
      Pages 75-89
    3. Calum Neill
      Pages 90-105
    4. Calum Neill
      Pages 106-122
  5. The other

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 123-123
    2. Calum Neill
      Pages 125-149
    3. Calum Neill
      Pages 150-167
    4. Calum Neill
      Pages 168-190
  6. The Social

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 191-191
    2. Calum Neill
      Pages 193-210
    3. Calum Neill
      Pages 211-235
    4. Calum Neill
      Pages 236-248
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 249-256

About this book


A readable and advanced introductory-level text focusing on the ethical dimensions and impact of Lacan's thinking. This book argues that a rethinking of the subject necessitates a rethinking of our relation to law, tradition and morality, as well as our understanding of guilt, responsibility and desire.


Jacques Lacan Ethics Subjectivity Self law morality tradition Lacan ethics argue ethics history history of literature knowledge oral discourse René Descartes subject understanding

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Edinburgh Napier UniversityScotland

About the authors

Calum Neill is a lecturer in Critical Psychology and Discourse Analysis at Edinburgh Napier University.

Bibliographic information

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"Over the years the scholarly output on 'Lacanian ethics' has become so vast as to induce intellectual indigestion in whoever decides to enter the field but not for much longer. In this brilliant book, Calum Neill exempts the reader from having to trawl through endless realms of Lacan-scholarship by offering the clearest, most concise, and most poignant discussion of what is really at stake: a radical re-consideration of all the crucial dimensions of ethics (the law, morality, guilt, responsibility and desire) in light of a fundamental review of the very notion of subjectivity. If you, reader, now hold this book in your hands, I can only give you one sound advice: Eat it!" - Dany Nobus, Professor of Psychology and Psychoanalysis, Brunel University London, UK

"This book provides an excellent overview of the philosophical foundations and conceptual basis of Lacan's work on ethics. Calum Neill makes clear what ethics in psychoanalysis is about, and broadens the scope to a much wider critical reflection on ethical acting." - Stijn Vanheule, Ghent University, Belgium

"Neill's erudition and rigour make [this] a brilliant evocation of both Lacanian and traditional ethical thought." - Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society